Nato Shipping Center: Weekly Piracy Update


During the period 24-30 Oct, there was one piracy related incident in the High Risk Area (HRA). On 24 Oct, a dhow Pirate Attack Group (PAG) was disrupted along the Somali coast.
There have also been continuing reports of suspicious activity. Merchant vessels are advised to remain vigilant throughout the HRA and ensure that Self Protection Measures are in place, as PAGs are likely operating in the area.
The Southwest Monsoon season has ended. Calmer weather conditions will allow PAGs to operate further out from shore.
Southern Red Sea (SRS)/Bab Al Mandeb (BAM)/Gulf of Aden (GOA)/Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC)
During the past few months there have been continued reports concerning suspicious activity in the SRS, BAM and GOA.
Fishing activity is expected to continue in this area. Fishermen may carry small arms. Masters are reminded to remain vigilant in order to distinguish between fishing vessels and potential pirates.
Arabian Sea (AS)/Greater Somali Basin (SB)/Gulf of Oman (GOO)/Mozambique Channel (MC)
As noted above, a dhow Pirate Attack Group (PAG) was disrupted along the Somali coast on 24 Oct.
Counter Piracy Guidance Update
Masters are advised that the threat of piracy against merchant shipping is always present throughout the entire HRA and vessels are advised to ensure all necessary Self Protection Measures are implemented as recommended in BMP4. As per Section 5 of BMP4, early registration with MSCHOA before entering the HRA and regular reporting to UKMTO are highly recommended. Prudent and timely implementation of all recommended actions and ship hardening measures in BMP4 can make the critical difference of being approached, attacked, or pirated. NSC would like to remind masters that BMP4 highly recommends maintaining best possible vessel speed when transiting the HRA to deter pirate boardings.
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 are in search of vessels of opportunity, such as those who are not employing BMP4 recommended Ship Protection Measures.
One of the fundamental requirements of BMP4 is that UKMTO is the primary point of contact for merchant vessels during piracy incidents in the HRA. CSOs should ensure that their ships’ security plans reinforce the BMP4 recommendation that UKMTO should be telephoned at +971 50 55 23215 in the event of any piracy activity. This should avoid unnecessary delay and prevent inaccurate or incomplete information from reaching military commanders.
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.
Both dhows and whalers can be used as motherships. In the northern SB and AS, the preferred motherships are local dhows, whereas in the southern SB, eight-metre whalers are preferred, weather permitting.


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