Ships sailing through or operating in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (GOA) are advised to refer to the Industry Releasable Threat Bulletin (IRTB) issued by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR), to be informed of an incident that took place in the GOA, in advance of the publication of their next quarterly Industry Releasable Threat Assessment (IRTA).
Gulf of Aden
The US Maritime Administration launched a MSCI Advisory informing about Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Indian Ocean violence due to regional conflict and piracy, highlighting that there’s still risks for commercial vessels operating in these areas.
On 20 June 2019, an Ocean Network Express (ONE) operated vessel, the ‘NYK Eagle’, took part in a combined rescue operation, rescuing 6 crew members from a sinking coastal vessel in the Eastern Gulf of Aden. As ONE informed, ‘NYK Eagle’ was navigating the ocean when it received a request from CMF to help a small coastal vessel which was sinking, as ‘NYK Eagle’ was closest to the vessel in question.
While speaking at the last SAFETY4SEA Conference in Cyprus, Mr. Dimitris Maniatis, Chief Commercial Officer, Diaplous Maritime Services, provided a recap of the current maritime security status, focusing on key high risk areas, such as the Indian Ocean region and West African waters. For the Gulf of Guinea, he stressed, Piracy and Maritime Aggression is never ending.
Οn July 5 2011, a small boat with seven armed in the Gulf of Aden drew alongside the ‘Brillante Virtuoso’, a tanker with 140,000 tonnes of fuel oil. A few hours after the pirates boarded the ship, a fire took place, while the armed men went away and the crew abandoned ship. However, the owners of the ship and the insurers have different stories of what it may have happened, and the London high court will have to decide on the case.
On January 19, a product tanker was attacked while in Abidjan Anchorage, Ivory Coast. The armed robbery that took place, resulted to the robbers escaping the vessel with stolen ship’s stores. According to IBM between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo the robbery incidents more than doubled in 2018.
While conducting maritime security operations in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) interdicted a shipment of illicit narcotics aboard a stateless vessel, on January 24. Specifically, the vessel’s board, search and seizure team discovered and seized 4.7 tonnes of hashish during a flag verification boarding.
EU Naval Force Ships are to friendly-approach local vessels and speak to the crew in the Western Indian Ocean aiming to enhance the mutual understanding and trust between the EU Naval force and local seafarers and also get a first-hand insight about possible piracy incidents in the area.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon interdicted a shipment of narcotics aboard a stateless vessel while performing maritime security operations in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden, on December 27. Chung-Hoon’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team seized over 11,000 pounds of hashish
IMO provides training to countries in the west Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden on managing insecurity in the maritime domain in a regional workshop at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre during 9-13 December.
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