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Piracy and Security News

Out of the Shadows and into the Light: What are the implications of the M/T MERCER STREET incident?

The decades-long enmity between Israel and Iran is one of the defining features of Middle Eastern geopolitics, dating back to the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Rather than total war, these two rivals have primarily engaged in ‘shadow’ or ‘limited’ conflicts, most recently within the maritime domain. Limited conflict exists where adversaries maintain hostilities but deliberately avoid overt war, and attacks are often conducted in a manner that is deniable by either state. This allows each state to control the narrative, particularly for domestic audiences, and places tacit limitations on adversarial ...

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Federal Republic of Germany joins the ReCAAP

On 1st August 2021, Federal Republic of Germany has joined the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) as the twenty-first Contracting Party. The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) warmly welcomes Germany’s accession to the Agreement. Germany’s accession to the ReCAAP further expands and strengthens the ReCAAP ISC’s information sharing network on piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. It demonstrates the crucial role international cooperation plays to collectively address these maritime crimes. The ReCAAP ISC is looking forward to working closely ...

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Britain believes Iran attacked Israeli-managed tanker off Oman

Britain said on Sunday it believed Iran carried out an attack on an Israeli-managed petroleum product tanker off the coast of Oman on Thursday that killed a Briton and a Romanian, and said it was working with partners on a “concerted response”. Iran earlier on Sunday denied it was involved in the incident, after it was blamed by Israel. UK assessments had concluded that it was highly likely that Iran had used one or more drones to carry out the “unlawful and callous” attack, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. ...

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UKMTO Weekly Piracy Report 25 – 31 July 2021

Warnings, advisories and piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean Area by the UKMTO in the past week.

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Oman reaffirms support to maintain safety of shipping traffic within territorial waters

An official at the Maritime Security Centre (MSC) has said that, thanks to an existing system of joint maritime action and, acting in coordination with maritime security centres in the region, the MSC was prompt in responding to a mayday signal from MV MERCER STREET, a by-products carrier flying the Liberian flag, stating that it met with an incident outside Omani regional waters. The MSC official told Oman News Agency (ONA) that, as soon as the centre received the call, it immediately took necessary action in coordination with military, security ...

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Attack On MT MERCER STREET (IMO9539585)

Reporting indicates that the Liberian flagged MT MERCER STREET (IMO 9539585) has been attacked approximately 152nm NE Al Duqm, Oman. Reports by UKMTO indicated an initial attack against an unnamed vessel occurring on 29 July 21 at 0700UTC, 86nm SE Al Duqm Port. An additional report was later circulated indicating a second attack at 2340UTC. Vessels were advised to avoid the area. Whilst precise details remain unclear, it is assessed that both incidents are highly likely to have involved the same vessel. Wider reporting indicates that the initial report related ...

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UKMTO says received reports of a vessel attacked off Oman coast

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it received reports that a vessel was attacked off the Omani coast, in the Arabian Sea, on Thursday. It said the incident was not an act of piracy. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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Crew reveal moment ‘Gulf Sky’ tanker boarded by Iranian gunmen last summer

Hijacked crew on a shipping tanker anchored off the UAE coast told how gunmen boarded their ship in the dead of night before ordering it to be sailed to Iran. Crew members told investigators armed men from a smaller vessel posing as surveyors boarded the MT Gulf Sky near Khor Fakkan on July 5, 2020. The 264-metre long, 78,000-tonne vessel was sailed to Bandar Abbas, Iran, where it docked on July 7 and disappeared from shipping-tracking websites that monitor maritime traffic. Their accounts were given to investigators from the Dominica ...

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Surging Pirate Activities Threaten West African Maritime Trade: Expert

A surge in pirate activities in the Gulf of Guinea poses a grave threat to the survival and growth of west African maritime trade, an expert has said. Albert Derrick Fiatui, executive director of the Ghana-based Center for International Maritime Affairs, told Xinhua on Thursday that the increase in pirate activities in regional waters have had catastrophic effects on the economies. “Between 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, Ghana recorded nine attacks,” he said. “That is on the high side because, for the same period between 2018 and 2019, ...

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AU, Gulf of Guinea Commission ink agreement on maritime security, safety

The African Union (AU) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to reinforce joint efforts of addressing maritime security and safety along the Gulf of Guinea. According to an AU statement on Friday, the agreement includes operationalization of the integrated strategy for the Seas and Oceans Horizon 2050, dubbed AIM Strategy 2050, and the strategy of the Blue Economy of the 55-member pan-African bloc. Bankole Adeoye, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, and Florentina Ukonga, the Executive Secretary for Gulf of Guinea ...

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Nigerian court sentences 10 men to prison for 2020 Chinese ship hijacking

A court in Lagos sentenced 10 men to 12 years in prison on Friday for kidnapping the crew of a Chinese-flagged merchant vessel last year, the navy said, a verdict that officials hope will help tackle piracy in the waters off Nigeria’s coast. Federal high court Justice Ayokunle Faji, who also fined each man 250,000 naira ($608) for each of the three counts for which they were charged, said their actions in kidnapping 18 crew from the FV HAILUFENG II in May 2020, were “an embarrassment to the nation that ...

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UKMTO Weekly Piracy Report 18 – 24 July 2021

Warnings, advisories and piracy incidents in the Indian Ocean Area by the UKMTO in the past week.

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Coalition Task Force Sentinel Conducts Joint Exercise in the Arabian Gulf

Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel conducted its fourth iteration, this year, of combined exercise Sentinel Shield in the Arabian Gulf between the Royal Bahrain Naval Force, the Royal Saudi Naval Force, and the U.S. Navy, July 14. During the exercise, Royal Bahrain Naval Force missile corvette Al-Manama (P 50), Royal Saudi Naval Force patrol boat Al-Farouq (513), and U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) tested communications systems and capabilities, communicated across multiple platforms to merchant ships, and conducted coordinated tactical maneuvers. “The expertise our regional partners bring to ...

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Shipping Associations Renew Call For International Naval Response To Nigeria-Based Pirates

New forum for operational coordination and deconfliction sees industry pay tribute to Nigeria’s Deep Blue project while repeating the call for international navies to bridge the immediate law enforcement gap. IMO Secretary-General: “Now is the time to make real progress” Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Coordination Forum/Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GoG-MCF/SHADE) on Wednesday 14 July, the International Maritime Organisation’s Secretary-General Kitak Lim welcomed the launch of a new collaborative framework to combat illicit maritime activities in the Gulf of Guinea. The meeting also saw ...

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ReCAAP ISC Issues Incident Alert on Incidents against ships off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island, Indonesia

ReCAAP ISC today issued an Incident Alert on incidents off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island, Indonesia. A summary is appended. Please refer to the full Incident Alert on the ReCAAP ISC website. On 17 Jul 21, two incidents of unauthorised boarding occurred to ships while underway off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island, Indonesia. The two incidents occurred within an interval of 30 mins and in close proximity to each other in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. In both incidents, the perpetrators were armed with ...

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