19/04/09 (B495) Le journal de la flibuste … Capture de navires par les pirates, mais aussi libération d’otages et arraisonnement déjoué par les marines dans le Golfe. (5 articles en Français et en Anglais)

_______________________________ 5 – Portail des sous-marins

Un second voilier suivait le Tanit dans l’océan Indien

Par Gilles Corlobé.

Ouest-France nous apprend ce dimanche qu’un second voilier suivait le voilier Tanit. Parti lui aussi de Vannes, il devait en revanche rejoindre la Réunion.

Le journal, qui ne cite pas le nom du voilier probablement par soucis de sécurité, explique que le voilier acheté à une association vannetaise par un couple travaillant à la Réunion est parti en février dernier pour la Réunion.

Le voilier se trouve actuellement en mer Rouge. Suite aux recommandations du ministère de la défense et aux événements tragiques survenus à bord du Tanit, l’équipage a décidé de ne pas traverser le golfe d’Aden, du moins pour l’instant.

Il ferait actuellement route vers un port, probablement Djibouti. Le voilier pourrait ensuite être ramené en Méditerranée ou rejoindre la Réunion en convoi, sur une barge.

_______________________________ 4 – XINHUA (Chine)


Les forces de l’OTAN libèrent 20 otages des mains des pirates somaliens

Les forces de l’OTAN ont capturé dimanche sept pirates somaliens et libéré 20 prisonniers pris en otage par les pirates dans le Golfe d’Aden, ont rapporté des agences de presse.

Les reportages ont cité un porte-parole de l’OTAN qui a affirmé qu’un bâtiment de guerre néerlandais dans le cadre de la mission de l’OTAN ont mené des actions après que les pirates eurent lancé une attaque sur le pétrolier MT Handytankers Magic dans le Golfe d’Aden.

Ils ont poursuivi les pirates en fuite sur un petit canoë et ont plus tard abordé un boutre de pêche battant pavillon yéménite capturé par les pirates dimanche dernier et pris comme leur ” bateau mère”. Les forces néerlandaises ont libéré les 20 otages yéménites à bord du boutre retenu en captivité depuis la semaine dernière, selon les agences de presse.

L’incident s’est produit après l’arrivée vendredi du capitaine américain dans sa ville natale de Vermont après cinq jours de capitivité par les pirates somaliens.

Après une impasse de cinq jours, les éléments de la marine américaine ont abattu les pirates qui avaient détenu Phillips en otage dans un canot de sauvetage avant de le libérer finalement.

Les attaques des pirates sur les navires au large des côtes de la Somalie ont créé une perturbation dans le monde. Plusieurs pays ont envoyé leurs navires de guerre dans les eaux de la Somalie afin de protéger leurs bateaux commerciaux.


_________________________________ 3 – Shabelle (En Anglais)

Les pirates capturent un navire Belge. Les forces de l’OTAN libèrent 20 otages. // Pirates seize Belgian ship; NATO frees 20 hostages

Somali pirates attacked two ships off the Horn of Africa on Saturday, capturing a Belgian dredger and its 10 crew. NATO forces intervened in the other assault, chasing the pirates down and freeing 20 fishermen on a Yemeni dhow.

The high-seas attacks underscored the dangers in waters off Somalia and east Africa despite the best efforts of an international flotilla that includes warships from the United States and the European Union.

Pirates from anarchic, clan-ruled Somalia have attacked more than 80 boats this year and hold 16 ships and over 290 crew members hostage.

In the first attack, pirates hijacked the Belgian-flagged Pompei in the Indian Ocean, a few hundred miles (kilometers) north of the Seychelles islands, said Portuguese Lt. Cmdr. Alexandre Santos Fernandes, who is traveling with the NATO fleet patrolling the region.

Belgium reported that the ship sounded two alarms early Saturday indicating it was under attack on its way to the Seychelles. It had 10 crew: two Belgians, one Dutch, three Filipinos and four Croatians.

Hours later, pirates further north in the Gulf of Aden attacked a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker with small arms and rockets. Fernandes said that ship, the Handytankers Magic, issued a distress call shortly after dawn but escaped the pirates using “speed and maneuvers.”

A Dutch frigate from the NATO force responded immediately to the distress call. It trailed the pirates “on a small white skiff, which tried to evade and proceed toward a Yemeni-flagged fishing dhow” that had been sized by the pirates a week ago, Fernandes said.

He said pirates were using the Yemeni vessel as a “mother ship,” a boat that allows the pirates’ tiny skiffs to operate far off the Somali coast.

