Maritime Incident Report: September 2021

Executive Summary

• One ship approached by skiffs in the Southern Red Sea
• Ship boarded in Gabon two crew injured
• Two ships boarded in Singapore Strait
• Two Suspicious Approaches near Sao Tome Gulf of Guinea
• High-Risk Area (HRA) for piracy reduced in size

West Africa continues to be the focal point of piracy and kidnapping for ransom in the maritime domain, while in East Africa Somali piracy remains suppressed other more complex threats have emerged that threaten the safety of ships and seafarers in the Gulf of Aden, Southern Red Sea and Yemen. In the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz regional tensions have given rise to an increase of activity including the attack and boarding of vessels and harassment by state actors that is of cause for concern to commercial shipping. In SE Asia a total of 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in 2020. This accounts for a 17% increase in the total number of incidents, and a 32% increase in actual incidents reported in 2020 compared to 2019

1. Regional Monthly Report: West Africa and Gulf of Guinea

Maritime Incident Report: September 2021

Monthly Activity

On 23 Sept the MDAT-GOG released a warning regarding an increase in piracy threat on vessels in Zone E of the Gulf of Guinea in Nigerian Territorial Waters. The Warning was downgraded on 25 Sept because of successful security operations in Nigeria. This would indicate that the Nigerian Governments Deep Blue initiative to reduce criminal activity in their maritime region is working

Maritime Incidents

1. 5 September 2021 0200UTC: Psn 00 21 55S – 09 24 44E34 59E, Gabon
OSV TAMPEN was boarded whilst at anchor at Owendo Anchorage. One crew member is presumed to have been kidnapped after three armed men boarded the vessel. Two crew members were wounded after attempting to repel the attack. Local authorities are in control of the vessel. Gabonese Maritime authorities have advised that ISPS L2 will be in operation.

2. 6 Sept 21 0445UTC: Psn 05 31 26N – 00 00 91E, Tema Ghana
the cargo vessel BULK BAHAMA was at anchor when the duty deck rating noticed six robbers in a small boat approaching and immediately informed the OOW. The alarm was raised and the ship’s whistle sounded. The boat came alongside and attempted to throw a hook attached with a rope. The duty AB kept shouting at the persons who circled the ship and then moved away. The incident was reported to the port control.

3. 4 Sept 21 100UTC: Psn 06 00 17S – 12 24 18E, Banana Anchorage Congo
A sea theft incident took place. A cargo vessel was boarded, the intruders stole ships equipment and stores.

4. 11 Sept 21 0720UTC: Psn 00 33 13N – 06 55 21E
the tanker ENRICO FERMI was approached by 7 skiffs 30nm N of Sao Tome, 3 skiffs passed close to the bow of the vessel the other 4 remained to the starboard side but approached on a collision course. The skiffs then adopted a parallel course while the tanker proceeded at maximum speed. The tanker was able to outrun the skiffs and both ship and crew are safe.

5. 26 Sep 21 0938UTC: Psn 00 51 00N – 06 59 00E
The MDAT-GOG reported that the cargo vessel DAISY OCEAN was approached by a skiff with 6 POB approximately 60nm NE of Sao Tome in the Gulf of Guinea. The skiff pursued the MV for 30 minutes before breaking off the approach. 

2. Regional Monthly Report: Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean

Maritime Incident Report: September 2021

Monthly Activity

A vessel was attacked off the coast of Somalia which, if confirmed, may be the first reported piracy incident in the area since 2019. Houthi drone activity continues in Yemen with attacks conducted on a government airbase in the south of the country and on the area around the Red Sea port of Jizan in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A change in piracy threats in the Indian Ocean prompted the shipping industry to announce a re-think of High-Risk Area (HRA). Due to the continued downward trend in Somali piracy ‘Industry’ reduced the geographic boundaries of the ‘High-Risk Area’ (HRA) for piracy in the Indian Ocean, which will apply from 1 September 2021.

Maritime Incidents

No incidents to report.

3. Regional Monthly Report: Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz

Maritime Incident Report: September 2021

Monthly Activity

Ships continue to be contacted and occasionally boarded by Iranian naval forces as they transit the Strait of Hormuz, which has caused concern and unease in the merchant shipping community.  The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) and EMA SOH continue to patrol the area in a reassurance role. UKMTO issued a number of Notices relating to regional military exercises and live firing events which can be viewed on their website at UKMTO.org. 

