Weekly Maritime Security Report


East Africa and the Indian OceanYemen: Skiff approaches vessel in Gulf of Aden

29 July


A merchant vessel reported being approached on three occasions by a single skiff travelling at 25 knots on the vessel’s starboard side between 1930 and 2030 hrs local time around 20 nm north of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), Gulf of Aden. The closest the skiff approached the vessel was within roughly 185 metres. Warning shots were fired and the skiff turned away. The vessel and its crew were reported safe.


Yemen: Skiff approaches merchant vessel off Hodeidah

25 July


A merchant vessel reported it was approached by nine white-hulled skiffs with 10 persons on board each in the northbound shipping lane of the Bab el Mandeb, 29 nm west-northwest of Hodeidah, coming within two cables of the vessel at 1530 hrs local time. Ladders were also sighted on board the skiffs. The vessel’s armed security team showed its presence, deterring the skiffs from approaching further, although five skiffs followed the vessel until 1746 hrs local time.


PGI Analysis: The incidents mark the latest in a series of suspicious approaches targeting commercial vessels in the region in recent months. The ladders on board the skiff in the 25 July incident are a possible indication that the assailants were looking to hijack a vulnerable vessel. In a previous attack, a merchant vessel was approached by men armed with weapons on board seven skiffs off Hodeidah on 5 July. 


West Africa 

Nigeria: Suspected pirates kidnap five off the coast of Bonny Island

30 July


An unspecified number of suspected pirates boarded a cargo vessel and kidnapped five crew members 16 nm off the coast of Bonny Island. The attack reportedly occurred over night. There were no initial reports on casualties or ransom demands following the attack.


PGI Analysis: Pirates based in the Niger Delta frequently target cargo vessels off the coast of Bonny Island in kidnap for ransom attacks. However, the frequency of such attacks has declined over the past five years, a trend attributed to a combination of infrastructure development programmes, engagements with local communities, an amnesty programme for former militants and improved maritime policing. 


Select Maritime News

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

China: Beijing conducts high-profile naval exercise off Korean peninsula

Egypt: Police seize unauthorised goods at Ain Sokhna port

Ghana: Port businesses threaten to boycott commercial activities over revenue collection

India: Authorities seize ship with 1,500 kg of heroin off Gujarat coast

India: Floods in Gujarat disrupt freight trains to Mundra port

Iran: Tehran accuses US naval forces of provocative behaviour in Gulf incident

Ireland: Navy vessel rescues 109 migrants off Libyan coast

Libya: Update: Sarajj denies invitation to Italian vessels for counter-trafficking

Sri Lanka: Colombo to sign USD 1.1 bn deal with Beijing over Hambantota port

Sri Lanka: Update: Port workers cancel strike over Hambantota deal

Vietnam: Hanoi asks Jakarta to investigate South China Sea shooting

Vietnam: Hanoi asserts its right to drill for oil in South China Sea

Yemen: Coalition prevents oil tankers from reaching Hodeidah