Piracy Attack – As Heard By Followtheboat

Last night another commercial vessel was attacked and boarded by pirates and we overheard the conversation between a coalition warship and the motor vessel in question. For obvious reasons I am not saying which attack it was but I was able to record the second half of the conversation between the coalition warship and another warship in the area, which we will release as a podcast in due course.


We had been monitoring VHF CH16 and the international task force channel for communication, 72. At around 8pm last night we heard the following conversation. Bear in mind it is normal protocol for warships to ask standard questions in order to gain an understanding of the type of vessel they are dealing with. The first part is from memory and the second is transcribed from the recording I took.


Skipper of commercial vessel: There are guns.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Please state the number of crew you have on board. Over.


Skipper: Please stand down. Please stop following and alter course.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Please state your course and speed. Over.


Skipper: I will not answer any more questions.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Please can you tell us if there are any injured on board. Over.


Skipper: No, I will not. I will not answer your questions.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Please state your next port of call.


Skipper: Please stop following us. I will not answer any more questions. Out.



Then there was a pause until the coalition warship contacted another warship who was close by. We could only hear one side of the conversation.



Warship: xxx warship this is coalition warship. My current position is xxx. My course is xxx and my current speed is xxx. Over.


Pause whilst other warship responds which we can’t hear.


Warship: Er yes sir request your current position, course and speed. Over.


Pause.


Warship: Roger this is coalition warship. Copy your position, course and speed. I am currently three and half nautical miles astern of motor vessel X. I have been in contact with the motor vessel master, but he declined to answer several questions and we are currently in a trailing position. Over.


Pause.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Suspect that motor vessel X has been pirated. Response has been very limited and we continue to attempt to hail and maintain trailing position. Over.


Pause.


Warship: Do you intend to close our position and assist? Over.


Pause.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Roger we will be standing by channel 1-6 and monitoring 7-2 for any updates you have to pass. Over.


Pause.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Please can you confirm the number of injured. Over.


Pause.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Please identify yourself. Over.


Pause.


Warship: This is coalition warship. Negative. We do not have bridge to bridge visual with Motor Vessel X. Over.


Pause.


Warship: This is coalition warship. That’s affirmative, sir. Over.


Pause.


Warship: If you observe any suspicious or illegal activity or require assistance please contact the nearest coalition warship on channel 16. Out.



The last statement from the coalition warship is a standard statement we often hear in this area.



What to make of all this then? Well it was clear that the skipper of the motor vessel was under some kind of duress and must have been under instruction not to answer any questions by his captors. It has an impact on the immediate plans of the rally and our strategy will probably change. Whatever our decision we never underestimate the gravity of this situation but we ask all our friends and family not to worry. We have friends in high places 😉







18 Comments on “Piracy Attack – As Heard By Followtheboat”

  1. That is so scary. I’m sure all your readers will agree with me when I ask you all to please be careful! We want to see you all again some day, preferably in this life, not in the next!

  2. Thanks, Caroline. Yes it is a concern but it is one we monitor closely (a bit too closely at times) and try to put in perspective. We always err on the side of caution in these situations and you should know that we are safely tucked up next to a warship right now! The ladies of the rally have decided to dress up, go over to the warship and flirt with the navy boys in order to get a personal escort 😛

  3. We echo Caroline’s concerns – and want to know that we will see you safe and sound in an anchorage somewhere in the future play some more backgammon, also rummicub (Graham)and share more good times. Glad to hear the ladies are keeping the coalition forces in line!!! We love getting your news, keep it coming!!!
    all the best
    June and Geoff xxx

  4. This is EEyore’s Dad. You may well be tucked up next to a great big warship, but Eeyore told me he was out of the danger area and all was well. You guys might be super safe but Mummy’s and Daddy’s are super scared. You tell the bad guys to sod off to Somalia!

  5. It’s an interesting conundrum. The ‘recognised’ safe zone is obviously too recognised now and so the pirates, damn them, are moving further afield. To all the Mums and Dads out there, please don’t worry! We’re all good here.

  6. Lo said there was a helicopter escort as well-let’s hope the ladies can “pull it off”-i’ts only about 1000NM to go! 😕

  7. Hello to all “CONCERNED” and to Lesley and Mike—good to meet you. When will we be old enough to stop worrying about our children?——never. How can we find about what’s going on now if they don’t answer ‘phones?

  8. Good idea Jamie but put it on the back burner and tell us landlubbers that all you pirates are safe.

  9. I think drinking is a bad idea… Jamie and Graham especially should be staying completley sober for the rest of the rally.

  10. On a more serious note, I have just seen on the BBC website that a pirate has been shot dead in an attack on Panamanian-flagged MV Almezaan. I don’t know if this is the attack that you are referring to, but a coalition warship was involved, although it appears the shooting came from a member of the Panamanian crew.

    Look after yourselves and stay safe!

    1. This is not the same boat, but it makes for sobering reading, thanks for the link.

  11. Graham’s brother, Allan, is a photogapher thinks you are brilliant. I think(know) he wishes he could be there. mum

  12. Thanks Jamie and Liz! Through a geological science friend who is in the oil finding business and who has travelled throughout the areas you have been through and heading towards, I understand that the pirates have indeed spread further than was once well known and the waters are not as safe as you might think. I am confident that you are in a safe situation with the warship nearby now but I do hope you will have continued security as you sail towards India. Apparently they know more that was once assumed. Just be safe and keep communicating please. Take good care everyone! 😯

    1. Dear Eeyore’s Mum,

      We are all safe. We are moored alongside a state of the art warship in a naval area. We have been in contact with the coalition and will move from here once they have given us more information.

      Try not to worry. We will continue to assess the situation and will not put ourselves at unnecessary risk. All 14 boats intend to continue traveling in convoy and to look after each other. We are enjoying the weather and have been swimming and having BBQs on the beach.

  13. Hi this was a great report. We wish you god speed and stay in convoy for your next leg of the journey.

    Peter and Claire 😆

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