Week 36 – Maritime Security Weekly Snapshot

Indian Ocean HRA – Maritime Security Incidents

07 September 18: WBIED Seized by Saudi-led Coalition. Yemeni national forces, supported by the Saudi-led international coalition, intercepted a remote-controlled water-borne improvised explosive device in the Red Sea. The device was built into the hull of a speedboat, and reached speeds of 35kts. It is highly likely that the Houthi sought to target Saudi/UAE vessels with the device. There were no indications of other Houthi vessels in the vicinity of the device, possibly indicating that this version of WBIED has a longer stand-off range than devices deployed in late 2017/early 2018, which were generally controlled from a nearby mothership. September 18: Increased small boat activity. Vessels transiting the HRA reported a significant increase in small boat activity. This increase has likely been driven by the end of the monsoon season. The improving sea conditions may permit an increase in criminal use of small boats in the region.

Mediterranean – Maritime Security Incidents

10 September 18: Militants Assaulted National Oil Corporation, Tripoli.  A group of Islamic State insurgents attacked the NOC in Tripoli. At least four people, including two of the attackers, were killed. It remains unclear if the previous armed unrest set the conditions which enabled the attack.

Gulf of Guinea – Maritime Security Incidents

05 September 18: Nigerian Navy Deployed New Vessels. The Nigerian Navy inaugurated and deployed 16 new vessels, including coastal patrol boats and high-speed RHIBs. The vessels were immediately deployed to patrol areas around key oil installations in the Niger Delta. The deterrent effect of these vessels in coastal waters may drive thieves and pirates to conduct more ambitious attacks in deep water.

South East Asia – Maritime Security Incidents

04 August 18: LATE REPORT – Armed Robbery from Tanker near Sarawak. A tanker underway at 03°24’N 112°54’E was boarded by armed robbers at 2300LT. The attackers stole cash and personal belongings, before fleeing within 20 minutes. No crew were harmed. Perpetrators arrested by police on 17 August. 10 September 18: Armed Kidnap near Semporna. A fishing vessel underway at 04°40’N 118°43’E was boarded by armed kidnappers in the early hours, who boarded their vessel from a speedboat.  Two crew members were taken, as they were unable to hide in time. Remaining crew saw the kidnappers depart in the direction of Philippine waters. 11 September 18: Fishermen Kidnapped off Sabah. Three fishermen were reported kidnapped at 0100LT. The attack occurred whilst their vessel was docked at Pulau Gaya. Local law enforcement are investigating the possibility of Philippine groups  being responsible.
Iran to Move Primary Oil Terminal. The Iranian government announced its intent to establish a new oil terminal on the coast of the Oman Sea. This move would place the terminal outside the Straits of Hormuz, reducing Iranian dependence on the strategically contested waterway.
Click link to Download PDF: Solace Global Maritime Security Snapshot – Week 36 A roundup of maritime security incidents – an easy to read format collating suspicious approaches, vessel attacks, boardings, hijacks and media reports. The week 36 Maritime Security Snapshot was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.