Piracy Incident Report: 434
Incident Type : Suspicious Approach
Area: South of Trivandrum, India.
Position: 08°02’N - 076°57’E
Date of Incident: 26.05.15
Time of Incident (LT): 0725
Information Source: UKMTO
A vessel reported that they had been approached by 1 white skiff to within 50 metres, at speeds of up to 18 knots. The skiff approached on the vessel’s port quarter and transferred to their starboard quarter. The skiffs discontinued their approach after 20 minutes and steered into an easterly direction. Weapons and a ladder were sighted and there were six people on-board the skiff. The vessel is safe.
This suspicious approach was located in very close proximity to a well-used shipping lane, and sparks concern for all vessels transiting this region, particularly those calling into and leaving Sri Lanka. Pirates off the Indian coast, historically target ship’s engine spares and the failure of this task could result in other vessels demonstrating a poor level security being targeted. Vessels transiting to and from Asia tend to stay close to the Indian coastline and the Indian Navy have spent a lot of time training and resourcing their maritime assets, particularly concerning piracy attacks, which has significantly reduced the number of incidents occurring along their coastline. However, the fact that the skiffs had piracy equipment on-board is a stark reminder that this region is still considered to be ‘high risk’ and vessels cannot afford to become complacent.