Maritime Incident Report: November 2022
• Vessel boarded by armed attackers off Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire, in the Gulf of Guinea.
• Tanker attacked and hit by Drone in Gulf of Oman.
• Rocket/Drone attack on a tanker at Ash Shihr oil terminal in Yemen.
• Pleasure craft attacked/boarded in Eritrean TTW.
• Theft reported from a vessel at Takoradi Ghana.
1. Regional Monthly Report: West Africa and Gulf of Guinea
A serious incident involving a hijack and theft of cargo took place in the Gulf of Guinea this month. The MT B. Ocean was hijacked for the second time this year and its cargo bunkered to another vessel and stolen. The Marshall Islands-flagged ship was boarded by 8 armed intruders, the Korean crew was unharmed during the incident but the ship’s communication equipment was damaged. Elsewhere in the region there were reported boardings and theft from vessels in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
Warnings to Shipping
1. Armed Boarding/Theft – 24 Nov 22: Psn 01 18 36N – 04 39 17W: 230nm SW Abidjan Gulf of Guinea:
The MDAT- GoG released ADVISORY 002/NOV. The Advisory stated that communication has been lost with the MT B.OCEAN (IMO 9377834). The last communication was at 2300hrs on 23 Nov. The advisory was later upgraded to a ‘Boarding’. MT B.OCEAN was boarded by 8 unknown armed attackers who stole the cargo. The crew is safe.
2. Boarding/Theft – 16 Nov 22 0150UTC: Psn 04 52 41N – 01 44 27W: Takoradi Anchorage Ghana:
Three robbers armed with long knives boarded an anchored bulk carrier at night. The deck watchkeeper noticed the robbers on routine rounds and informed the bridge. The robbers threatened the watchkeepers and escaped. The alarm was raised and the ship’s whistle sounded. The incident was reported to the port control and port security boarded the vessel to investigate.
3. Vessel Boarded – 16 Nov 22 1930UTC: Psn 07 41 00N – 13 06 15W: Freetown Sierra Leone:
The MDAT-GOG reported a vessel had been boarded 50nm SW of Sherbo Island. No other details were given.
4. Vessel Attacked – 05 Nov 22 0900UTC: Psn 05 45 28N – 05 03 53E: Ekeremor River, Nigeria:
A Security Surveillance Vessel (SEV) was attacked by armed men. The assailants stole a boat and a 200HP outboard engine. All crew and personnel were confirmed to be safe.
2. Regional Monthly Report: Black Sea and Sea of Azov
The risk of collateral damage from drifting mines in the Northwest, West, and Southwest areas of the Black Sea is still current. Russia reaffirmed its commitment to the Turkish-led grain export agreement. The operational status of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports is as follows:
•The Danube ports of Reni, Izmail and Ust-Dunaisk are open with some restrictions.
• Belgorod Dniestrovskiy is open with some restrictions.
• Odesa Port is open.
• Skadovsk port is closed.
• Chornomorsk is reported to be open. Grain export only.
• Pivdenny is closed.
• Yuzzhny Port is open.
• The port of Berdyansk is closed.
• Olbia (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 Incidents to Report
3. Regional Monthly Report: Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean
Another oil tanker was attacked by a drone while loading oil at Ash Shihr oil terminal. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels conducted a drone attack against a Panamanian-flagged tanker docked at an SPM at the country’s Ash Shihr oil export terminal in Hadramaut province. The attack resulted in “damage to the oil-exporting platform. The Houthis have warned oil tankers to not use Yemen’s ports, in an attempt to stop the Yemeni government from obtaining revenue from the oil. An Israeli-owned tanker was hit by a Suicide Drone in the Gulf of Oman.
In Addition- in light of the significant reduction in piracy (last attack in 2018), the consortium of commercial shipping Industry organizations (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 affect the Lloyd’s Joint War Risk area.
• HRA is removed due to the 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.
1. Conflict-Related Incident – 21 Nov 22: Psn 14 44 00N – 049 30 00E:
UKMTO reported in Advisory 003/NOV/2022 that they had received reports of a missile/rocket strike on a Single Point Mooring (SPM) facility, while a vessel (name withheld), was loading oil at Ash Shihr, Yemen. The vessel and crew are safe.
