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SV Yume Maru

Pirate Attack - Apr 15, 2004

The following incident was reported to the Maritime Mobile Service Network on April 15, 2004.

On April 5, 2004, at approximately 15:00 Panama time, SV Yume Maru was enroute to the Galapagos Islands from Panama. At this time there were two (2) persons onboard. They report that at 03-20.0N x 084-44.0W, or approximately 400nm south-west of Panama, they were boarded by 5 masked gunmen.

The Yume Maru had observed this vessel, a fishing type vessel, for some time prior to the boarding. They report that the fishing vessel approached on the port side. At this time the fishing vessel rammed the Yume Maru, forcing her to stop. The victims report that there were seven or eight person on the pirate vessel but only five came aboard.

The victims were herded into the cockpit and then tied-up. The five suspects then systematically removed the electronics, charts and maps, navigation equipment, marine VHF and SSB equipment, GPS's, some personal jewellery and ransacked the vessel. When they were done, the suspects left the Yume Maru and moved-off.

The victims were able to free themselves and, with charts that were locked away, managed to make their way back to Panama. The victims did not sustain any injuries.

The pirate vessel is described as a fishing style, 15 to 20 meters long and of wood construction. It is painted with a red hull, black topside and a white cabin approximately two-thirds of the length from the bow. The area of the pirate vessel that impacted the victims vessel had blue pain under the black paint, indicating that it may have been recently painted.

The incident was reported to the USCG Alameda office and flashed to the United States Navy, who have vessels in the area.

As this is a popular route for vessels into the South Pacific, mariners are urged to take care, be observant and where possible, travel with other vessels for safety.