Week 43/4 – Maritime Weekly Security Snapshot

Indian Ocean HRA – Maritime Security Incidents

28 October 18: Pirate whaler seized and destroyed by EU NAVFOR: EU NAVFOR military personnel seized an active Pirate Action Group (PAG) whaler on 28 October before destroying the vessel in a controlled explosion.  The whaler had been under surveillance since a merchant vessel was attacked off the coast of Somalia on 16 October (see maritime advisory). Following investigations by EU NAVFOR it was concluded that it was likely that the vessel would be used to launch further attacks on maritime shipping transiting the area.  The vessel was tracked to a small bay off the Somali coast, where it was seized and destroyed. 23 October 18: Royal Navy vessel intercepted by Iranian attack boats in the Persian Gulf.  HMS Dragon, a Royal Navy type 45 Destroyer, was intercepted by three Iranian gun boats while escorting British vessels through the Strait of Hormuz. The incident sparked a stand-off between the two naval forces. The Iranian gunships demanded that the British vessels remain 1000 yards clear of their port side.  Following communications between the Officer of the Watch and the Iranian authorities the Iranian vessels eventually moved aside however, the incident highlights ongoing tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Gulf of Guinea – Maritime Security Incidents

22 October 18: Vessel boarded at Pointe Noire.   Suspected criminals boarded an anchored MV at 23.28 LT in position 4°46°46N – 11°47°30E off Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo.  The two armed men boarded the vessel via the anchor chain and proceeded to steal ropes before disembarking.  Crew and vessel have been reported safe. 27 October 18: MV attacked 60nm from Bonny, Nigeria. At 04.00 LT a distress call was received on the Emergency Broadcast Channel 16 from a MV in position 03°21N 006°30E.  The vessel declared that it was being chased by two skiffs before it started moving in a circular motion.  The attack has since been confirmed by the Nigerian Navy. 11 crew members are suspected to have been kidnapped, nine further crew members were left on board, unharmed.  An investigation by Nigerian authorities is underway. 29 October 18: Two MV under attack 102nm of Pointe Noire.  Two vessels were reported under attack at 12.50 LT in position 04°47S 010°07E.  One MV and its crew are safe however the second MV is reported hijacked.  Last position recorded at 14.24 LT at position 04°42S 010°04E.  A further report indicates a third vessel was subsequently hijacked but has now been released.

Asia – Maritime Security Incidents

17 October 18: Anchored Bulk Carrier boarded by criminals at Muara Berau Anchorage, Samarinda   Two armed men boarded an anchored bulk carrier.  The duty seaman notified the duty officer after noticing intruders on forecastle deck.  The alarm was raised and crew mustered.  On investigation, the ship stores were reportedly stolen.  The relevant authorities were notified of incident.