Re-escalation of Piracy: Gulf of Aden


Members will be aware that since the end of March there has been a reescalation in the number of suspicious approaches around the Southern Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb & Gulf of Aden. This rise in activity has cumulated with the confirmed taking of one Indian Fishing Dhow CASAYR II - No.30 and the MT ARIS 13, which was subsequently released.  Another Dhow on route from Dubai to Bossaso has been hijacked in the vicinity of Socotra, her name is yet to be verified but believed to be Al Kaushar on 01 APR 17. There are further unconfirmed reports in the media of the taking of a Pakistani cargo vessel MV Salama 1. 

During the height of Somali Piracy activity in 2010 it was well known that Pirate Action Groups (PAGs) used the Yemeni archipelago of Socotra as a fuel base. With civil war in Yemen it is possible that the, until now dormant, Somali Pirates are using this as an opportunity to reassert themselves. The hijacking of an Indian Fishing Dhow often used as PAG motherships and the ARIS in the Socotra Gap must give rise for concern.

Member's attention is redrawn British Admiralty Chart Q6099, attached to this release, which details the High Risk Area still enforced and monitored by MSCHOA, UKMTO & EUNAVFOR the chart also details the UKMTO Voluntary Reporting Area. If Member's vessels are transiting the area it is highly encouraged that they notify UKMTO via use of the Voluntary Reporting Area.

It should also be noted that the practice of using the Socotra Gap as a short cut should also be avoided given recent activities.  All vessels' transiting the area should be in full compliance with BMP4 and augment their watchkeeping staff accordingly. A watching brief should be kept on MSCHOA & UKMTO webpages: for the most recent intelligence in the area. 

Members are reminded of the UKMTO Watchkeepers details:

UKMTO Watchkeeper


Emergency Tel: +971 5055 23215

Tel: +44 2392222060

Staff Author