A maritime security alert has been issued for the Indian Ocean after media sources reported UAE-owned charcoal vessel MV Safina-Fahad was hijacked whilst transiting from Kismayo to the UAE. The position, date and exact circumstances of the hijacking are unclear.
The hijacking is unlikely to feature in international reports, but is of significance as the vessel is likely to be used as mothership over the coming weeks.
The reports follow days after increased activity off Oman’s southern coast, where Panama-flagged RORO cargo vessel MV Leila was hijacked 50NM SW of Ras Al Madrakah on 15 February.
Increased attacks should be expected throughout the high risk area as weather conditions improve over the coming weeks; attacks as far as 500NM east of the Seychelles have been recorded over the past seven days. Operators are advised to proceed with vigilance, conduct vessel hardening measures in accordance with BMP4 and maintain strict watch rotas to mitigate the chances of successful pirate attack.