All 22 hostages from the MV Iceberg 1 have now been released from pirate captivity. They had been held since the Iceberg 1 was pirated on 29 March 2010, a period of two years and nine months. The former hostages are now recovering from their ordeal and are receiving food and medical care.
On 21 Dec 2012 at 0845Z, a vessel transiting in the Gulf of Oman (2322N; 05926E) was approached and chased by two skiffs for approximately 1.5 hours. Vessel was subsequently confirmed as safe. On 20 Dec 2012 at 1015Z, a vessel transiting in the Gulf of Oman was approached by a skiff reported in position 2449N; 05750E, with possibly armed personnel onboard. The skiff fell back and the vessel was reported safe.
The vessel reported hijacked from Bossaso anchorage on 18 Dec 2012 has returned to its previous position. This incident is no longer assessed as being piracy related. See Alert Update for NSC 028/12.
In addition to the incidents above, the NATO Shipping Centre has identified a new area of concern on the PAG map located within the Gulf of Oman.
Merchant vessels are advised to remain vigilant throughout the HRA and ensure that Self Protection Measures are in place as Pirate Attack Groups (PAGs) are likely operating in the area. Sea states have been favourable to piracy over recent weeks. They are expected to become more marginal in the coming weeks with the onset of the Northeast monsoon. However, small boats will still be able to operate.
Naval Today Staff, December 27, 2012; Image: NATO