The pirates boarded the dhow and Dutch marine commandos followed soon after, freeing 20 fishermen whose nationalities were not known. There was no exchange of fire and Dutch forces seized seven Kalashnikov rifles and one rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Seven Somali pirates were detained, but they were soon released because “NATO does not have any detainment policy,” Fernandes said. The seven could not be arrested or held because they were seized by Dutch nationals and neither the pirates, the victims nor the ship were Dutch, he explained.

The Gulf of Aden — a vital short cut between Europe and Asia — is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. For that reason, it has been hard hit by pirates, who can earn $1 million or more in ransom for each hijacked vessel.

Pirates plucked from the sea by navy warships could be tried anywhere from Mombasa to New York, Paris to Rotterdam — but most are simply set free to wreak havoc again because of legal issues.

Among the difficulties facing prosecutors is assembling witnesses scattered across the globe and finding translators. Many countries are wary of hauling in pirates for trial for fear of being saddled with them after they serve their prison terms.

The United States, the European Union and Britain all have signed agreements with Somalia’s southern neighbor, Kenya, clearing the way for a slew of court cases in the southern port city of Mombasa. And the most prominent recent case — a scrawny Somali teenage pirate who stormed the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama this month and was later arrested by the U.S. Navy — will be tried in New York.

French soldiers take pirates who have attacked French citizens to Paris; pirates who have attacked other nations are hauled to Kenya, such as the 11 seized Wednesday when the French navy found them stalking a Lebanese-owned ship. India took 24 suspects to Yemen, since half were from there. The Dutch took five suspects to Rotterdam, where they probably will be tried next month under a 17th-century law against “sea robbery.”

Britain, the U.S., Germany and France have brought suspects to Kenya, which convicted 10 pirates arrested by U.S. sailors last year. Each is serving a sentence of seven years — the maximum. But a backlog of all sorts of cases in Kenya’s courts could mean long delays in trying the pirates.

AccuWeather.com says weather in the region is likely to favor the pirates for the next several weeks. Very small waves and light winds make it easier for the pirates to operate the small speedboats they use to attack ships. Unrestricted visibility at day will help lookouts on vessels watching for attacks, but little or no moonlight works for the brigands, the weather service said.

A small town in Vermont, meanwhile, celebrated the return of the unassuming shipping captain lauded for helping his crew survive a piracy attack off Somalia.

Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, arrived Friday at his farmhouse in Underhill with his wife, Andrea, to find their home festooned with ribbons and “Welcome Home” balloons and the road full of flag-waving, cheering friends and neighbors.


_________________________________ 2 – En Anglais


Un navire danois de commerce échappe aux pirates grâce à l’intervention d’une unité sud-coréenne. // Danish ship escapes Somali pirates

South Korean naval forces drive away Somali pirates trying to board a Danish-registered ship in the pirate-infested waters off Somalia.

The Danish shipper immediately sent a distress signal to the multination anti-piracy task force in the area for help.

The South Korean destroyer, Munmu the Great, with 300 on board, received the distress call from the ship, which had reported it was being chased by a pirate boat, said Army Colonel Lee Hyoung-Kook who was in charge of the Korean warship.

The ship had zigzagged to avoid a speedboat carrying five armed pirates and the crew fired a distress flare toward the pirates to slow them down.

The ship, carrying a generator from Singapore to Germany with a crew of three Danes, four Filipinos and five British security guards — was about 55 kilometers away from the South Korean destroyer.

The South Korean destroyer dispatched its Lynx anti-submarine helicopter, which arrived at the scene in just over 20 minutes, Lee said.

“The pirates gave up (their) attempt to board the ship and turned away when the helicopter threatened to fire,” he said.

Up to 20 foreign warships now patrol the waters off the Somali coast to safeguard major shipping lanes.


_________________________________ 1 – AFP


La marine néerlandaise a repris un bateau de pêche détourné par des pirates somaliens présumés dans le Golfe d’Aden, au large de la Somalie, a annoncé samedi un porte-parole du ministère néerlandais de la Défense.

“Je peux confirmer que des marins néerlandais embarquent actuellement sur un bateau qui semble avoir été pris par des pirates somaliens”, a déclaré à l’AFP le porte-parole, Otto Beeksma.

L’opération a été menée par une frégate faisant partie d’une patrouille de l’Otan en mission dans le Golfe, a indiqué M. Beeksma.

Il n’a pas précisé si des arrestations avaient été effectuées ni si des otages avaient été libérés. “Le bateau est encore en train d’être inspecté au moment où je vous parle”, a-t-il dit.

Les attaques et les détournements de navires étrangers par des pirates se sont multipliés ces dernières semaines dans le golfe d’Aden et dans l’océan Indien, à la faveur de conditions météorologiques favorables.