1. The Dhow Casayr II which was reported as having been hijacked (along with two skiffs) on 23 Mar 17, was released this week. MSCHOA said the vessel’s owner had confirmed the crew and vessel were safe. The whereabouts of the hijackers and skiffs are unknown therefore all ships transiting the area are advised to remain vigilant and comply fully with guidance given in BMP4 (a).
2. The threat to ships of collateral damage from military activity related to the Yemen conflict was re-affirmed this week in the release of the US maritime advisory 2017-002 (b). Despite this threat, analysis of routes taken by ships transiting the Southern Red Sea and Bab el Mandeb reveals that some vessels are still choosing the take the Eastern Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) around the Hanish Islands.
Ship’s operators and Masters are reminded of the advice given in UKMTO advisory 003/OCT/2016 which states vessels should consider the following: maintain the farthest possible distance from the Yemen coast, transit the Bab el Mandeb straits during daylight hours, use the Western TSS (see chart above), increase speed, maintain vigilance and report any unusual activity to UKMTO.
3. On 5 Apr 17, Lt Cdr Iain Beaton RNR will take Command of UKMTO Dubai as Officer in Charge (OiC). I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their cooperation and support during my time as acting OiC. I will remain in the unit as 2iC.