1. This week UKMTO has released one Warning (see page 3), the Warning reported that a container vessel was approached at speed by a skiff with two POB in psn N 25O31.08 / E 057O25.71, weapons were sighted. The MV sounded the piracy alarm system but the skiff continued to approach resulting in the ship’s armed protection team firing three warning shots. The skiff broke off its approach and left the vicinity. MV and crew are reported as safe. This incident took place close to the location of two Warnings issued in May 2017.
2. All three incidents (para 1) took place in an area not previously associated with piracy and information released last week by the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC), may offer some explanation for these events.
3. The IMB PRC report quotes the Iranian Maritime Safety and Marine Protection Directorate who say, ‘Regarding the alleged piracy situation on 7 May 17 between the ship MV NAVIOS HIOS (IMO: 9254733) and an Iranian fishing vessel off the Iranian coast of Chabahar.
The fishing vessel had laid fishing nets in the area and had approached the ship in order to ask her to divert her route and prevent her from destroying the nets by passing through them. The ship however, had misunderstood the approach of the fishing vessel as an attempt for piracy and contacted relevant authorities. An Iranian naval vessel had immediately been deployed to the scene and admonished the fishing vessel for having laid fishing nets in the International shipping route, warning her of penalties and legal consequences if that action were repeated in the future. I would therefore like to assure you that the situation was a mere misunderstanding, and has been completely resolved’.