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Piracy Incident Report: Red Sea

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Red Sea Piracy Incident Report: 359

Incident Type: Suspicious Approach
Area:Bab-El-Mandeb
Position: 13°03’ N - 043°06’E
Date of Incident: 25/02/15
Time of Incident (LT): 10.30
Information Source: : IMB

An MV transiting in conditions of reduced visibility to 2nm, reported seeing 2 white skiffs with 5 POB in each skiff, on the port side some 300 metres away. Each person was wearing a yellow raincoat. The skiffs came towards the vessel at speed, whereupon the armed security team on board fired 5 warning shots. Immediately the skiffs tuned away into the mist, then reappeared on the starboard side at a distance of 2 nm 30 minutes later. Both skiffs then moved to the front of the vessel and continued outbound from the vessel. Possible sighting of ladders on one skiff, but unable to confirm due to poor visibility. The vessel and crew are safe.

Allmode Comment:

The attire of the people in the skiffs would suggest that they were fishermen; however, the behaviour of the skiffs could indicate that they were intent on attacking the MV, as they made a later approach even after being warned that armed guards were present on the vessel. It is right that the MV reported this incident and we would remind all vessels in the area to be suspicious of all small craft, even if they appear to be fishermen, as this can be a ploy to gain closer access to vessels unwittingly. 

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  Red Sea Piracy Incident Report: 323

A vessel reported being approached off the port bow by two white hulled skiffs. The first skiffs had 3 people on board (POB) and the second had 4 people on board. The Master reported that all POB were carrying automatic rifles. The vessel informed other ships in the area over Ch16 of the approach. The vessel had no Armed Security Team (AST) on-board, so carried out evasive manoeuvres when skiffs came to within 5 cables and the skiffs stopped following.
The vessel and crew are safe.

323

Red Sea Piracy Report 318

The Master of an MV reported being approached by 1 skiff from a distance of 4nm at a speed of 16Knts. At 2.5nm, 5 personnel were observed dressed in black uniform. When the skiff reached 1.5nm from the MV, 3 men hid inside, whilst it continued to approach. No ladders/Weapons were sighted. The on-board security team (AST) revealed their weapons and the skiffs slowed down to 10Knts, but continued the approach. The skiff reached 5 cables when the AST fired a rocket flare and the skiff then stopped in the water and after 5 minutes moved away. The vessel and crew are safe.

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 Allmode Comment: The military presence has been stepped up in Yemen, following an attempt at a coup by the Houti rebels against the government forces. It is recommended that all vessels transiting the Yemeni coast should keep up dated on the current situation via local news channels and local agents to avoid becoming embroiled in the on-going disputes.It is advised that any vessels visiting a Yemeni port, should seek advice from vessel flag state prior to entering the port. 

Red Sea Piracy Report 316

A Master reported sighting 4 skiffs on his port bow and another 4 skiffs on the starboard bow, they crossed each other at 1.5nm away and then four skiffs started to approach his vessel.

The Armed Security Team (AT) on board was stood to on the bridge and the fire hoses were activated. 4-5 personnel were sighted on the skiffs wearing yellow-coloured clothing. At 300m the AST showed their weapons twice. All the crew reported to the citadel. The Master, Chief Officer, duty AB and 3 security personnel were left on the bridge. The Master raised communication via Ch16. The skiffs continued to close to 170m, when the AST fired one warning shot and they continued to approach, after which they fired another 3 warning shots upon which the skiffs aborted their approach. The vesseland crew are safe.

Allmode Comment: There have been a number of reported incidents in recent days within roughly the same location; 3rd and 4th January vessels reported suspicious approaches of two skiffs with 4-5 persons on-board wearing yellow coloured clothing. No weapons or ladders were spotted in either incident. The geographical proximity of the incidents, the similarity of the Persons on board, suggests that it could have been a pirate action group (PAG) in operation. As with the majority of suspicious approaches, the approaching vessels moved away once preventative measures, particularly the presence of armed guards, were observed, highlighting the continued importance of maintaining appropriate counter-piracy procedures.

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