List of ships attacked by Somali pirates in 2012

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General area off the coast of Somalia where the pirates operate
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

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
A14-Patiño.jpg  Spain Patiño
(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]
 Netherlands MV Flintstone
(Fall pipe vessel)
Repulsed attack 2012-01-17 unknown
n/a n/a
The vessel was attacked by pirates, who were engaged by the Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) stationed on the ship.[3] After a gun battle, the pirates' attack skiffs retreated to the pirate mother ship with injuries to the suspected pirates. The German frigate Lübeck made contact with the mother ship later that day, determining it to be a hijacked Indian-registered dhow, and that the pirates were holding its crew hostage.[3] After three days of pressure from the Lübeck, during which time the German ship fired into the dhow's bow and destroyed the skiffs it was transporting, the pirates transferred to the hijacked Italian tanker MV Enrico Ievoli, leaving the dhow and 15 hostages to be secured by the Lübeck.[3]
 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,[4] the Operation Atalanta website did not confirm such an action.[5] According to Somalia Report the pirates released ship and crew without ransom on 7 February 2012.[4]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
( United Arab Emirates)
MV Leila
(various, cars)
Released 2012-02-16 or 2012-02-21 16°28′1″N 56°9′0″E / 16.46694°N 56.15000°E / 16.46694; 56.15000 (2012-02-16 or 2012-02-21, unknown)
2012-04-10 $2 million
($250,000 paid)
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. On 16 March 2012 a ransom of USD 2 million has been demanded by the pirates.[6][7] The ship was en route to Somaliland when it was seized and then sailed to Puntland. The pirates demanded that fellow jailed pirates be released from Somaliland for the ship to be released. Negotiations among local elders, businessmen and shipping agents and down a payment of $250,000 eventually led to the ship's release. The ship and crew were released in April 2012.[8]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
(Template:Country data Shiv Damani)
MT Damani Cargo
(gold )

(India, Pakistan, Nigeria)
(no cargo, only ballast water)

Released 2012-03-02 21°27′0″N 62°37′1″E / 21.45000°N 62.61694°E / 21.45000; 62.61694 (2012-03-02, unknown)
2013-03-08 US $50 million
A Panama-flagged oil tanker owned by a UAE-based company was hijacked on 2 March 2012, east of Oman.[9] On 8 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. [10]
( Hong Kong)
(container ship)
Capture failed 2012-03-04 15°6′0″N 52°9′36″E / 15.10000°N 52.16000°E / 15.10000; 52.16000 (2012-03-04, unknown)
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 fired warning shots at the pirates.[9]
( Iran)
MV Eglantine
(Bulk carrier)
(Brazilian sugar)
Ship and crew rescued by Iranian Navy commandos. 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.[11][12][13]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
( China)
Xiang Hua Men
(Cargo vessel)
Rescued 2012-04-07 unknown
Xiang Hua Men with a crew of 28 was captured by a crew of nine pirates armed with AK-47s and a "bazooka". Iranian patrol vessels engaged and the pirates surrendered.


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
 Greece MV Smyrni
(Oil tanker)
Released 2012-05-11 unknown
2013-03-10 $9.5 million (unknown payment made)
MV Smyrni, with a crew of 26, was carrying 135,000 tonnes of crude oil when she was hijacked on 11 May 2012. After ten months of being held in a pirate anchorage off the Somali coast, it is understood that a ransom was paid for the vessel, and on Sunday 10 March 2013, she was released by her armed pirate captors.


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 {{{ransom}}}
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. [14][15]


Image Flag (owner) Name (class) Crew (cargo) Status Date of attack Coordinates
Date of release Ransom demanded
Azamara Journey Hamilton.jpg  Malta
( United States)
Azamara Journey
(cruise ship)
Attack failed unknown
On November 26, 2012, a cruise ship 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.[16]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Sanayo. "Piracy in Somali Waters: Rising attacks impede delivery of humanitarian assistance". UN Chronicle. United Nations Department of Public Information, Outreach Division.
  2. ^ "Pirates attack Spanish navy ship off Somalia, prompting gunbattle and helicopter chase". Washington Post. Associated Press. 12 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "EU NAVFOR warship FGS LUEBECK successfully releases Indian dhow and crew". EUNAVFOR Somalia. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Pirates Release Vessel, Crew Without Ransom". Somalia Report. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Monthly Archives: February 2012". European Union Naval Force Somalia. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Pirates Hijack Ro/Ro Vessel". Somalia Report. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  7. ^ "MV Leila Ransom Negotiations at Impasse". Somalia Report. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Somali pirates release Panama-flagged ship amid ransom reports". Reuters. 12 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b Mwangura, Andrew (5 March 2012). "Somali Pirates Hijack UAE Oil Tanker". Somalia Report. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  10. ^ "MV Royal Grace Freed by Pirates after One Year - World Maritime News".
  11. ^ Robinson, J. J.; Lubna, Hawwa (26 March 2012). "Pirates hijack cargo vessel in Maldivian waters". Minivan News. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  12. ^ "Somali pirates free Bolivian-flagged ship". IOL News. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  13. ^ Mwangura, Andrew (3 April 2012). "Bolivian vessel released". Somalia Report. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Liberation of the 7 crew members abducted in Nigeria on October 15, 2012". 1 November 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  15. ^ "BOURBON LIBERTY 249 Details". 1 January 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Pirates Trail Cruise Ship Near Oman". Cruise Critic. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.