Pirate Attack Reported Off Somalia -UKMTO

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Pirates have attacked a vessel off the east coast of Somalia, UK Maritime Trade Organization said in an advisory Friday.

The attack took place Friday, August 13, at approximately 7:45 a.m. East Africa Time as the vessel was approximately 100 nautical miles northeast of Mogadishu.

The identity of the vessel involved was not disclosed, as is normal practice with UKMTO alerts. The vessel and crew are reported safe and the incident is “complete,” the alert said.

While there have been some one-off incidents of piracy off Somalia in recent years, attacks are few and far between compared to the height of Somali piracy in 2011 when pirates held dozens of merchant ships and hundreds of hostages. That same year, EU Naval Force – Somalia (EUNAVFOR) reported 176 attacks and 25 vessels pirated. By October 2016, however, those numbers have dropped zero thanks in part to the international naval forces patrolling the area and use of armed guards on merchant vessels.

Still, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre warns that Somalia pirates continue have the capacity to carry out attacks in the Somali basin and wider Indian Ocean. In January, the Centre reported a bulk carrier was chased by a skiff with armed pirates and ladders in the western Gulf of Aden, but the attackers aborted after warning shots from the ship’s security team. Zero incidents were reported in the region in 2020.

UK-based EOS Risk Group identified the vessel involved as possibly the Turkish-flagged Anatolian. “If confirmed, this will be the first #piracy incident in the [Indian Ocean] since Apr 2019,” the company said on Twitter.