Weekly Piracy Assessment — Reporting period: 10–16 May 2012

Dur­ing the report­ing peri­od of 10 May to 16 May 2012 there has been an increase in pirate attacks in the High Risk Area (HRA) with two ves­sels attacked, one ves­sel pirat­ed and three dis­rup­tions. Pirate Attack Group (PAG) activ­i­ty is still expect­ed to con­tin­ue. Spe­cif­ic areas of sus­pect­ed and known PAG loca­tions can be found on our PAG map: http://www.shipping.nato.int/operations/OS/Pages/PAGmap.aspx 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.

Your sup­port in this mat­ter is most appre­ci­at­ed.

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 12 May 2012 naval forces from Euro­pean Union (EU) in the Soma­li Basin con­duct­ed a suc­cess­ful dis­rup­tion on a land based pirate camp.

On 11 May 2012, NATO and Counter Pira­cy forces from EU suc­cess­ful­ly dis­rupt­ed 2 PAGs. The first, in the North­ern SB was made up of a sin­gle dhow tow­ing 2 Skiffs. The sec­ond in the South­ern AS was made up of a sin­gle dhow.

On 10 May 2012, a mer­chant ves­sel was pirat­ed (Alert 040/12) by two skiffs in posi­tion 15 58N 06103E in the South AS. The ship is now under pirate con­trol and is anchored off the Soma­li coast. Also a mer­chant ves­sel was attacked (Alert 041/12) by a skiff in posi­tion 14 18N 058 27E approx­i­mate­ly 150nm South West from the pirat­ed ves­sel on the same day.

On 09 May 2012, a mer­chant ves­sel was attacked (Alert 039/12) by 2 white skiffs in posi­tion 10 40N 060 04E approx­i­mate­ly 360nm South East of Soco­tra Island. A moth­er­ship and a total of 8 skiffs were report­ed at the same loca­tion.

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 (ukmto@eim.ae), the NATO Ship­ping Cen­tre (info@shipping.nato.int) and MSCHOA (postmaster@mschoa.org).

Allied Com­mand Oper­a­tions