East Africa and the Indian Ocean
Yemen: Skiffs chase merchant vessel in Bab el Mandeb
A merchant vessel reported it was approached by four skiffs with six to seven persons on board each at 1650 hrs local time 11 nm off the Yemeni coast in the Bab el Mandeb. The skiffs came within 0.5 nm of the vessel, approaching it at speed and chasing it for 10 minutes before embarked armed security showed their weapons, prompting the skiffs to drop back.
Yemen: Houthi missile attack wounds Emirati sailor off Mokha
Saudi-led coalition forces confirmed that a Houthi guided missile had struck an Emirati warship off the Red Sea port of Mokha. One crew member was injured in the attack, which was claimed by Houthi forces.
PGI Analysis: The Bab el Mandeb strait has seen an uptick in piracy activity in recent weeks, including a series of reports of suspicious approaches, and notably a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack in the area against a tanker on 31 May. The RPG attack marked the third to target a commercial vessel in the strait in recent months after two attacks in October 2016. No group has claimed the attacks against the commercial vessels, although Houthi-allied forces have repeatedly targeted naval vessels operating off Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition since late 2016. Such attacks have resulted in occasional damage and casualties, and have also raised concerns about the threat to strategic maritime corridors off Yemen. The region has also seen an uptick in Somali piracy activity since mid-March, further adding to the concerns of shippers transiting the High Risk Area.
Indonesia: Robbers steal from research vessel at Galang Layup Anchorage
Robbers boarded a research vessel anchored at Galang Layup Anchorage off the island of Batam at 0149 hrs local time. The robbers stole equipment and ship’s stores before leaving unnoticed. The theft was only noticed during morning rounds.
Philippines: Assailants steal from tanker at Batangas Anchorage
A robber stole ship’s properties from a tanker anchored at Batangas Inner Anchorage off the island of Luzon at 0600 hrs local time. The robber climbed aboard the tanker via the hawse pipe before stealing the goods and escaping unnoticed. The theft was later discovered by crew.
PGI Analysis: Robberies are common at Philippine and Indonesian anchorages, particularly overnight when visibility is low. Robbers are typically opportunistic, non-violent and board anchored vessels, although there are occasional reports of violent robberies and incidents where assailants have boarded underway vessels in the region. Crew should exercise vigilance and be aware that robbers may use violence should they be confronted.
Select Maritime News
The following is a selection of other maritime-relevant incidents available on PGI’s Risk Portal: