Weekly Piracy Assessment – Reporting period: 19-25 April 2012

(Updated: 25 April 2012)
During the reporting period of 19 to 25 April 12 there was one pirated dhow, one released vessel and one suspicious activity in the High Risk Area (HRA). This reporting period has seen a decrease in the number of incidents in the High Risk Area (HRA). 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 here: http://www.shipping.nato.int/operations/OS/Pages/PAGmap.aspx Southern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Mandeb (BAM) / Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC)

On 21 Apr 12, a fishing vessel and two associated skiffs were pirated approximately 17nm South of Ras Fartak, 15 20N 05 212E (Alert 035/12). The fishing vessel is described as having a brown hull with a dark blue stripe just beneath a white guard rail and a light brown upper structure. The fishing vessel is approximately 20m in length and is towing at least one skiff.

Masters are advised that fishing activity is still expected to continue in this area. When contacting UKMTO and the NSC to provide information on suspicious activity, please provide as much detail as possible.

Arabian Sea (AS)/Greater Somali Basin (SB)/ Gulf of Oman (GOO)/Mozambique Channel (MC)

On 24 April 12, a merchant vessel reported 4 suspicious skiffs (Alert 036/12) approaching her position in the Central Somali Basin at position 04 49 N 054 47 E. The suspected PAG surrounded the vessel.

On 23 April 12, after negotiation with pirates, MV ENRICO IEVOLI was released and is now back under the owner’s control. All crew and the vessel are now safe. Vessel is en route to a safe port. MV ENRICO IEVOLI was pirated on the 27 December 2011 in the Arabian Sea.

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. As demonstrated with Alert 036/12 on 24 Apr 12, Somali pirates have shown the ability to act far off the coast of Somalia. NSC 035/12, from 21 April 12, also illustrates that Somali pirates are positioning themselves close to the traffic lanes in search of vessels of opportunity, such as those who are not readily employing BMP4 recommended Ship Protection measures; a reminder that piracy can occur at any time. In the northern SB and AS the preferred motherships are local dhows, whereas in the southern SB, 8-metre whalers are preferred as motherships.

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.

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