Recent Spike in Piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia

Posted: 12th April 2017 | Written by: Securewest International

google map HRA

Securewest International closely monitors all maritime threats and would like to bring to your attention the recent increase in incidents in The High Risk Area (HRA) of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Somalia coastline. A recent spike in piracy activity off the Yemeni and Somalia coastlines has raised fresh concerns regarding the security of vessels transiting the region.

Securewest International Intelligence Team has closely observed the surge of incidents since 1 Feb 2017 and provides conclusions and recommendations in our full report in OnboardOnline's Piracy Reports section.

In summary the Securewest International Global Response Centre (GRC) has documented 19 maritime related incidents during the period, 1 February - 11 April 2017 in the HRA, of note, five were approaches with intent and five separate hijackings. Incident details are provided in the report and initial trend analysis indicates an increase in determined, pre-planned approaches to assess levels of ship security before subsequent attack or withdrawal, dependent on the response of the vessel security protocols or a show of PCASP.

Pirates operating in the High Risk Area have been observed targeting specific vessel vulnerabilities such as slow speed, unsecured access points, and inadequate or relaxed adherence to BMP-4.

HRA Map 2017 600
Of particular note are the two incidents on 8th Apr 17. The first, an approach at 08h20 in the morning by a skiff with three persons on board who were tracking and actively observing the vessels security protocols. A Securewest International PCASP was deployed on this vessel and the alarm was raised. Emergency procedures were conducted but it was not until the PCASP overtly displayed to the approaching skiff that they were armed and ready to defend in all regards that the skiff changed course and withdrew.

Later that day in the immediate vicinity of this incident another vessel was similarly targeted. The alarm was raised and Naval Coalition Forces (Indian/Chinese) were sent to the area. This vessel did not have a PCASP on board and the pirates boarded, with the ship’s crew retreated and secured in the citadel were they remained until the all clear was provided by the coalition forces in attendance.

Securewest International currently assesses the threat for the HRA as HIGH, an incident is highly likely. It is strongly recommended that all vessels transiting the HRA conduct a Ship Security Plan review in line with BMP-4 and give consideration to the deployment of PCASPs in support of BMP-4 guidelines. A Maritime Threat Assessment to capture the very latest threat in the region is also highly recommended.

If Securewest International can assist with these or if you would like more advice on the situation in the HRA please contact Wayne Britton.

 

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