New Pirate Tactics

Somali pirates are seemingly adopting new and cunning tactics to distract crews. Using decoy and camouflaged skiffs one Pirate Attack Group seems intent on developing and refining its modus operandi.

On 5 March the Russian-owned general cargo ship Chariot (1302-dwt, built 1984, IMO 8302882) came under attack by pirates in position 12 018N 066 143E and around 19h40 local time.

In this attack the pirates introduced new tactics involving a decoy skiff painted white, which left the side of the mother ship –a previously highjacked freighter – in an attempt to attract the attention of the crew on the Chariot, while a second skiff with six pirates on board made an approach from the stern port side. This skiff was painted over in camouflage and was less easy to see.

What the pirates didn’t realise was that the Chariot had on board four armed guards – Russian Spetsnaz vets, who exchanged gunfire with the approaching skiff which promptly broke off the engagement and returned to the mother ship. Chariot was able to continue her voyage.

Company Security Officers are being encouraged to promulgate such information to their vessels.

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