Maritime Incident Report: August 2022
• Ongoing: MDAT-GOG released warnings of a possible increase in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.
• Cessation of the HRA for piracy in Jan 2023 announced by the IMO.
• Grain and Sunflower oil shipments begin in Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
• Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps try to seize a US maritime drone in the Persian Gulf.
1. Regional Monthly Report: West Africa and Gulf of Guinea
There was one incident of abduction reported in the Niger Delta this month, with minor theft reported in other regions. The National security initiatives undertaken by Nigeria in particular, appear to be having a significant impact on the incidence of piracy and other maritime criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea. Piracy incidents remain suppressed outside of the Niger Delta.
Warnings to Shipping
1. Boarding – 11 Aug 2022 0300 UTC: Psn 08 30 48N – 13 12 42W: Freetown Sierra Leone:
An unknown small boat approached the bulk carrier BULK BORNEO and one person boarded the ship. The intruder was seen on the main deck starboard side. When alerted to the presence of the crew, the intruder left the ship. Nothing was reported stolen.
2. Abduction – 22 Aug 2022: Psn 04 47 33N – 07 03 38E: Niger Delta:
Gunmen abduct a traditional ruler while on his way to Abissa on a boat in Rivers State. Gunmen on a speed boat had reportedly intercepted the boat conveying the monarch and some of his chiefs. No further information was given.
3. Boarding and Theft – 24 Aug 0320 UTC: Psn 06 7 30S – 12 12 36E: Angola TTW:
A theft occurred on an unnamed MV while in Angolan TTW off Soya anchorage. Two Robbers boarded the vessel and stole boxes of food from a reefer container.
2. Regional Monthly Report: Black Sea and Sea of Azov
The risk of collateral damage from drifting mines in the North West, West, and Southwest areas of the Black Sea is still current. Transportation of grain has resumed from a number of Ukrainian Black Sea ports (see list below). Ships carrying Sunflower Oil and Corn left the ports of Odesa and Chornomorsk.
• The Danube ports of Reni, Izmail and Ust-Dunaisk are open.
• Belgorod Dniesttrovskiy is open.
• Odesa Port is reported to be open.
• Chornomorsk is reported to be open. Grain export only.
• Pivdenny (formerly Yuzzhny) Port is open.
• The port of Berdyansk is closed.
• Mykolaiv Port is closed. Cargo operations are suspended for commercial operations.
• Mariupol Port is closed. The city is controlled by Russian forces, the port is reported by the Russian military to be operational but it remains closed according to Ukraine’s Maritime Administration.
• Kherson Port is closed. Cargo operations are suspended for commercial operations.
No maritime incidents to report.
3. Regional Monthly Report: Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean
In light of the significant reduction in piracy (last attack in 2018), the consortium of commercial shipping Industry organisations (BIMCO, OCIMF etc.) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), announced that the Indian Ocean HRA for Piracy will cease to exist from 01 January 2023. The main points to note from this announcement are as follows:
• The Indian Ocean HRA will cease to exist from 01 January 2023.
• This does not affected the Lloyd’s Joint War Risk area.
• HRA is removed due to success of PMSC and International Naval Operations.
• The UKMTO VRA is not affected.
• BMP 5 is still relevant but there may be a revised version produced in due course port.
No maritime incidents to report.
4. Regional Monthly Report: Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz
There have been no reports of maritime security activity to report in this region this month.
1. Maritime Incident – 29 Aug 2022 2300 UTC: Psn 26 50 04N – 50 56 08E: Persian Gulf:
An Iranian (IRGC) support ship attempted to tow an unmanned US vessel in Arabian Gulf. The vessel was part of the US 5th fleet. A patrol ship was operating nearby and responded as did a helicopter based in Bahrain. In response to these actions, the Iranian ship disconnected its tow line and departed the area around four hours later. The US vessel was able to continue operations.
2. Vessel Boarded – 23 Aug 2022: Psn 26 48 44N – 56 57 27E: Strait of Hormuz:
authorities claimed to have seized 147,800 trafficked fuel from a vessel near Qesh Island.
5. Regional Monthly Report: Yemen and Southern Red Sea
There have been no reports of maritime security activity in the region this month as the ceasefire in the Yemen enters its fifth month.
No incidents to report.
6. Regional Monthly Report: South East Asia
There was an increase in incidents of boarding and theft reported in this region this month, particularly involving armed boardings.
