Attempted Piracy Attack Reported Off Somalia

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  • A tanker transiting the Gulf of Aden has reported an attack from a skiff carrying five or six people armed with weapons and ladders.
  • The vessel has been named as the target of the attack by the European Union Naval Force. The tanker was en route to Suez, Egypt, from Vadinar, India, when it was attacked in the Gulf of Aden.

In a recent incident in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, a vessel was attacked by a skiff carrying five or six individuals armed with weapons and ladders, reports Safety4sea.

Vessel attacked by individuals on skiff

The vessel’s Master reported the encounter, detailing that upon the approach of the small craft, self-protection measures were initiated. However, the armed individuals onboard the skiff proceeded to fire at the vessel, prompting swift action from the vessel’s Armed Security Team.

According to a United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations alert, the attack occurred approximately 195 nautical miles east of Aden, Yemen, at 0457 hours. British security firm Ambrey provided further insight, stating that the vessel reported a suspicious approach from the blue-hulled small boat, situated about 92 nautical miles northwest of Bosaso, Somalia.

In response to the imminent threat, the vessel altered its course and sounded its horn as a warning signal. Simultaneously, the armed guards onboard discharged two shots in defense. Despite the vessel’s defensive measures, the small craft persisted in its approach, returning fire before ultimately aborting its mission.

Fortunately, both the vessel and its crew emerged from the encounter unharmed. Following the thwarted attack, the vessel continued its voyage, proceeding towards its next port of call under the vigilant watch of its crew and security team.

To remind, EU Naval Force ATALANTA has issued an update on the piracy threat off the coast of Somalia, following an increased number of reported incidents. Atalanta assesses the threat as moderate (where an attack is a realistic possibility) off the Somali coasts. However, considering the occurrence of previous significant attacks on merchant vessels within 12 days after reports of dhow hijackings, and the recent reports of multiple skiffs, each carrying armed individuals with the intent to capture dhows to facilitate attacks on larger vessels.

It is crucial that vessels operating in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, particularly those within 700 NM of the Somali coast, adhere to the BMP5 recommendations. Any incidents should be promptly reported to MSCHOA and the UKMTO. Additionally, it is also worth highlighting that MSCHOA-registered ships receive near real-time information on security incidents in their vicinity.

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Source: Safety4sea