Following a number of recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb, relevant authorities have decided to increase naval presence in the western part of the region, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) said.
In addition to several attempts at piracy, attacks by small, high-speed boats using small arms, rocket propelled grenades, and significant amounts of explosives have been reported, highlighting the risks associated with transits through these waters.
Although the attacks conducted against MV Galicia Spirit in October 2016 and MT Muskie in May 2017 were both unsuccessful, “they demonstrate a new threat to the maritime community,” Combined Maritime Forces said.
Additionally, to assist in providing information, it is recommended that all mariners sailing through the High Risk Area register their transits with the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA).
According to Combined Maritime Forces, vessels should report to UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) when entering the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) and immediately if witnessing any suspicious event.