1. This week UKMTO issued three Advisories 002/SEP/2017, 003/SEP/2017 and 004/SEP/2017 with an update to 003/SEP/2017, see page 3 for details.
2. Advisory 003/SEP/2017 refers to an attack on a UAE flagged tanker off the coast of Yemen. The attack took place close to the port of Nishtun and is reminiscent of a similar attack on 14 April 17 in the same area. It is thought that this event is unlikely to be linked to piracy and while not confirmed, local Militia were thought to be responsible for the April attack though their motive remains unclear. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution when transiting this area.
3. The SW Monsoon emanating from the Somali coast into the Arabian Sea has now fully abated resulting in reduced wind speed and wave height throughout the region. Vessels transiting the Voluntary Reporting Area can expect to see an increase in small boat activity as local fishing fleets return to sea.
4. In the Gulf of Aden (GOA) the Puntland Maritime Police Force intercepted a boat travelling from Yemen to the Somali port of Bassaso. The vessel was found laden with weapons which it is thought were destined for the Al Shabab militant group although links to Pirate Action Groups cannot be ruled out (a).
5. The multi-national approach to maintaining Maritime Security in the region was recently illustrated as Serbian marines were deployed to protect the World Food Programme vessel Esbjerg and a Russian warship provided escort for an Indian tanker in the IRTC (b + c).
6. US Navy Adm Michelle Howard who planned the mission to rescue Capt Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009, announced she is to retire (d).