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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Gulf Of Aden News

Hepburn and Sons Appoints Crone as Director

CAPT Timothy Crone (Photo: Hepburn and Sons LLC)

Hepburn and Sons LLC team has welcomed CAPT Timothy Crone as its newest Director. CAPT Timothy Crone, USN (Ret) will serve as Hepburn’s Director, Advisory Services.CAPT Crone, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the US Naval Academy and completed a Master of Science in Justice, Law and Society from American University. He has also received a Master of Arts in National Security Policy and Strategic Studies from the U.S.

Oman Signs Djibouti Code of Conduct

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Oman has become the 16th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen…

Iran Navy Launches Stealth Warship in the Gulf

Iran's navy on Saturday launched a domestically made destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties, as tensions rise with arch-enemy, the United States.In a ceremony carried live on state television, the Sahand destroyer -- which can sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply -- joined Iran's regular navy at a base in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf.The Sahand has a flight deck for helicopters, torpedo launchers, anti-aircraft and anti-ship guns, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles and electronic warfare capabilities, state television reported.U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran's nuclear programme in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

Pirate Attack Thwarted West of Yemen

Photo: Stena Bulk

On November 3 the Stena Imperial reported a suspected pirate approach while on northbound passage through the Red Sea west of Yemen on her way from Far East to Rotterdam for discharge.Two suspicious skiffs were found approaching Stena Imperial from the port side at a distance of 1.5 nautical miles. The alarm was raised and the Master and the on board security team mustered on the bridge. Hand flares were fired towards the skiffs as warning shot as they were continuously approaching towards the vessel.

US Navy Seizes Thousands of AK-47s in the Gulf of Aden

A visit, board, search and seizure team from the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) inspects a skiff found to be carrying a shipment of over 1,000 illicit weapons. (U.S. Navy photo by Matt Bodenner)

More than 2,500 AK-47 automatic rifles were seized from a stateless skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden at the end of August.U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) discovered the illicit weapons shipment during counter-trafficking mission on August 28.The Navy said 2,521 guns were confiscated from the skiff, which was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding conducted in accordance with international law.

Saudi Arabia Resumes Oil Exports through Red Sea Lane

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it has resumed all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb.Saudi Arabia halted temporarily oil shipments through the lane on July 25 after attacks on two oil tankers by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement.A statement by the Energy Ministry said shipments had resumed on Saturday."The decision to resume oil shipment through the strait of Bab al-Mandeb was made after the leadership of the coalition has taken necessary measures to protect the coalition states' ships…

Israel Warns of Military Response if Iran Closes Red Sea Strait

File Image: Adobestock © Jose Gill

Israel would deploy its military if Iran were to try to block the Bab al-Mandeb strait that links the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.Last week, Saudi Arabia said it was suspending oil shipments through the strait, on the main sea route from the Middle East to Europe, after Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.Saudi Arabia and Iran are in a three-year-old proxy war in Yemen, which lies on the eastern side of Bab al-Mandeb.Yemen's Houthis…

Why is Saudi Arabia Halting Red Sea Oil Shipments?

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

Saudi Arabia announced last week it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea's Bab al-Mandeb strait after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.To date, no other exporters have followed suit. A full blockage of the strategic waterway would virtually halt shipment to Europe and the United States of about 4.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products.Western allies backing a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen expressed concern about the attacks, but have not indicated they would take action to secure the strait.

Supertanker Hauling Saudi Crude U-turns After Recent Attack

© A.F. van Rhijn / MarineTraffic.com

A supertanker carrying Saudi Arabian crude has turned around near the Bab El-Mandeb strait, days after the world's top exporter said it was suspending all oil shipments through the strait following an attack by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement on two other ships.The Khuzama, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) transporting about 2 million barrels of oil, has made a U-turn and is now sailing east - ClipperData and Reuters vessel tracking data.Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis in a three-year war, borders the strait, which connects the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea

Mauritius Signs Jeddah Amendment on Illicit Maritime Activity

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Mauritius has become the 15th signatory to the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the instrument developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that has been a key factor in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in that region.The Amendment significantly broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code when it was adopted at a high-level meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in January 2017.It covers measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities…

