October 13, 2016
The UK Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) has reported a rocket attack on a UAE military ship in the Bab El Mandeb strait that occurred on the morning of 1 October. Although investigations are ongoing, their preliminary assessment based on eye witness reports is that this appears to be a specific and targeted rocket attack from ashore on a UAE flagged (military) ship and linked with the Yemen conflict. Members are reminded of the BIMCO security advisories of March / April and June 2015 and are advised that there is no change in the level of instability in Yemen.
Members should remain cautious whilst transiting the Bab el Mandeb and consider the continued application of BMP 4 ship protection measures until well to the North of the straits, for example the use of bridge personal protection gear and bridge protection passive defence measures (sandbags and reinforced glass rocket fences if available etc) and also reporting to UKMTO and maritime security centre (MSCHOA). Further details of BMP 4 and other useful information and links are available on the Piracy Focus page of the Britannia website.