2. Suspicious Approach – 18 Nov 2022 0646 UTC: Psn 23 27 16N – 59 32 42E:
UKMTO released Advisory 002/Nov/2022. The advisory stated that a vessel was circled by a 12’’ Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) in the Gulf of Oman/Arabian Sea, approximately 50nm southeast of Muscat. The vessel and crew are safe.
3. Drone Attack – 17 Nov 22 0646 UTC: Psn 23 2716N – 59 32 42E: Gulf of Oman:
The US Fifth Fleet has released details of an incident involving the Liberian-flagged/Israeli-owned Tanker, PACIFIC ZIRCON. The vessel was reportedly hit by an armed ‘suicide’ Drone as it transited the Gulf of Oman (see image below) Further reports stated that there was damage to the stern of the vessel but the crew were all safe. The incident took place approximately 150nm East of Ras Al Hadd, Oman.
4. Drone Attack – 09 Nov 22: Psn 14 03 19N – 48 24 52E: Bi’r Ali, Qina port Yemen:
The port was targeted by a Houthi Drone. No damage or casualties were reported.
4. Regional Monthly Report: Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz
There have been no maritime security incidents to report in this region in November.
No Incidents to Report.
5. Regional Monthly Report: Yemen and Southern Red Sea
The 7-month-long truce between the two factions involved in the Yemen conflict expired on 02 Oct 2022, however, there has been no discernible increase in conflict activity since it ended. In the SRS maritime domain, a Swedish pleasure craft was approached and reportedly fired upon by Eritrean maritime forces.
1. Attack/Boarding – 21 Nov 2022: Psn 13 11 00N – 42 27 00E: Southern Red Sea, Eritrean TTW:
UKMTO reported that a pleasure craft had come under attack in Eritrean TTW. Subsequent reports identified the vessel as Swedish-owned and that it had been fired upon and detained, possibly by an Eritrean maritime unit. No further details are available.
6. Regional Monthly Report: South East Asia
There were a number of boardings of vessels reported in this region throughout November. See incident reports below.
1. Boarding/Theft – 23 Nov 2022 1705 UTC: Psn 01 03 52N – 103 36 65E: Singapore Strait:
The crew of a bulk carrier that was underway spotted 3 unauthorized people on the starboard quarterdeck. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered. Seeing that the crew were alerted, the intruders escaped with the stolen ship’s spares. Singapore Coast Guard boarded the vessel to investigate.
2. Boarding/Armed Theft – 21 Nov 2022 0740 UTC: Psn 01 21 26N – 103 17 61E: 7nm WNW of Pulau Kukup, Johor, Malaysia:
Four people in 2 small boats boarded a barge under tow. The Master reported the incident to VTS Port Klang and the Malaysian Coast Guard. All the crew were reported safe. The tug and barge continued their journey.
3. Boarding/Theft – 08 Nov 2022 1940 UTC: Psn 01 08 58N – 103 28 37E: Singapore Strait:
The duty officer onboard a tug towing a barge noticed unauthorized persons boarding the barge. VTIS was informed and searchlights were directed toward the barge and persons. Seeing the crew was alerted the intruders with stolen barge cargo. All the crew was reported as safe.
7. Regional Monthly Report: South America and Caribbean
Two incidents to report in this region during November.
1. Boarding/Theft – 24 NOV 2022 1450 UTC: Psn 10 16N – 064 34W: Guanta Anchorage, Venezuela:
The crew onboard an anchored bulk carrier noticed the lashing straps of the forward life raft had been cut and the life raft was missing. The alarm was raised and a search was carried out, the incident was reported to port authorities via the local agents.
2. Boarding/Theft – 07 Nov 2022 1000 UTC: Psn 12 06 32S – 077:10 29W: Callao Anchorage, Peru:
The crew on routine rounds onboard an anchored tanker noticed the hawse pipe cover had been opened, the forepeak store had been broken into and the ship’s stores were missing. The incident was reported to Callao VTS.
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.