1. This week’s report reflects on events in the Bab el Mandeb last Saturday. There is much open source reporting of an attack against the UAE flagged vessel ‘MV Swift 1’ (d, e) which occurred in the early hours of 1 Oct 16. UKMTO’s Advisory (001/Oct/16) informed of an MV on fire not far from the Yemen coast and for vessels to proceed with caution and heightened vigilance.
UKMTO released an update on 6 Oct 16 (003/Oct/16) advising ‘indications were this incident is linked with the Yemen conflict and was a targeted attack from ashore on a specific UAE flagged vessel’.
This update also included precautions for masters to consider when transiting the straits. Guidance has also been posted by shipping associations on their websites (OCIMF) (BIMCO) (INTERTANKO) (some log-ins reqd).
2. The South West monsoon appears to have fully abated. The level of small boat activity generallyincreases in the ‘transition’ period leading up to the North East monsoon. As a reminder, ‘It is strongly recommended that BMP is applied throughout the High Risk Area’ and the ‘three fundamental requirements of BMP are followed’, namely, register with MSCHOA, report to UKMTO and apply Ship Protection Measures (source: BMP4).
3. On 4 Oct 16 the Somali Deputy Prime Minister delivered an address to Chatham House on ‘Maritime Safety and Security for Africa and Somali waters’ (c).