Maritime News

Warning about piracy risk in Gulf of Aden

16 June 2017

The Combined Maritime Forces are advising merchant ships to be aware of the increasing risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb strait following a rise in attacks on vessels. After a lull of eight years in attacks by Somali pirates – following the deployment of anti-piracy naval patrols and increased safety measures by vessels – there has been a worrying rise in incidents. The warning adds that, as well as several attempts at piracy, there have been recent attacks by “small, high-speed boats using small arms, rocket propelled grenade and significant amounts of explosives”. Although these small boat attacks were thwarted, and the identity of the attackers is unknown, “they demonstrate a new threat to the maritime community”. 

The Combined Maritime Forces are now increasing the naval presence in the western Gulf of Aden, and urge the shipping community to provide the relevant information to have warships positioned for an effective response. They also recommend that all seafarers sailing through the high risk area register their transits with the Maritime Security Centre–Horn of Africa, and report to UK’s Maritime Trade Operations when entering the voluntary reporting area and if witnessing any suspicious event. The forces also reiterate that adherence to best management practices and the use of armed security teams remain the best protection against attack. 


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:


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