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First Hijacking of a Merchant Vessel by Somali Pirates in Five Years.

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Wednesday March 15, 2017 - 03:27:19 in Articles by
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    First Hijacking of a Merchant Vessel by Somali Pirates in Five Years.

    This attack reinforces the need for vessels to follow Best Management Practices (BMP) within the High Risk Area.

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This attack reinforces the need for vessels to follow Best Management Practices (BMP) within the High Risk Area.

MARCH 14, 2017—Nairobi, Kenya - On 13 March 2017 Somali pirates hijacked the MT ARIS 13, a tanker vessel en route to Mogadishu from Djibouti. 

The ship was seized approximately 18 km off the northern tip of Somalia. 

This incident marks the first hijacking of a merchant vessel since the height of Somali piracy in 2012. Details of the MT ARIS 13: Crew consists of eight Sri Lankans Owned by Panama-based company, Comoros flagged, and United Arab Emirates managed vessel Carrying a cargo of gas and fuel Not registered with the Maritime Security Center for the Horn of Africa, an organization that registers and tracks commercial traffic in region The MT ARIS 13 reported that it had been approached by two skiffs, with weapons sighted on one of the boats. The vessel soon dropped communication and was reported by EUNAVFOR to have been hijacked by pirates. 

It was then taken to the coastal town of Caluula in Somalia’s Puntland state. Area where the MT ARIS was hijacked off the coast of Somalia. Map credit: Oceans Beyond Piracy/One Earth Future. The MT ARIS 13 was preparing to cut through the Socotra Gap between the tip of Somalia and the island of Socotra. 

This route is frequently used as a cost- and time-saving measure for vessels traveling down the east coast of Africa despite the threat of piracy. 

Additionally the ARIS 13 has a low freeboard of only three meters and was moving at a slow speed of five knots. These factors made the vessel an easier target for pirates, who typically board ships with ladders from fast moving skiffs. 

This attack reinforces the need for vessels to follow shipping industry Best Management Practices (BMP) within the BMP specified High Risk Area. 

The group claiming responsibility for the vessel’s capture belongs to the Majerteen/Siwaaqroon subclan, led by the pirate Jacfar Saciid Cabdulaahi. 

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