Weekly Piracy Update — Reporting period: 28 June — 04 July 2012

Dur­ing the report­ing peri­od of 28 June to 04 July 2012 one Pirate Attack Group was dis­rupt­ed in the region. Details of all alerts can be found on NSC Alert details web­page: http://www.shipping.nato.int/Pages/AllAlerts.aspx

Here you can find more infor­ma­tion about:

Activ­i­ty over the past two weeks shows that pirate activ­i­ty can still take place dur­ing the South-West Mon­soon and that pirates are oper­at­ing clos­er to shore to avoid severe con­di­tions fur­ther out to sea. PAGs (Pirate Attack Groups) will like­ly con­tin­ue to focus their efforts in the North­ern Ara­bi­an Sea (NAS), Gulf of Oman (GOO) as well as in the Gulf of Aden (GOA), South­ern Red Sea (SRS), and coastal waters.

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

There have been a num­ber of inci­dents recent­ly report­ed to Counter Pira­cy organ­i­sa­tions in the High Risk Area involv­ing small craft approach­es to Mer­chant Ves­sels. Although these inci­dents may appear to be pira­cy relat­ed, the major­i­ty are not, and have been assessed as non-pira­cy relat­ed activ­i­ty com­mon to the pat­tern of life in the area. This can include fish­ing, small ves­sel trade, smug­gling and oth­er local traf­fic.

Please note that, if we assess an approach or inci­dent to be pira­cy, then we will issue rel­e­vant warn­ings and alerts, keep­ing the mer­chant ship­ping com­mu­ni­ty ful­ly informed at all times.

Dur­ing the South-West mon­soon between June and Sep­tem­ber, sea con­di­tions in much of the High Risk Area (HRA) are expect­ed to be large­ly unfavourable to small boats such as skiffs. These may move to oper­ate in less-exposed or coastal areas such as the Gulf of Aden or Bab-al-Man­deb.

Please remain vig­i­lant at all times.

If an inci­dent occurs, Mas­ters are advised to report imme­di­ate­ly to UKMTO via tele­phone at +971 50 55 23215, pro­vid­ing as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble about the inci­dent. This will ensure infor­ma­tion is quick­ly passed to ship­ping in the area.

If Mas­ters are able to take pic­tures and/or video of the sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty safe­ly, please pro­vide these via email to UKMTO at ukmto@eim.ae, NATO Ship­ping Cen­tre (NSC) at info@shipping.nato.int or the Mar­itime Secu­ri­ty Cen­tre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) at postmaster@mschoa.org. This infor­ma­tion will be used by Counter Pira­cy forces to help com­bat pira­cy. Pic­tures sup­plied from a recent attack on a mer­chant ves­sel led to the rapid release of a pirat­ed dhow.

South­ern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Man­deb (BAM) / Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Rec­om­mend­ed Tran­sit Cor­ri­dor (IRTC)

On 29 June 2012 a dhow Pirate Attack Group (PAG) was dis­rupt­ed at posi­tion 14 02N 051 25E approx­i­mate­ly 145nm North West of Soco­tra Island. This is the same dhow which attacked a mer­chant ves­sel on 27 Jun at posi­tion 14 23N 054 38E. Pic­tures sup­plied from the mer­chant ves­sel dur­ing this recent attack led to the rapid release of this pirat­ed dhow.

Fish­ing activ­i­ty is expect­ed to con­tin­ue and like­ly to increase in this area dur­ing the South­west mon­soon sea­son. Mas­ters are remind­ed to remain vig­i­lant in order dis­tin­guish between fish­ing ves­sels and poten­tial pirates.

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

There have been no sig­nif­i­cant changes over the past week.

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, though are cur­rent­ly imped­ed by the South-West Mon­soon. Soma­li pirates are 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. Infor­ma­tion and pho­tographs regard­ing known pirate moth­er­ships is avail­able at http://www.shipping.nato.int/pages/motherships2.aspx. If you have any infor­ma­tion regard­ing pirate moth­er­ships please e‑mail info@shipping.nato.int.

Soma­li pirates oper­at­ing in this area are look­ing to pirate mer­chant ships, yet past activ­i­ty has shown that pirates will also 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 “Impor­tant Mes­sages” sec­tion on the NSC web­site main page.

It has been observed recent­ly that some Mas­ters are choos­ing to phone their Com­pa­ny Secu­ri­ty Offi­cer (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 (HRA) 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.

When nav­i­gat­ing through­out the entire region of the HRA, mas­ters are remind­ed of the need for con­tin­ued adher­ence to Best Man­age­ment Prac­tices 4 (BMP4). As per Sec­tion 5 of BMP4 , ear­ly reg­is­tra­tion with MSCHOA before enter­ing the HRA and reg­u­lar report­ing to UKMTO are high­ly rec­om­mend­ed. Mas­ters are advised that the threat of pira­cy against mer­chant ship­ping is always present through­out the entire HRA, and are advised to ensure all nec­es­sary Self Pro­tec­tion Mea­sures are imple­ment­ed as rec­om­mend­ed in 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.

Mas­ters are also remind­ed that a large num­ber of fish­ing ves­sels oper­ate in the South­ern Red Sea, Bab al-Man­deb 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 or 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; fish­er­men may car­ry small arms.

As not­ed above, if an inci­dent occurs, Mas­ters are to report imme­di­ate­ly to UKMTO via tele­phone and pro­vide as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble and as accu­rate regard­ing the inci­dent. This will ensure the infor­ma­tion is quick­ly 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 at ukmto@eim.ae, NSC (NATO Ship­ping Cen­tre) at info@shipping.nato.int and Mar­itime Secu­ri­ty Cen­tre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) at postmaster@mschoa.org. This infor­ma­tion will be used by Counter Pira­cy forces to com­bat pira­cy activ­i­ty.

Allied Com­mand Oper­a­tions