1. Armed Robbery – 17 Aug 2022 2145 UTC: Psn: 03 56 0N – 98 47 4E: Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia:
The Duty AB on board an anchored bulk carrier noticed two robbers armed with knives near the forecastle store and immediately notified the OOW. The alarm was raised, PA announcement made and crew mustered. Hearing the alarm and seeing the crew were alerted the robbers escaped with stolen property.
2. Robbery – 11 Aug 2022 2020 UTC: Psn 05 49 39N – 118 08 22E: Sandakan Anchorage, Sabah, Malaysia:
Four robbers in a speed boat approached and boarded an anchored tanker. The Duty officer noticed some movement near the Bosun store and immediately raised the alarm, the ship’s whistle was sounded and a PA announcement was made. Hearing the alarm and seeing the crew were alerted, the robbers escaped with the stolen ship’s stores.
3. Boarding/Theft – 09 Aug 2022: Psn 01 10 15N – 103 35 23E: Singapore Strait:
A Sierra Leone-Flagged supply vessel towed by a Chinese flagged tugboat, NING HAI TUO, reported the sighting of two intruders boarding MO PELICAN when transiting along the Eastbound Lane of TSS, Singapore Strait (on 9 Aug 22 at 0938 (UTC +8).2. The master reported that all the crew were safe but some ship’s stores were stolen. The vessels do not require any assistance.
7. Regional Monthly Report: South America and Caribbean
A quiet month in the region with no real incidents of significance to report.
1. Boarding/Robbery – 09 Aug 2022: Psn 06 48 2N – 58 10 2W: GNIC Terminal, Port Georgetown, Guyana:
Robbers boarded a berthed general cargo ship during cargo operations and escaped with the ship’s property. The theft was noticed by the bosun after the vessel shifted to another terminal. The incident was reported to the port authorities through the local agent.
Global Outlook and Incident Summary 2021-2022
Figures released by the International Chamber of Commerce- International Maritime Bureau (ICC-IMB), show a significant drop in the number of maritime piracy and armed robbery/attacks reported in 2021 with 132 incidents recorded globally, the lowest level since 1994. In the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) maritime crime incidents dropped overall from 81 in 2020 to 34 in 2021. While maritime kidnappings dropped from 130 in 2020 to 57 in 2021, the GoG still accounts for 55% of all kidnappings reported worldwide in 2021. A combination of better inter-state cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea, new counter-piracy initiatives such as Nigeria’s ‘Deep Blue’ project and an increased international naval presence, appear to have restricted Pirate Action Group activities, particularly in Nigerian waters. What was evident, however, was a widening of the geographical area where maritime security events took place, incidents involving boarding and kidnap of crew increased in the East of the GoG as Nigerian based PAGs were forced to look for safer regions in which to operate. The waters around Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea all saw a rise in criminal activity while in the West of the region; the number of attacks was reduced, particularly in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
In East Africa, Somali piracy remains suppressed with no incidents recorded in 2021. The complex threats that have emerged over the last 5 years in the Gulf of Aden, Southern Red Sea and Yemen continue to cause concern. In 2021, Iran and Israel engaged in a number of retaliatory strikes against vessels flagged to their respective nations culminating in the death of 2 crew members from an Israeli owned oil tanker, which was attacked by explosive-laden drones off the coast of Oman. In the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, regional tensions continue with Iranian forces maintaining pressure on International Maritime Forces engaged in operations to ensure the safe passage of commercial vessels. In SE Asia, boarding and robbery incidents in the Singapore Strait rose from 23 in 2020 to 35 in 2021, this is a 50% increase in 2020 and the highest since 1992, elsewhere in the region there was an overall drop in incidents compared with 2020.
The region of the world with the highest growth rate of maritime crime was South America and the Caribbean Arc, ports in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and also Mexico and Haiti in the Caribbean, were all affected by incidents of boarding and robbery at sea. In 2021, 36 incidents were reported in the region compared to 30 in 2020, with 6 crew threatened, 4 taken hostage and 2 assaulted. 31 vessels were boarded in total, the majority at anchor; figures for the region include 3 attempted boardings and 2 vessels being fired upon. Incidents in the Peruvian anchorage of Callao more than doubled from 8 in 2020 to 18 in 2021.
At Priavo we understand the myriad of threats facing owners and operators today and deploy specialist teams for Super Yacht Security. Our operatives are all former members of the British Special Boat Service or ex-Royal Marine Commandos. They are highly trained, armed professionals in Maritime Security and provide both physical and electronic deterrence whilst on board – with experience of over 6,000 successful armed transits.