A MV has been attacked 18 nm south of Nishtun, Yemen.

The UKMTO has received a report of a vessel under attack in position 15°31’N 052°13’E, 18nm south of Nishtun in Yemen. Shots fired at vessel  from three (3) boats with 3-4 POB on each.

Source: UKMTO


Increased Unscrewed Aerial System activity in the Northern Indian Ocean

UKMTO has been made aware of increased Unscrewed Aerial System (UAS) activity in the Northern Indian Ocean. Activity levels are approaching highs last experienced in February 23. All vessels transiting the VRA are advised to exercise caution and report suspicious activity to UKMTO Watchkeepers.

Source: UKMTO


Sixteen crew on Danish oil tanker have been locked in ship’s safe room for five days after being boarded by pirates in the most dangerous shipping lane in the world

Pirates boarded a Danish-owned oil tanker sailing in the most dangerous shipping route in the world, forcing its crew to barricade themselves in a safe room.

Communication was lost with tanker Monjasa Reformer after it was boarded by five armed pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of west Africa, on Saturday.

All 16 crew sought refuge in a safe room aboard, according to the cooperation centre. 

The Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker was boarded by the five pirates around 140 miles west of the Republic of Congo’s Port Pointe-Noire. 

Danish marine fuels supplier Monjasa said the crew of the 135-metre tanker sought refuge in the secure room or ‘citadel’ when the pirates boarded, ‘in accordance with the onboard anti-piracy emergency protocol’.

Monjasa said: ‘Onboard communications channels are currently down and we are working with the local authorities to establish communication to understand the situation on board and provide all the support needed by the crew to overcome these dreadful events.’

It added ‘the vessel was sitting idle’ when the incident took place.

The ship was spotted about 540 miles further off shore on Tuesday, according to a maritime cooperation centre monitoring security in the area.

The nationalities of the crew members and the pirates are not yet known. 

The Gulf of Guinea is the world’s most dangerous spot for attacks on ships. 

In June, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution strongly condemning piracy, armed robbery and hostage-taking in the area. 

This hijacking took place further south in an area that is not typically attacked by pirates.

Rida Lyammouri, a senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a Moroccan-based think tank, said: ‘This is worrying since it’s rare in this area compared to the Gulf of Guinea, for example, where multiple ship hijackings take place every year.

‘Hopefully we are not witnessing a new trend and [this] is just an isolated incident. This also could be explained by increased security measures in the Gulf of Guinea and pirates are looking into new areas of operations.’

Denmark, home to shipping giant Maersk, sent a naval frigate in 2021 to patrol the waters, after the country had pushed for a stronger international naval presence.

The Absalon-class Danish frigate Esbern Snare – equipped with a helicopter and around 175 marines aboard – was sent to patrol the waters between November 2021 and March 2022, a period when the risk of attacks was higher.

The Danish Shipping association said the latest incident shows ‘problems with piracy off the west coast of Africa are far from solved.’

Although it acknowledged the war in Ukraine meant Denmark’s navy was needed elsewhere, it suggested ‘vessels from several countries in the area… particularly the EU countries should coordinate their presence’ to provide the best cover.

In November 2021, sailors from the Danish frigate were involved in a firefight resulting in the deaths of five suspected pirates.

A suspected Nigerian pirate was transferred to Denmark to receive medical care after the skirmish.

After needing to have his leg amputated the man, who has also applied for asylum in Denmark, was put on trial for and convicted of endangering the lives of the Danish sailors.

Source: mail Online


Monjasa Confirms Pirate Attack with Search Ongoing for Missing Tanker

Monjasa, a Danish oil trading and supply company, confirmed that it has lost contact with one of the company’s product tankers, the Monjasa Reformer, after the crew reported the vessel was being boarded by pirates off the west coast of Africa. The British-French operation Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) reports that it believes the incident is ongoing and is asking for mariners to assist in locating the missing vessel. An unconfirmed report this evening from EOS Risk Group is reporting that the vessel may have traveled as much as 470 nautical miles WNW from its last known position nearly three days ago.

