Home' Navy News : October 15th 2009 Contents NAVY NEWS
October 15, 2009
HMAS Toowoomba recently spent
three days providing close protection
to a Maltese bulk carrier after the
vessel experienced propulsion diffi-
culties and became stranded in a high
risk piracy area north of the Somali
coast in the central Gulf of Aden.
Having sailed from Novorissiysk,
Russia with 17,000 tonnes of grain, the
151-metre bulk carrier was on the final
leg of her voyage in the Internationally
Recommended Transit Corridor
(IRTC) enroute to Calcutta, India when
her main reduction gearbox failed.
As a result, the merchant vessel
was placed on the Severe Risk Register
by Maritime Security Centre (Horn of
Africa -- UK).
Toowoomba was directed to take
station on the bulk carrier and provide
round-the-clock protection to ensure
the vessel and her cargo were kept safe
from pirate attack.
Toowoomba's CO CMDR Ivan
Ingham said the location of the vessel,
within reach of Somali pirate camps,
her characteristics and the nature of her
condition meant that she was extreme-
ly vulnerable to a piracy attack.
"This particular part of the IRTC
is known to be a very high risk area,"
"This and the fact that the vessel
can be easily boarded and is unable to
get underway means that she presents
a severe risk to herself.
"Providing this type of presence
and support to commercial shipping
and assuring the freedom of naviga-
tion in this extremely important
international shipping route is one of
the many tasks being undertaken by
After protecting the vessel for 72
hours, Toowoomba handed over escort
responsibilities to a European war-
ship before taking up another security
patrol in the main piracy route between
Somali and the Yemen coastline.
-- LEUT Kelli Lunt
Toowoomba protects Maltese
cargo ship off Somali coast
READY TO ASSIST: HMAS Toowoomba recently spent three days providing close protection to a Maltese bulk carrier in a high risk piracy area.
Photo: LEUT Steve Hill
JOINT EFFORT: HMAS Toowoomba and
Pakistan Navy Ship Badr conduct opera-
tions in the Arabian Sea
ON WATCH: SBLT
Sarah Tame (left) and
LEUT Leesa Young are
officers of the watch in
INSET: AB Peta Chilton
prepares to hoist flags
on board Toowoomba.
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