Home' Navy News : October 15th 2009 Contents 17
October 15, 2009
In the early stages of her anti-
piracy patrols, Toowoomba has
already cooperated with Russian,
Chinese and US warships.
CMDR Ingham said he was
looking forward to more interaction
with other warships in the area as
the operational situation permitted.
" Toowoomba is the first
Australian warship assigned to
counter-piracy operations in the
Middle East," he said.
"I highly value the knowledge
and experience gained by our
Coalition partners over years of
conducting such operations," he
"That said, I do not shy away
from the fact that Toowoomba
brings a great deal to the coun-
ter-piracy mission. I have received
much praise on our boarding party
and aerial surveillance expertise,
which has come from years of bor-
der protection operations."
-- LEUT Andrew Silver
PIRACY attacks around the world
more than doubled to 240 from 114
when comparing statistics from
the first half of 2008 to the first
half of 2009, the ICC International
Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting
Centre recently announced.
"The rise in overall numbers is
due almost entirely to increased
Somali pirate activity off the Gulf of
Aden and east coast of Somalia,
with 86 and 44 incidents reported
respectively," the report said.
A total of 78 vessels were board-
ed worldwide, 75 vessels fired upon
and 31 vessels hijacked with some
561 crew taken hostage, 19 injured,
seven kidnapped, six killed and eight
missing. The attackers were heavily
armed with guns and knives in the
majority of incidents.
"Violence against crew members
continues to increase," the report
Nevertheless, the presence of
naval forces in the Gulf of Aden,
specifically in the Internationally
Recommended Transit Corridor, now
makes it more difficult for pirates to
The report said attacks off the
eastern coast of Somalia had
decreased in recent months after
peaking in March and April, with no
attacks reported in June. But the
Piracy Reporting Centre attributed
the decline to heavy weather associ-
ated with the monsoons that were
expected to continue into August.
Toowoomba's CO CMDR Ivan
Ingham said he expected incidents
of piracy to increase with improving
weather conditions in the region.
"I also expect to see pirates tak-
ing more risks as a result of both
calmer seas and more naval pro-
tection, by sailing further from the
Somali coast and engaging vessels
they have so far been reluctant to
act against," he said.
The Australian Shipowners
Association has commended the
action to combat piracy off the Horn
-- LEUT Andrew Silver
the Somali coast
DETERRING PRESENCE: HMAS Toowoomba supports MV APL Kennedy in
the eastern sector of the IRTC where piracy is currently high risk.
Photo: POA Nathan Minnet
HIGHLY TRAINED: Toowoomba's board-
ing party conducts a thorough and effective
search of suspect pirates on September
20, which revealed a cache of weapons
including an RPG, six AK47s, a G3 Assault
Rifle and a large quantity of ammunition.
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