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News: CMF/EUNAVFOR Industry Releasable Threat Bulletin 18

13 March 2020

Members with ships passing through or operating in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden (GOA) are advised to refer to the attached Industry Releasable Threat Bulletin (IRTB) produced by Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR).
The purpose of the IRTB is to bring a specific incident or threat to the attention of the shipping industry in advance of the publication of their next quarterly Industry Releasable Threat Assessment (IRTA).
On 3 March 2020, a vessel was approached at speed by three skiffs. Initially, warning shots were fired by the Private Armed Security Team employed on that vessel but the behaviour of the skiffs did not change. The security team then fired upon the nearest of the two apparently unmanned skiffs on the port side, but the skiff eventually collided with the hull of vessel on the port side below the boat deck. The second unmanned skiff closed the vessel to 10-15m but did not impact the hull. The skiff on the vessel’s starboard side appeared to have 2 persons on board and closed to a distance of 1.5nm.
The IRTB mentions that it is likely that the incident was an attack by a regional terrorist organisation or by a party engaged in the Yemen conflict, and highlights the continued threat of conflict spilling over into the maritime domain.
Members are strongly recommended to follow the guidance in the BMP5, the Global Counter Piracy Guidance, and to monitor the latest reports through UKMTO and MSCHOA websites.