Armed Security Scares Off 2 Skiff Approaches
The U.S. Navy Maritime Liaison Office in Bahrain (MARLO) has advised that on or about 7 a.m. UTC on April 17, the Master of a motor vessel reported being approached within 150 meters on the port beam by five Yemeni type skiffs at 20.5 knots, position 12.24.00 N - 043.42.00 E, in the Bab El Mandeb (BAM).
Procedures IAW BMP4 were conducted and one flare was fired as the skiffs moved toward the vessel, GAC said it its daily report. The alarm was sounded and fire hoses activated. The armed security team (AST) sighted a ladder on one of the skiffs but it moved away when the AST showed their weapons. A second flare was fired which resulted in the approach being aborted.
On or about 8:50 a.m. UTC on the same day at position 12.13.4 N - 044.02.9 E, the same motor vessel was approached again, but this time by one white Yemeni fishing skiff approximately 150 meters on the port beam, GAC reported. The skiff was doing 22 knots with five personnel on board carrying weapons and wearing army dress. Two flares were fired and vessel maintained course. An additional flare was fired and the AST showed their weapons, the skiff then abandoned the approach.
GAC said it recommend vessels within the vicinity of this alert operate with a heightened level of security and report any suspicious activity to MSCHOA, UKMTO or MARLO.