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Saturday, 11 December 2010

11 dec 2010, latest on piracy in the Indian Ocean

It is now a rampage, all over the Indian Ocean, with multiple "mother ships" being used by the pirates.

A Thai crew member thrown into the sea by pirates after hijacking a cargo vessel has been rescued by an Indian warship about 350 nautical miles off Minicoy Island in the Lakshadweep Island chain.
The Thai national's vessel, Prantalay 12, was hijacked a couple of months ago and being used as a mother ship by Somali pirates to launch attacks on other merchant vessels when he was thrown over board by the sea brigands, a navy spokesperson said here today.

India's INS Krishna, which was patrolling in the area noticed Prantalay 12 and was following it when the Thai sailor was thrown out into the sea by the brigands, he said, adding the Thai man was brought to Kochi for further formalities.

"On the evening of December 4, INS Krishna rescued the Thai national while on patrol about 350 nautical miles from Minicoy Island. On sighting INS Krishna, the trawler started heading Westwards at maximum speed away from the islands. One of the Thai nationals held hostage on board was seen to be pushed into the sea," he said.

The pirates later sailed the trawler at high speeds towards the Somali coast.

Prantalay 12 is the second suspected mother vessel that was cleared from the Eastern Arabian Sea. The navy had deployed a multi-ship force in November about 300-400 nautical miles off India's west coast to clear the area of the pirates.

During the course of the security sweep in the area, the navy ship chased another merchant tanker MT Polar, being used as a mother ship by pirates, away from the region.

"Navy and Coast Guard ships and aircraft continue to patrol the areas of reported pirate attacks in an effort to ensure safety of the sea lanes of communication," the navy spokesperson said, reiterating the requirement for all merchant vessels to adopt best management practices, as prescribed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as vital to ensuring the safety of shipping from piracy.
However, a Bangladeshi merchant vessel was hijacked by Somali pirates about 80 nautical miles off Minicoy Island and about 320 nautical miles of Indian west coast in international waters, but within Indian Exclusive Economic Zone.

The vessel, identified as MV Jahan Moni, had raised an alarm that it was being chased by a pirate-operated skiff and sought help, but by the time the Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships that were in the vicinity could respond, the merchant vessel was hijacked, Defence Ministry sources said.

The attack on MV Jahan Moni came on Sunday and the 26-member crew were captured by the pirates, who took the vessel back to Somali coast, the sources said.

The vessel was reportedly carrying 41,000 tonnes of nickel on board and it is believed that the pirates would use both the merchandise and the crew of the cargo ship to demand a ransom, they said.
The attack took place at the 'eight-degree channel' between Minicoy Island and Maldives, which witnesses a traffic of about 40 cargo ships on an average every day.

Festivals on board ship . . .

One way of looking at it is with mixed emotions - it is a sailor's lot
to be regularly missing out on festivals while at sea, especially in
this day and age of instant communications, when you can even listen
to the festivities at home. You can choose to feel sorry for yourself,
or you can make the best of it, the choice is yours.

There is really not much to be said or written about this part of life
at sea. We all know that ships sail 24x7, and now we also know that it
is the earnest effort as well as desire of all those involved with
shipping ashore to see that if nothing else, the ships sail out of
port before the celebrations and festivals shut the port down.

All of us probably have ample number of experiences along this line -
leaving port just before the long holiday weekends or arriving just in
time after they got over. One incident I recall very clearly is being
asked to please help co-operate and sail out well in time on 31st
December - otherwise they would miss the office party!

Likewise, as a seafarer, you would have missed out on umpteen number
of occasions at home. Religious and other festivals, different types
of celebrations, Parent-Teacher Association meetings, RWA gatherings
which often turn out to be more interesting than anything else, and
similar events. All this, and more, we take in our stride.
But if you are the sort of person who sees a rainbow behind every
cloud, then festivals spent while on ships can really take on new
meanings, as well as be an important part of your larger evolution as
a human being. After all, your friends on your ship are your family,
too, and so why not make more than just the best of things?


Festivals take on a totally new meaning on ships, easy to say, but
worth repeating, especially when you are lucky enough to sail with
multi-cutural and multi-national colleagues, and subscribing to
religions from across the board. Most festivals, with some notable
exceptions, are about unbridled joy and unrestricted happiness, so it
is always great to be able to take part in them.

After all, much of international tourism is designed around going to
see and experience different kinds of cultures, and the festivals as
well as celebrations they engage in. Here we are lucky enough to have
the same, or at least mini versions, free of charge literally at our
door steps.

We just have to reach out to celebrate them. Chances are that alcohol
may not be permitted in large quantities nowadays on board your ship -
that has never been a reason to prevent celebrations, has it?

Likewise, the date and timing of the festival may clash with a high
work load period - fair enough, easy to solve, simply move it around!
There are many ways to ensure that festivals and celebrations of all
sorts can be enjoyed on board ships. You just have to be innovative
enough to seek the opportunity, and then take it forward - and then
see your reputation as a good manager of men and morale onboard take


In addition, there are some "festivals" which are unique to seafarers,
and for which the routine of celebrations was taken charge of with
great enthusiasm and gusto a few decades ago. This lot can be salvaged
and revived easily, again, keeping latest safety and other regulations
in mind.

These would include:-

# Equator Crossing Ceremonies.
# Date Line Crossing Ceremonies.
# Ships' Birthday (Launch date)
# Company specific celebrations. (Find out what they are celebrating
in the office ashore and do paralel ones onboard)
# Birthdays of children or family members onboard or even if ashore.
(Brings out the best in people, especially if the family member back
at home are celebrating)

All this, and more - in addition to the regular festivals. There has
never been a better time to celebrate on board ships than now - wages
are good, job prospects are better, companies are looking for ways to
improve HR fundamentals, the works.

It just needs that one catalyst on board to help do things - and
celebrate any and every occasion. Is that person you?

One way of trying to join cruise ships . . .

Advice given to a young man in Delhi on how to join cruise ships - comments and corrections as well as views apprecited and welcome:-

To join cruise ships now, you will need:-

1)  To do 4 x basic courses called STCW/78, these can be done at  SIMS/Bijwasan, and would take about 2 weeks, cost about 15k.

2) An InDOS number, which the institute will apply for you, costs about 800-1000/-

3) Then, with these two things in hand, you simultaneously start looking for jobs, for which you have to check out the newspapers, catering colleges, etc.etc.

4) Once you have an offer, that company will or may sponsor you for a CDC of that flag which their cruise ship flies. There are hardly any Indian pax ships, and they dont require anything like what you have in mind. So it will be Panama and similar. Take a look here:-  . . . you can do the 4 courses listed in "1" over here and hopefully pick up some grapevine on agents/jobs etc. Pleasant place, residential campus.

5) One more 3 day course called Passenger Ship Course, this is done in Cal/Madras/Mumbai. But is better done AFTER you have acquired a CDC or atleast got somewhere.

6) To acquire a CDC, a govt document, involves some run-around in Mumbai as well as the courses listed in "a". Also a job offer from some shipping line. All the foegin flag consulates are de-facto present there.

You can also do the 4 courses listed in "1" at SIMS (Sriram Institute of Marine . . .) Bijwasan,,

These are the 4 courses you will need to do, either at SIMS/Bijwasan (day course) or at TS RAHMAN (residential, nearest station by train from Delhi will be PANVEL, do not go by air or by train to Bombay central)

Personal Survival Technique

Personal Safety and Social Responsibility

Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting

Elementary First Aid


Please also apply to:-


What do you think, short and sweet?