Skip to main content


MS Hanjin Tianjin
ROKN Choi Young
FNS Pohjanmaa
Once again from a European correspondent comes news of piracy and once again it is near the Gulf of Aden.  First the background story and then some comments on it.

On April 21, 2011 the 6500 TEU containership MS Hanjin Tianjin came under attack by pirates in the Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden 400 km eaast of Socotra.  The ship and its crew of 20 seafarers, 14 Koreans and 6 Indonesians were rescued by the Korean Navy ship ROKS Choi Young.

The crew of the MS Hanjin Tianjin had stopped the engine "to hold it in position" and hid in the citadel (panic room) to protect themselves".  The pirates did some damage to the ship but left on the approach of the ROKN warship.

Comment: NAUTICAL LOG is not quite sure why this vessel was stopped in order for the pirates to board.  Look at the size of it and the difficulty of climbing the side, perhaps they rig the pilot boarding ladder for the pirates to make things easier for them!!  It may be that these are 'Standing Orders to Masters' from Hanjin not to resist these pirate boardings, if so one would question that approach.

On April 06, 2011 the Finnish warship FNS Pohjanmaa detained a group of pirates but later released them after requests for prosecution to various States, including Finland, proved unsuccessful.

Comment: If there is not going to be any prosecution why spend vast sums of monies operating EU NavFor patrols.  Let's just all go home and leave it up to the shipping companies to hire armed guards.  Combined with stopping the ship to facilitate the pirates boarding this entire procedure is a complete waste of time and effort. 

UPDATE:  In another brilliant piece of action from our current Administration Mohamed Ali, also known as Ismail Ali or Ahmed Ali Adan has been residing in Somalia.  He was arrested April 20, 2011 at Dulles International Airport and following investigation he was indicted April 15, 2011 the charges being unsealed today April 26, 2011.  He is charged with conspiracy to commit piracy, piracy under the law of nations, attack to plunder a vessel and aiding and abetting in the crimes.  If convicted he faces a life in prison for these crimes.  This marks the first time charges have been filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia against a person accused of negotiating and receiving a ransom in an act of piracy.  It concerns his being involved in the piracy of the Danish MS CEC Future carrying American cargo.  It is somewhat of a mystery why Ali travelled to the United States in the first place, we may find that out at his eventual trial.

While this would seem to be largely a political-correctness action at least it draws attention to the fact the United States is willing to prosecute pirates.  In Europe bunga-bunga (Indonesian for flower by the way) parties seemingly take presidence.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India and others to free them.


Popular posts from this blog


It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.


In addition to the recent "Standing Down" of training voyages for its Midshipersons the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has received warnings about the quality, or lack thereof, of its training programme.  The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) report stated that accreditation was in jeopardy for non-compliance in certain areas.

Coupled with the continuing problems requiring disciplinary actions including dismissal from the Navy the United States Navy (USN) has had in recent years this does not bode well for the professionalism of the seafaring community of the United States.

It is clear to this writer, an International Master Mariner with 50 years of experience, that the training sources for both Officers and Ratings need an immediate complete examination and review.  Currently the Officer commanding riverine craft based in Bahrain has been dismissed.  Another nine Officers and Ratings are under disciplinary action as a result of the capture by…


NAUTICAL LOG has on previous occasions discussed the SS El Faro VDR in a Post titled RELUCTANCE TO RECOVER and two other Posts about the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) of the SS El Faro

The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas.  There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth.  However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.

Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR.  The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.

Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information.  With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and questio…