Kenya takes over as head of CGPCS

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA's ESPS Canarias towed the vessel belonging to Somali Navy personnel back to the Somali shore.

CGPCS: ceremony handing over the presidency between Mauritius and Kenya, this Thursday, February 27

The handover ceremony for the presidency of the Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia (GCPCS) will be held at the Sofitel Hotel, Flic en Flac, this Thursday, February 27 at 9:30 a.m. Organized on the initiative of the Republic of Mauritius, in conjunction with the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), this ceremony will mark the end of two years of presidency by Mauritius in this international platform focused on the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

At the end of this event, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius, Nanda Bodha, will pass the torch to Kenya which will be represented by its Minister of Defence, Monica Juma.

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Source: inside.news

Aurora tanker crew safe after approach by skiffs in Gulf of Aden

Tradewinds on Feb. 25th carried the above headline, following two suspicious approaches in the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 20th and 22nd.

On Feb. 20th, a merchant vessel reported a suspicious approach by three skiffs at 1824 UTC in the vicinity of the IRTC, SE of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The skiffs approached to within 1nm. No piracy equipment was reportedly sighted in this incident.

On Feb. 22nd, UKMTO state that another merchant vessel reported a suspicious approach by 11 skiffs with 4-5 persons on board, near Djibouti at the western end of the Gulf of Aden. Ladders were reportedly sighted in the skiffs and the vessel’s armed security team fired warning shots to deter any further approach. Both vessels are now described as safe.

While not confirmed as piracy incidents, the reports come in the wake of suggestions by some analysts that armed security teams are become less necessary in the Indian Ocean. However, ongoing instability in the Red Sea and off Yemen in the Gulf of Aden continue to present a significant risk to merchant shipping, with the Saudi Arabian coalition reporting the interception of a suspected Houthi SVBIED (boat bomb) in the Red Sea over the weekend of Feb. 22-23.

As is often stated, pirates or other threat actors only need to be successful once. The maritime industry needs to remain vigilant and avoid complacency in order to ensure smooth passage in the region. Adherence to BMP 5 should be maintained and Masters entering the region must contact UKMTO to inform them.

Weekly report details growing number of shipping companies targeted by malware attacks

Sam Chambers

Cyber consultants Red Sky Alliance with maritime security specialists Dryad Global have started publishing a weekly list of names of ships appearing in malicious emails with hackers increasingly targeting this niche with malware or phishing links.

The weekly reports come at a time where maritime organisations are coming under increasingly sophisticated attacks with the charity, International Seafarers’ Welfare & Assistance Network, becoming the latest organisation to suffer at the hands of hackers, reporting today emails are being sent out with subject lines asking for your opinion on seafarers’ welfare and a malware link contained in the email.

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Source: splash247.com

PIRATE ATTACKS: World shipping groups threaten to report Nigeria to UN

By Godwin Oritse

TWO International shipping groups, Baltic and International Maritime Council, BIMCO, and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, Inter-Tanko, have threatened to report Nigeria to the United Nations, UN, and the United States of America, USA, if cogent actions are not taken to stem the recent spike in pirate attacks against their vessels and personnel.

The follow-up measure from the groups, Vanguard Maritime Report gathered, would be a deployment of international war ships to Nigerian territorial waters to secure their vessels and personnel if the situation remains the same three months afterwards.

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Source: vanguardngr.com

Captain murdered on oil tanker off Venezuela: port authority

CARACAS (Reuters) – Armed assailants murdered the captain of an oil tanker after boarding his ship while it was anchored off the coast of eastern Venezuela, according to a local union leader and a report from a Venezuelan port authority.

Six armed individuals boarded the San Ramon tanker early Monday morning in Pozuelos Bay and shot the captain, Colombian national Jaime Herrera Orozco, a report from the Puerto La Cruz port authority seen by Reuters said.

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Source: reuters.com

How Navy Arrested 33 Suspected Oil Thieves, Three Vessels in Delta

By Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Vigilant operatives of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS Delta), Warri, within three weeks, have arrested 33 suspected oil thieves in different operations around Escravos offshore in Warri South-west Local Government area of Delta Sate.

The operations, which was carried out between January 15 and February 12 this year, also led to the arrest of three sea going vessels namely MT Nely, MT Madam Esther and MT De-Praise as well as a wooden boat and a barge.

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Source: thisdaylive.com

SA Navy Op Copper deployments valuable for commerce and security

Mozambique Channel

Defence analyst Helmoed Heitman is a firm believer in the dictum “you cannot control what you can’t patrol” and to this end maintains SA Navy deployments to the Mozambique Channel should continue.

His observation comes at a time when the maritime service of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is preparing a platform for a stint in the waterway which carries much of South Africa’s seaborne goods and services.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za