Maritime Incidents

No incidents to report.

4. Regional Monthly Report: Yemen and Southern Red Sea

Monthly Activity

Commercial ships are advised to increase vigilance when transiting this area and follow current guidance to stay as far west as possible from the Yemen coast, using the Western Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) around the Hanish Islands in the entrance to the Bab el Mandab straitOne vessel was approached by 2 skiffs near the Bab el Mandeb, which is the first approach reported on a vessel in the Southern Red Sea for some time. The approach appears not to have been sustained or aggressive and is likely to be a pattern of life encounter in what is a busy transit area for the local population. 

Maritime Incidents

1. 318 Sep 21 – 1510UTC: Psn 13 08 44N – 43 06 521E 
UKMTO released Advisory 001/SEP/2021 regarding a Suspicious Approach on a commercial vessel 13nm West of Mocha, Yemen. Two boats each with 9 persons on board, approached the MV but left the vicinity when the vessel’s Armed Security Team raised their weapons. The ship and crew are reported to be safe. 

2. 20 Sep 21: Psn 15 17 21N – 42 39 6E 
Saudi forces claimed to have destroyed 2 Houthi vessels rigged with explosives in the Ras Salif area, Yemen. 

5. Regional Monthly Report: South East Asia

Maritime Incident Report: September 2021

Monthly Activity

Attacks and attempted boarding’s of commercial shipping continue throughout the region, with theft and robbery of vessels at Manila anchorage, in particular, seeming to be on the rise. Two more incidents took place this month in the Singapore Strait, an area that` had recently appeared to have stabilised due to increased surveillance patrols by the Singapore and Indonesian naval and coastguard vessel.

Maritime Incidents

1.  12 Sep 21 1200UTC: Psn 01 15 42N – 103 23 94E 
Four robbers armed with knives boarded a tanker underway. The duty oiler saw the robbers trying to enter the engine room and raised the alarm. All deck lights were switched on, PA announcement made and crew mustered. Seeing the crew were alerted, the robbers escaped in their boat with two accomplices. A search was made throughout the tanker, nothing was found to be stolen. 

2. 17 Sep 21 1904UTC: Psn 01 16 92N – 104 19 00E, Singapore Strait
A Singapore flagged bulk carrier, DELPHINUS, was boarded by three perpetrators while underway along the Eastbound Lane of Traffic Separation Scheme, upon sighting the ship’s crew, the perpetrators jumped overboard. The shipmaster conducted checks onboard. All crew accounted and some generator spare parts were stolen. The vessel did not require any assistance and continued her voyage to her NPOC in China. 

3. 18 Sep 21 1840UTC: Psn 01 17 20N – 104 19 90E, Singapore Strait 
a bulk carrier was boarded by five perpetrators armed with one long knife and a gun-like object with wood screw on the handle while underway along the Eastbound Lane of Traffic Separation Scheme, the gun-like object was pointed to the back of the oiler while he was working in the engine workshop. He ordered the oiler to stay calm and said they had come on board to steal. The ship’s master confirmed that engine and generator parts were stolen. 

4. 21 Sep 21 0818 UTC: Psn 01 21 20S – 116 59 94E, Balikpapan, Indonesia 
While a vessel was preparing for departure from an anchorage, the deck patrol noted an unauthorised person attempting to board through the anchor hose pipe. The hosepipe was secured with plates to prevent access, the intruder was struggling to unlock the pipe when spotted. The Watchman informed the Bridge officer, who raised the alarm. Upon hearing the alarm, the intruder fled the vessel immediately. Crew mustered and the ship was searched. All padlocks and seals were found in place and intact. No missing items or damaged equipment were noted. All crew safe. The vessel left the anchorage area and commenced her passage to the next port. 

6. Regional Monthly Report: South America

Maritime Incident Report: September 2021

Incidents:

1. 13 Sep 21 1200 UTC: Psn: 12 01 23S – 77 11 02W 
Robbers boarded an anchored container ship and escaped with stolen ship’s stores. The theft was noticed by the duty crew during routine rounds. 

2. 26 Sept 21 2355 UTC: 12 01 23S – 77 11 02W 
Six robbers in two boats approached and boarded an anchored bulk carrier using ropes and tried to break into the bosun store. The duty crew noticed the robbers and raised the alarm. The robbers threatened the duty deck crew with knives and escaped without stealing anything. A patrol boat was dispatched to search the waters around the ship. 

For More Information

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.

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