“On board communications channels are currently down and we are working with the local authorities to establish communication to understand the situation on board and provide all the support needed by the crew to overcome these dreadful events,” the company said in its official statement issued from Denmark this morning. The company’s spokesperson said its thoughts are with the crew and their relatives in these hours.

The piracy incident began shortly before midnight local time off the coast of DR Congo on March 25. The Monjasa Reformer had departed Port Pointe-Noire earlier in the week and was laying approximately 140 nautical miles offshore in the Gulf of Guinea. According to the company, the vessel, which was acquired in December 2022 from Ektank, is being employed carrying marine gas oil, very low sulfur fuel oil, and high sulfur fuel oil products. It is unclear if the vessel is currently loaded. Built in China in 2003, the product tanker is approximately 442 feet long and 13,700 dwt.

Monjasa Group initially asked the media to withhold the name of the vessel saying that it was concerned that attention would be beneficial to the criminals who boarded the tanker. They report that are 16 crewmembers aboard.

“Montec Ship Management was notified by the crew that pirates had boarded the vessel and that the entire crew was secured inside the citadel in accordance with the on-board anti-piracy emergency protocol,” a company spokesman reports. In addition to immediately reporting the boarding to MDAT-GoG, Montec reports working with all relevant maritime authorities in the region, including several local and international navies.

MDAT-GoG is advising that the vessel remains “unlocated and not transmitting on AIS.” Masters operating in the vicinity are being asked to report any sighting of the black hulled tanker with a black funnel and orange logo or any suspicious activity.

“In order to minimize the risk of personal injury, as well as operating losses due to assault, the Monjasa Group has implemented an anti-piracy policy which includes an extensive description of how the crew and the officers should act in case of piracy attacks. The policy comprises measures to be taken both during and after a possible assault,” the company writes in its statement.

Monjasa has a long history of operating in this dangerous region and this is not the first experience with piracy. In October 2018, the Monjasa tanker Anuket Amber (9,500 dwt) operating under charter to Norbulk Shipping was also attacked in the same general vicinity near Port Pointe-Noire. The crew from the Anuket Amber along with an anchor handling tug the Ark Tze which was also boarded the same day were taken hostage by the pirates. The 12 crewmembers from the two vessels were released more than two months later in January 2019.

Source: The Maritime Executive


Vessel has been boarded  approximately 140nm West of Pointe Noire 

Pirates successfully captured a Danish- owned commercial ship in the Gulf of Guinea last Saturday . It is the ship “Monjasa Reformer” of the shipping company “Monjasa” with a crew of 16, which immediately took refuge in an armored “panic room”. The oil and chemical tanker is a black hulled tanker with a black funnel and orange logo flying under the flag of Liberia.

Source: MDAT-GoG, APE-MPE and Reuters


A MV has been attacked 30 nm from the Port of Hodeida.

The UKMTO has reported that an M/V being fired upon by one craft.

Vessel reported approximately 4 to 5 bursts of automatic fire. On board AST returned fire. Incident located 30NM from the port of Hodeida. Vessel and crew safe.

Source: UKMTO


Oman confirms Asphalt Princess tanker had been hijacked in Arabian Sea

Oman provided first official confirmation on Wednesday that the Asphalt Princess tanker was involved in a hijacking in the Arabian Sea after Britain’s maritime trade agency earlier reported the incident was over.

Oman’s Maritime Security Centre said on Twitter that it had received information about the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess being subjected “to a hijacking incident in international waters in the Gulf of Oman” and that the sultanate’s navy had deployed several ships to help secure international waters.

The British navy said the hijackers who boarded a vessel off the coast of the UAE in the Gulf of Oman have left the targeted ship, without elaborating.

