LEOPARD - Pirate attack on 12 January 2011


On 12 January 2011 at 1650, the cargo ship LEOPARD was attacked by Somali pirates appr. 200 nautical miles southeast of the coast of Oman. When the pirates had taken control of the ship and the crew, they tried in vain to tow the LEOPARD to the Somali coast. Later in the evening, the crew were transferred to the pirates’ mother ship as hostages.

The ship as such was not captured, but had to be left in open sea, due to a defect in the propulsion system that the pirates had inadvertently caused during the attempted capture.

The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has investigated the safety aspects of the anti-piracy measures implemented by the shipowner, the operator and various crews in connection with the passage of the Gulf of Aden.

During a number of years, the shipowner, the operator, and the various crews had implemented a number of measures meeting the recommendations that later became international. However, these measures did not prevent the pirates from boarding the ship.

The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has noted that anti-piracy measures may have an inappropriate impact on the preparation and use of ships’ life-saving appliances.

The report can be downloaded in PDf format here.