During the reporting period of 17 May to 23 May 2012 there has been a decrease in pirate attacks in the High Risk Area (HRA) with only one suspicious activity reported. For the coming week, weather conditions are expected to be suitable for small boat operations, thus Pirate Attack Group (PAG) activity is expected to continue. Specific areas of suspected and known PAG locations can be found on our PAG map:
When contacting UKMTO and the NSC to provide information on suspicious activity, please provide as much detail as possible, including photos if available. Also, please provide the most accurate report of the incident as possible in order to assist military assets to respond most effectively.
It has been observed recently that some Masters are choosing to phone their CSO first in the event of a piracy incident.
One of the fundamental requirements of BMP4 states that UKMTO is the primary point of contact for merchant vessels during piracy incidents in the High Risk Area which should avoid unnecessary delay and possible inaccurate or incomplete information reaching military commanders.
CSOs should ensure their ships' security plan reinforces the BMP4 recommendation that UKMTO should be telephoned on +971 50 55 23215 in the event of any piracy activity. UKMTO will then make every effort to contact the CSO as a matter of priority with any information received, whilst ensuring the relevant information reaches the military commanders with the minimum of delay.
Southern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Mandeb (BAM) / Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC)
There have been no significant changes over the past week. Masters are advised that fishing activity is expected to continue and likely to increase in this area over the next few months.
Arabian Sea (AS)/Greater Somali Basin (SB)/Gulf of Oman (GOO)/Mozambique Channel (MC)
On 19 May a suspected Mothership was reported (NSC 020/12) approx 150 Nm South East of Masirah Island, in position 19 47N 060 49E. The dhow has 3 large ladders as well as a skiff on deck. The dhow is dark in colour with a white superstructure and a green/white line along the hull.
Counter Piracy Guidance Update
Successful disruptions by naval forces over the past few months, in conjunction with masters' adherence and implementation of BMP4, have significantly reduced the pirates' ability to capture vessels. Somali pirates have shown the ability to act far off the coast of Somalia and in darkness. Somali pirates in search of vessels of opportunity, such as those who are not readily employing BMP4 recommended Ship Protection measures. Both dhows and whalers are being used as motherships, in the northern SB and AS the preferred motherships are local dhows, whereas in the southern SB, 8-metre whalers are preferred.
Details of all alerts can be found on NSC Alert details webpage: http://www.shipping.nato.int/Pages/AllAlerts.aspx
Early registration with MSCHOA before entering the HRA and regular reporting to UKMTO are highly recommended, as per Section 5 of BMP4. Prudent and timely implementation of all recommended actions and ship hardening measures in BMP4 can make the important difference of being approached, attacked, or pirated. NSC would like to remind masters that BMP4 highly recommends maintaining maximum vessel speed when transiting the High Risk Area (HRA) to prevent pirate boardings.
Somali pirates operating in this area are looking to pirate merchant ships, yet past activity has shown that pirates will attack both large and small yachts passing their way. Larger yachts with more people onboard or a group of yachts could be seen as a valuable and easy target for the pirates. For more information, please read the Let your Yacht take the ferry document located in the "New on the Web Page" section on the NSC website main page.
Masters are reminded that a large number of fishing vessels operate in the Southern Red Sea (SRS), Bab al-Mandeb (BAM) and up to 50 nm off the west coast of India. Fishing vessels may approach a merchant ship in order to maximise fishing opportunities or to safeguard fishing nets. Fishing off India is generally carried out by mechanized boats and single hull boats with outboard motor carrying 4-5 crew using long lines. Masters are requested to ensure they distinguish between fishing vessels and potential pirates when able; fishermen may carry small arms.
If any incident occurs, Masters are requested to report immediately to UKMTO via telephone and provide the details of the incident. This will ensure the information is provided to other ships in the area for their awareness and vigilance. If Masters are safely able to take pictures and/or video of the suspicious activity, please provide these via email to UKMTO (email@example.com
), the NATO Shipping Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and MSCHOA (email@example.com
Source: NATO Shipping Centre