Maritime Security Risk Intelligence Report December 2023 by ESS Maritime
The maritime landscape is witnessing unprecedented events, particularly in the Red Sea, where a surge in attacks on ships has been reported almost daily in the past month. Despite initial claims by Houthi rebels that only vessels associated with Israel or heading towards Israel would be targeted, it has become evident that indiscriminate attacks are taking place. ESS Maritime has diligently kept our clients informed about the evolving risks, safety protocols, and how to navigate this challenging situation in the region.
In a harrowing incident, ESS Maritime’s team found themselves aboard a ship navigating the Red Sea that was threatened by several skiffs. Quick and effective actions by the onboard team prevented a dangerous situation ensuring the safety of the captain and crew. This successful response highlighted the effectiveness of the MST training and the robust response protocols of their operators. Additionally, the incident involved the collaboration with military assets in the area, emphasizing the significance of coordination between private maritime security firms and military forces to enhance overall security in the region. The professionalism of the Master of the MV played a pivotal role, reflecting on the captain’s experience, decision-making skills, and leadership during the crisis. The collective efforts of the team, collaboration with military forces, and the captain’s professionalism were instrumental in navigating and averting this threat in the Red Sea.
VHF Challenge and Kinetic Response
Vessels transiting the Southern Red Sea face a unique challenge, with entities claiming to be Yemeni or Houthi authorities issuing communications via CH16 and other sources. These communications aim to divert the vessel towards a Yemeni-controlled port installation. Non-compliance can lead to escalated interactions, posing a significant threat to affected vessels.
Vessels traversing the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are susceptible to suspicious approaches by Yemeni assets, escalating the risk in the region.
According to the MICA Center, the risk of piracy has escalated off the coast of Somalia, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean. Recent successful hijackings by Somali assets off the coast of Somalia highlight a resurging threat. Opportunistic piracy is taking advantage of the prevailing security situation in the area to conduct more successful operations.
Incidents in the Red Sea (Oost-Afrika)
- 19-Nov-23: Hijacked
- 22-Nov-23: Armed Robbery/Hijacked
- 27-Nov-23: Drone Incident
- 03-Dec-23: Threatening on Ch 16
- 03-Dec-23: Missile Fire Experience
- 03-Dec-23: Missile/Drone
- 06-Dec-23: Drone Sighting
- 09-Dec-23: Threatening on Ch 16
- 10-Dec-23: Drone Attack – Missed (2)
- 11-Dec-23: Drone/Missile Attack
- 11-Dec-23: Drones Sighting
- 13-Dec-23: Attempted Boarding
- 14-Dec-23: Possible Missile Attack – Missed
- 14-Dec-23: Pirate Hijack (Indian Ocean)
- 15-Dec-23: Threatening on Ch 16
- 15-Dec-23: Possible Missile Attack
- 15-Dec-23: Explosion Onboard/Houthi Related Attack
- 18-Dec-23: Explosion Near Vessel
- 18-Dec-23: Attempted Boarding
- 18-Dec-23: Pirate Action Group Spotted (Indian Ocean)
- 18-Dec-23: Suspicious Approach
- 18-Dec-23: Missile/Drone Attack
- 19-Dec-23: Suspicious Approach
- 22-Dec-23: Hijack with Piracy Purpose (Indian Ocean)
- 22-Dec-23: Hijack with Piracy Purpose (Indian Ocean)
- 23-Dec-23: Drones Shot Down
- 23-Dec-23: Drone Attack – Missed
- 23-Dec-23: Drone Attack
- 25-Dec-23: Suspicious Approach – Mothership Spotted (Arabian Sea)
- 25-Dec-23: Threatening on Ch 16
- 25-Dec-23: Drone Attack – Missed
- 26-Dec-23: Threatening on Ch 16
- 26-Dec-23: Missile Attack – Missed
- 31-Dec-23: Shots fired from small boats.
December 2, 2023: Armed suspects attacked fishing vessels off the coast of Brass in Bayelsa State. One fisherman was wounded and another one was reported killed during the operation. The assailants stole engines and fishing gear before fleeing.
In Southeast Asia, there has been a notable surge in piracy, hijacking, and robbery incidents over the past year, including specific occurrences in December, one of which involved a tanker. Regrettably, due to security concerns, detailed information about these incidents cannot be shared. However, it is imperative for shipping companies to rigorously adhere to the “Best Management Practices” to enhance vessel security.
Furthermore, ship owners are strongly urged to initiate proactive communication before entering the region. This collaboration with relevant authorities and security forces can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the current threat landscape, allowing for better-prepared and safer maritime operations. Stay informed and maintain a vigilant approach to ensure the safety of crews and vessels in these challenging waters.
In closing, ESS Maritime reassures our commitment to maritime security. Our expert teams are ready to assist clients with information, answers to queries, and any support needed to navigate these challenging times. We remain dedicated to ensuring the safety of maritime activities in the face of evolving risks.
Partnering with ESS Maritime
Partnering with ESS Maritime means working with a team of experts who are committed to ensuring the safety and security of seafarers worldwide. Our tailor-made solutions, combined with our ISO certifications and approvals, make us the trusted partner of choice for maritime security solutions. Contact us to learn how we can help you stay safe and secure.