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List of ships attacked by Somali pirates in 2012

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Title: List of ships attacked by Somali pirates in 2012  
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Subject: Piracy in Somalia, MV Blue Star, MV Guanabara, FV Shahzaib, MV Pramoni
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List of ships attacked by Somali pirates in 2012

General area off the coast of Somalia where the pirates operate

Somali pirates have threatened international shipping with piracy since the second phase of the Somali Civil War in the early 21st century.[1] This list documents ships attacked in 2012.


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
 Spain SPS Patiño (A14)
(Replenishment oiler)
about 148 sailors
Repulsed attack and captured 6 attackers 2012-01-12 unknown
n/a n/a
The vessel was attacked by pirates off the East coast of Africa who apparently thought it to be a freighter. Fire was returned, and pirates were chased by helicopter and surrendered. Six captives were taken.[2]
 Iran FV Al-Khaliil
(fishing vessel)

Ship and crew released 2012-01-25 unknown
2012-02-07 none
An Iranian fishing dhow was captured on 25 January 2012 while a security team on board was asleep. Although Somali sources reported that international maritime forces had eventually freed the dhow and seized the kidnappers,[3] the Operation Atalanta website did not confirm such an action.[4] According to Somalia Report the pirates released ship and crew without ransom on 7 February 2012.[3]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
( United Arab Emirates)
MV Leila
Seized, negotiations cancelled 2012-02-16 or 2012-02-21
2012-04-10 USD 2 million
According to conflicting reports, a Panama-flagged roll-on/roll-off vessel owned by a Dubai-based company was captured either on 16 or 21 February 2012 in the eastern approach to the Gulf of Aden. Initially the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa reported a German tanker to be the victim of this attack. As of 16 March 2012 a ransom of USD 2 million has been demanded by the pirates but the ship owners reject any payments and have stopped further negotiations. In the meantime the vessel is being used as a pirate mothership.[5][6]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
( United Arab Emirates)
MT Royal Grace
(oil tanker)

(India, Pakistan, Nigeria)

Released on 8th March 2013. 2012-03-02
2013-03-08 unknown
A Panama-flagged oil tanker owned by a UAE-based company was hijacked on 2 March 2012, east of Oman.[7] On 8th March 2013 EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) flagship ESPS Méndez Núnez provided assistance to the crew of chemical tanker MV Royal Grace after the vessel was unexpectedly released by Somali pirates. [8]
( Hong Kong)
(container ship)
Capture failed 2012-03-04
n/a n/a
An attempted attack on a Hong Kong-owned container vessel fails on 4 March 2012 when a private security team on board the vessel fires warning shots at the pirates.[7]
( Iran)
MV Eglantine
(Bulk carrier)
(Brazilian sugar)
Ship and crew freed by Iranian Navy commando action. 2012-03-26 unknown
2012-04-02 unknown
Somali pirates captured a Bolivian-flagged ship in the Maldives' Exclusive Economical Zone 193 mi (311 km) northwest off Hoarafushi island. The vessel which was bound for Iran with a cargo of sugar from Brazil is owned by an Iranian company. It was the first such incident to take place directly in Maldive waters. The ship was stormed and recaptured by Iranian naval commandos.[9][10][11]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
 Malaysia MT Arowana United
(chemical tanker)
8 Malaysians
(Marine Gas Oil)
Crew released 2012-10-20 unknown
2012-10-26 }
The MT Arowana United was hijacked while at port from the Labuan anchorage in Malaysia. Eight crew members were rescued near Pulau Natuna, Indonesia. However, the pirates managed to siphon off 650,000 litres of marine fuel worth $400,000 USD. The crew sustained minor injuries and robbery was also reported. Also, the pirates severely damaged the ship's navigation system to avoid being detected by maritime enforcement authorities.[12][12]
Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
 Luxembourg Bourbon Liberty 249
(anchor handling vessel)
6 Russians, 1 Estonian
Crew released 2012-10-20 unknown
2012-11-01 }
On October 15, 2012, the Bourbon Liberty 249 was hijacked while off of the coast of Pennington, Nigeria. With the collaborating assistance of Nigerian, Russian, Estonian, Luxemburg and French Governments, the ship's crew were rescued. [13][14]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
 Malaysia MT Zafirah
(chemical tanker)
5 Myanmar nationals and Four Indonesians
(Marine Gas Oil)
Crew released 2012-11-17 unknown
On November 19, 2012, a Malaysian-flagged marine gas oil tanker named Zafirah was hijacked by 11 pirates who were armed with long knives and pistols near Con Son Island, Vietnam. Sources suggest that these pirates were attempting to illegally sell the fuel in Vietnam. On November 21, 2012, the crew, which were afloat on a life boat were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing vessel. The ship and its 11 hijackers were apprehended by the Vietnam Marine Police Special Task Force. There was no comment on whether any of the marine gas oil had been siphoned off to a pirate owned vessel.[15][16]
Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
( United States)
Azamara Journey
(cruise ship)
Attack failed unknown
On November 26, 2012, a cruiseliner owned by Azamara Club Cruises, subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., named Azamara Journey was approached by several small pirates skiffs off the coast of Oman. After taking evasive maneuvers and firing at least three warning flares, the pirates ceased their attack.[17]

External links

  • European Union Naval Force-Somalia, Key Facts and Figures


  1. ^ "Piracy in Somali Waters: Rising attacks impede delivery of humanitarian assistance".  
  2. ^ "Pirates attack Spanish navy ship off Somalia, prompting gunbattle and helicopter chase".  
  3. ^ a b "Pirates Release Vessel, Crew Without Ransom".  
  4. ^ "Monthly Archives: February 2012".  
  5. ^ "Pirates Hijack Ro/Ro Vessel".  
  6. ^ "MV Leila Ransom Negotiations at Impasse".  
  7. ^ a b Mwangura, Andrew (5 March 2012). "Somali Pirates Hijack UAE Oil Tanker".  
  8. ^
  9. ^ Robinson, J. J.; Lubna, Hawwa (26 March 2012). "Pirates hijack cargo vessel in Maldivian waters". Minivan News. Retrieved 26 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Somali pirates free Bolivian-flagged ship". IOL News. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Mwangura, Andrew (3 April 2012). "Bolivian vessel released".  
  12. ^ a b "Mt Arowana United hijacked at port". 2 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Liberation of the 7 crew members abducted in Nigeria on October 15, 2012". 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  14. ^ "BOURBON LIBERTY 249 Details". 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-12-03. 
  15. ^ "Bunker Pirates Hijack Tanker for its MGO". 23 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tanker vessel MT Zafirah suspected Missing / Hijacked". Hellenic Shipping News. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Pirates Trail Cruise Ship Near Oman". Cruise Critic. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
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