Weekly Maritime Security Report

East Africa and the Indian Ocean 


Yemen: Skiffs chase merchant vessel in Bab el Mandeb

13 June

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

15 June

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.

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Southeast Asia


Indonesia: Robbers steal from research vessel at Galang Layup Anchorage

13 June

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

15 June

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.

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Select Maritime News


The following is a selection of other maritime-relevant incidents available on PGI’s Risk Portal:


Indonesia: Regional naval forces hold anti-piracy exercises off Borneo

Japan: US Navy destroyer collides with merchant vessel off Kanagawa prefecture

Libya: House of Representatives calls for eastern NOC to halt exports to Glencore

Malaysia: Cargo ship capsizes in Straits of Malacca

Morocco: Judges uphold detention of Moroccan phosphate over Western Sahara dispute

New Zealand: Protesters block entrance of Port Tauranga

Saudi Arabia: Navy claims to capture armed boat near offshore oilfield

Saudi Arabia: Iranian media claims Saudi vessel fires on Iranian fishing vessel in Gulf

Spain: Suspected smugglers fire upon Gibraltar police boat

Tunisia: Port workers protest at Radès over dismissals

Tunisia: Fire breaks out at Radès port

Tunisia: Authorities introduce measures to reduce waiting times at Radès port

United States: Dirty bomb threat causes closure of Charleston Port