Monday, 22 August 2011
Further update on FAIRCHEM BOGEY IMO 9423750
Here's an update on what reportedly happened with the FAIRCHEM BOGEY, and a sordid tale of ineptitude and lack of real concern all around, as well as the realities.
# The FAIRCHEM BOGEY was anchored about 2 miles away from the shore.
# The first boarding by pirates was at about 0500 hours local time, when there was apparently only a quartermaster on the bridge, since the ship's complement was extremely tired. Fudging of time sheets is not an unknown truth in an industry where people have to prove that they worked only about 100 hours a week.
# Alarms and MAYDAY issued on Channel 16 immediately, and then continued on Channel 16 open for all in vicinity to hear.
# More pirates boarded till about 0700 hours local time.
# The Port of Salalah immediately contacted the Royal Omani Army, Navy and Coast Guard - it appears that the Navy did not even have anybody to pick up the phone at 0500 hrs.
# It took the ship 3 hours and 20 minutes to start moving seawards under pirate control from anchor. It is assumed that about 1.5/2.0 hours was spent in getting in and then out of the citadel, some seafarers were left outside the citadel, though this is not confirmed either.
# When Royal Omani Navy deployed a patrol boat and ordered the vessel to stop or they would shoot, the response was "don't shoot they will kill us" from the ship.
# Helicopters were not deployed to attempt to put special forces onboard, also slight mist/fog, reported.
# The Royal Omani patrolboat that followed gave up the chase after about 40 nautical miles.
# An Italian and a Chinese warship which were present in Salalah declined to do anything as the incident was in Omani territorial waters.
# Some members of the ship's complement were apparently able to contact their family members.
The bigger issues here will be discussed in the next post. Interim, it is interesting to note that the owners/operators of the FAIRCHEM BOGEY have taken down much of the details of their company from their website, though the same are available variously elsewhere.