For the past week 10-16 October 2013
According to NATO Shipping Centre’s weekly piracy review, last week (10-16 Octboer 2013) there have been two incidents reported to counter-piracy organizations in the HRA involving small craft approaches on merchant vessels.First incident was reported on Friday 11th October by MT approached by a Whaler and Skiff.
Second incident reported by FV Monday 14th October in same area and with same description of small boats. MT and FV are safe and underway to next port of call. The PAG (Whaler and Skiff) has been located by Coalition Forces IWO area of concern. The suspected pirates are now detained.
When reporting, information should be complete, in particular reports to include any piracy related equipment /weapons (ladders/RPGs). Many of these incidents have been assessed as non-piracy related activity and are associated with common patterns of life in the area. These activities include fishing, small vessel trade, smuggling and other local vessel movements
Weather in HOA
SW monsoon influence is showing gradual decline. These conditions will last until the North East Monsoon begins, historically around Mid-November. Small boat activityhas increased and is nowobserved in the more prominent fishing areas and Coastal waters depending on the local conditions.
The threat of piracy against merchant shipping continues throughout the HRA. Successful disruptions by naval forces, in conjunction with masters’ adherence and implementation of BMP4, have significantly reduced the pirates’ ability to capture vessels. Pirates retain capability of conducting acts of piracy against vessels of opportunity.
Pirate Attack Groups (PAGs) have made “soft-approaches” on merchant ships transiting the HRA. Skiffs have been known to approach vessels in order to probe the reaction of the crew and any possible Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) onboard. If the pirate approach does not elicit a response, the pirates may then proceed with an attack, using additional skiffs. However, the use of BMP4 and the reaction of PCASP have recently been effective in warning off any small boats which might otherwise have had close contact with the transiting vessel.
Continued Vigilance and the use of BMP
It is imperative that merchant vessels remain vigilant at all times in transit and/or at anchorage and fully implement protection measures set down in BMP4 across the whole High Risk Area (HRA) as it can make the critical difference of being approached, attacked, or pirated. NSC would like to remind masters that BMP4 highly recommends maintaining best possible vessel speed when transiting the HRA to deter pirate boarding.