MT Kalamos: Chief Mate killed amid exchange of gunfire, three abducted off Nigeria

MT Kalamos (2015-02-20 08:35) off  Port Elizabeth destination Cochin [IN] 
Greek-owned tanker ship Kalamos, flying the Maltese flag, was attacked by pirates off the coasts of Nigeria and Cameroon.   The pirates killed a Greek chief mate and abducted three crew members,  two Greeks and a Pakistani citizen .   The Maltese-flagged tanker was travelling from China to Nigeria with no load with 23 crew members of which 10 were Greeks.   There was an exchange of gunfire between the armed pirates and members of the ship's crew.   The vessel is not under occupation and remains anchored in the sea region where it was attacked.  .
IMO:  9197832
MMSI:  229776000
Call Sign:  9HA3598
Flag:  Malta (MT)
AIS Type:  Tanker
Gross Tonnage:  149282
Deadweight:  281037 t
Length × Breadth:  330m × 60m
Year Built:  2000
Status:  Active

[December 2 2013]

The captain and chief engineer of oil-supply ship C-Retriever were released after an unspecified ransom was paid [November3] Third-party negotiators are in contact with the kidnappers and the U.S. government has no plans to intervene.

The captain and an engineer were taken away from an offshore supply vessel during an attack October 23 in international waters off the Gulf of Guinea, said a U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the information.
They were working the Agbami Field for Chevron, working with Pacific Bora. This is the second time this has happened to this vessel.   The two were kidnapped from the U.S.-flagged C-Retriever, a 222-foot ship owned by Edison Chouest Offshore of Louisiana, the official said. The vessel and 11 other members of the crew were released and the two hostages were believed taken to shore in Nigeria.    the closest military vessel was a Dutch navy ship in the Gulf of Guinea with 90 U.S. Marines aboard as part of an Africa training mission.

 An international task force of Marines embarked the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) landing platform dock HNLMS Rotterdam (L800) as part of a 3-month comprehensive effort to strengthen capabilities with African partner forces in West Africa on Aug. 30. 

C-Retriever,  Edison Chouest Offshore

Name: C Retriever
IMO: 9212993
Flag: U.s.a.
MMSI: 338442000
Callsign: WCZ2037

Technical Data
Vessel type: Multi Purpose Offshore Vessel
Gross tonnage: 2,092 tons
Summer DWT: 3,286 tons
Home port: Galliano La


Yemen Embasst closed, : USS Iwo Jima with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit not needed

While U.S. embassy personnel were leaving Yemen, U.S. Navy and 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit forces operating from the USS Iwo Jima in the Red Sea were standing by to assist the State Department’s departure from Yemen, but they were not needed, 5th Fleet officials said.

[February 10 Yemen Embasst closing, USS New York and USS Fort McHenry away:  USS Iwo Jima with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit still off Yemen
USS Iwo Jima with USS Fort McHenry
United States is closing its embassy in Yemen. A contingent of U.S. Marines was protecting the embassy while a Navy amphibious assault ship, the USS Iwo Jima, was in the Red Sea off Yemen’s coast and would be available to help with the evacuation of embassy staff, if requested from the State Department.   The two other ships in the Iwo Jima amphibious ready group (ARG) – USS Fort McHenry (LSD- 43) and USS New York (LPD-21) are not on station and are operating in other parts of U.S. Central Command, 

January 24 
The USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit are in position in the event the State Department decides to evacuate Americans from Yemen.   The two ships are in the region with the USS New York, which is in the Arabian Gulf,. The New York is also a transport docking ship. The three vessels make up part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group.

[September 16 2012 ]
SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter hovers over the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul in the Arabian Sea May 3, 2012. 

USS McFaul

14 ships and at least 12,000 sailors and Marines are currently deployed in areas around Libya where they could respond if called upon. They include USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and the Enterprise and Eisenhower Carrier Strike Groups.[September 13]USS Laboon,  commissioned on 18 March 1995, which had been making a port call in Crete, is in position off Libya.  USS McFaul, 25 April 1998, was a couple of days away,   Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and two other Americans who have not yet been identified were killed when gunmen stormed the consulate and another U.S. safe house in Benghazi on 9/11, the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks carried out by al Qaeda in Washington and New York..

Class and type: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer
Displacement: Light: approx. 6,800 long tons (6,900 t)
Full: approx. 8,900 long tons (9,000 t)
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
(8,100 km at 37 km/h)
Complement: 33 Officers
38 Chief Petty Officers
210 Enlisted Personnel
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPY-1D 3D Radar
AN/SPS-67(V)2 Surface Search Radar
AN/SPS-73(V)12 Surface Search Radar
AN/SQS-53C Sonar Array
AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar
AN/SQQ-28 LAMPS III Shipboard System
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
AN/SLQ-32(V)2 Electronic Warfare System
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie Torpedo Countermeasures
MK 36 MOD 12 Decoy Launching System
1 × 29 cell, 1 × 61 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems with 90 × RIM-156 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asroc missiles
1 × Mark 45 5/54 in (127/54 mm)
2 × 25 mm chain gun
4 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
2 × Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: 1 SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked


Somalia pirates: closing the barn door

Merchants Bank of California said it planned to stop wiring the funds to Somalia on February 6, following in the footsteps of a string of other banks that cut off the service since giants Wells Fargo & Co. and US Bancorp ended such transfers nearly a decade ago.
The one-office Carson bank had become a last resort for about a dozen money-transfer businesses that collect funds in U.S. offices and disperse them in Somalia, which has no connections to the international banking system or to such services as Moneygram and Western Union.

[August 16 2013 Somalia pirates a career change,  security guards]

Somalia, once a bastion for piracy, has experienced a decline in ship hijackings. You might wonder what happened to most of the pirate leaders. The UN report has the answer: "To date, neither Mogadishu nor Puntland has seriously prosecuted and jailed any senior pirate leaders, financiers, negotiators, or facilitators." Some former pirates have become security guards for the unlicensed foreign ships illegally fishing on Somali waters. Pirates have always blamed these foreign ships for their own criminal acts of piracy. Now, the pirates have undergone a career change and are joining their arch enemies. Security protection in the high seas has become a booming business in Puntland validating the notion, "if you can't beat them, join them."