The notice on Wednesday came after the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations warned of a “potential hijack” under unclear circumstances underway the night before.

The group reported that the “incident (is) complete.” It did not provide further details.

The Panama-flagged asphalt/bitumen tanker Asphalt Princess was earlier reportedly seized 60 nautical miles off Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast, in an area of the sea leading to the Strait of Hormuz.

British security sources said they were “working on the assumption Iranian military or proxies boarded the vessel.”

The British military’s UK Maritime Trade Operations initially warned ships on Tuesday that “an incident is currently underway” off the coast of Fujairah. Hours later, they said the incident was a “potential hijack.”

On Tuesday afternoon at least five ships in the sea between the UAE and Iran updated their automatic tracking status to “Not Under Command,” a status that usually indicates a vessel is unable to maneuver because of exceptional circumstances.

Iran’s foreign ministry said reports of security incidents involving several ships near the UAE coast were “suspicious,” and it warned of any effort to create a “false atmosphere” against Iran.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Tuesday that Iran was acting in a negative manner around the Middle East, endangering shipping, arming the Houthi militia in Yemen and contributing to Lebanon’s political deadlock.

“All around the region, Iran continues to be emboldened,” he said. “Iran is extremely active in the region with its negative activity.”

Tensions have soared in the Gulf since an attack last week by explosives-laden Iranian drones on the MT Mercer Street off the coast of Oman, in which the tanker’s Romanian captain and a British security guard were killed.

The vessel is operated by an Israeli company, and Israel, the UK and the US said there would be a “collective response” to the attack.

There have been a series of explosions and hijackings in the waters off Fujairah since 2019. The US Navy blamed Iran for a series of limpet mine attacks on vessels that damaged tankers.

Also in 2019, Iran seized the British-flagged Stena Impero on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz as it headed to Dubai from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The raid came after authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, seized an Iranian supertanker carrying $130 million in crude oil on suspicion it was breaking EU sanctions by taking the oil to Syria. Both vessels were later released.

In July last year, an oil tanker sought by the US for circumventing sanctions on Iran was hijacked off the UAE coast. The vessel and its crew ended up in Iran.

Source: Arab News, AP, Reuters


A vessel has been attacked 34 nm South West of Hodeidah.

The UKMTO has received a report of a vessel attacked today, 19th of May, at position 14°19.0N 042°42.0E, approximately 34 nm South West of Hodeidah, Yemen. Investigations are ongoing.  

Source: UKMTO


A MV has been attacked offshore of Ras Isa Marine Terminal

The UKMTO has received reports that a MV has been attacked on the 2nd of January at 21:50 UTC in position 15°13.0N 042°12.0E, approximately 23nm West of Ras Isa Marine Terminal. Investigations are ongoing. 

Source: UKMTO


Crew kidnapped from CMA-CGM containership in Gulf of Guinea

Up to nine crew members on a containership in the Gulf of Guinea are thought to have been kidnapped, while another is being treated for a bullet wound in the leg.

The 21-year-old CMA CGM-chartered Tonsberg was attacked by pirates some 48 nautical miles south-west of Luba, at around 4pm UK time yesterday.

The 5,551 teu vessel was headed for Cotonou, Benin, after departing from Cameroon’s Port Autonome de Kribi on Sunday, according to VesselsValue data.

Doctors on the Danish frigate Esbern Snare are treating the wounded crewman onboard the vessel.

A helicopter from the Danish Navy vessel was the first to come to the aid of the Tonsberg crew and the pilots saw a speedboat heading north towards Nigeria as it arrived.

The abducted crew are said to be Polish, Ukrainian and Filipino and details of the event remain sketchy and subject to change.

Shipowner, Athens-based Technomar and CMA CGM have said a statement would be released later today.

According to the eeSea liner database, the vessel is deployed on CMA CGM’s Asia-West Africa WAX service, jointly operated with Maersk.

Source: The Loadstar

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