UK P&I Club has noted that its Members would be aware of the recent reescalation in the number of suspicious approaches around the Southern Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb & Gulf of Aden.
This rise in activity has cumulated with the confirmed taking of one Indian Fishing Dhow CASAYR II – No.30 and the MT ARIS 13, which was subsequently released. Another Dhow on route from Dubai to Bossaso has been hijacked in the vicinity of Socotra, her name is yet to be verified but believed to be Al Kaushar on April 1st.
There are further unconfirmed reports in the media of the taking of a Pakistani cargo vessel MV Salama 1 (see Accident round-up).
UK P&I Club observed that, during the height of Somali Piracy activity in 2010, it was well known that Pirate Action Groups (PAGs) used the Yemeni archipelago of Socotra as a fuel base. “With civil war in Yemen it is possible that the, until now dormant, Somali Pirates are using this as an opportunity to reassert themselves. The hijacking of an Indian Fishing Dhow often used as PAG motherships and the ARIS in the Socotra Gap must give rise for concern.”
The Club attached the redrawn British Admiralty Chart Q6099, detailing the High Risk Area still enforced and monitored by MSCHOA, UKMTO & EUNAVFOR. The chart also details the UKMTO Voluntary Reporting Area. The club said that if Members’ vessels were transiting the area they were highly encouraged to notify UKMTO via use of the Voluntary Reporting Area.
The Club emphasized that “the practice of using the Socotra Gap as a short cut should also be avoided given recent activities”. It added that all vessels transiting the area should be in full compliance with BMP4 and augment their watchkeeping staff accordingly.
A watching brief should be kept on MSCHOA & UKMTO webpages: www.mschoa.org & www.ukmto.org.
Members are reminded of the UKMTO Watchkeepers’ details:
Email: [email protected]
Emergency Tel: +971 5055 23215
Tel: +44 2392222060