Mappers Look to Chart World's Ocean Floor by 2030

Photo courtesy of Nippon Foundation and GEBCO

Using data collected from underwater drones, merchant ships, fishing boats and even explorers, a new scientific project aims to map the ocean floor by 2030 and solve one of the world’s enduring mysteries.With 190 million square km (73 million square miles) of water - or about 93 percent of the world's oceans with a depth of over 200 meters (650 feet) - yet to be charted, the initiative is ambitious.Satinder Bindra, director of the Seabed 2030 project, said the work can be completed within the period and will shed light on everything from tsunami wave patterns to pollution…

Jeddah Mulls Safe and Secure Regional Waters

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Signatory States to an agreement aimed at repressing piracy, armed robbery and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area have agreed that building response capability and information sharing are vital steps towards achieving a more safe and secure maritime environment. The signatories to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area…

Japan Funds Maritime Security Courses in Djibouti

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The first in a series of regional maritime security courses, funded by the Government of Japan, has been held at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC). During a five-day workshop (22-26 April 2018), officials from 10 countries (Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and United Republic of Tanzania)  were able to learn about and share ideas on best practices for maritime domain awareness, including measures to promote coordination and sharing of information at national level as the basis for effective regional cooperation.

Italian Navy Divers Practice with Explosives

(Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A team of Italian specialist Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) divers carried out mine-countermeasures training on Friday, April 13, to prepare for potential threats that may affect international shipping and delay essential sea cargoes.As part of the training, the EOD divers from Italian Navy Frigate ITS Margottini put a floating ‘dummy’ mine into the sea and then carried out a controlled explosion.ITS Margottini is currently deployed on counter-piracy operations as part of EU NAVFOR’s Op Atalanta.

Pirate Attacks Worsen in Gulf of Guinea - IMB

Photo courtesy ICC

A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB's Piracy Reporting Center recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016. Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.

Somalia Bans DP World, Says Contract with Somaliland Null

(File photo: DP World)

Somalia has banned Dubai ports operator DP World from operating in Somalia, saying that a contract that the company signed last year with the breakaway Somaliland region to develop an economic zone is null and void. It is unclear how Somalia's federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland's semi-autonomous status. But parliament's unanimous passing of the resolution banning DP World from working in the country underscored growing rivalries in the strategic Horn of Africa region over the Dubai state-owned port operator's investments.

IMO Help for African Maritime Security

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

As part of its continuing efforts to help African countries improve their maritime security capabilities, International Maritime Organization (IMO)  frequently works with other partners to help support their initiatives. The United States, for example, leads two major annual maritime security exercises in Africa and one of these, Cutlass Express, is underway now (Feb 2018). Cutlass Express puts special emphasis on encouraging different agencies and different countries to work together…

30 Drown off Yemen After Boat Capsizes

At least 30 African refugees and migrants drowned off the coast of Yemen this week in a boat heading towards Djibouti operated by smugglers who are reported to have fired on passengers, the United Nations said on Friday.   "Survivors of the incident have reported to U.N. and partner staff that an over-crowded boat packed with at least 152 Somalis and Ethiopians departed 23 January from the Al Buraiqa coast in Aden in a boat headed across the Gulf of Aden towards Djibouti," the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement. "The boat capsized amid reports of gunfire being used against the passengers." Reporting by Tom Miles

INS Trishul Returns Home after Anti Piracy Patrol

Helo Operations onboard INS Trishul. Photo:  Indian Navy.

India's INS Trishul has returned to Mumbai after completion of her four month long mission in the Gulf of Aden Region. The ship had left Mumbai in August 2017 for carrying out Anti Piracy Patrol in one of the most geostrategically sensitive regions of the world. The extended deployment of Trishul reflects the continued commitment of the Indian Navy to ensure security and stability in the key shipping lanes in the IOR and part of the mission based deployment philosophy the Indian Navy has adopted in recent days.

Keeping the Red Sea Clean

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

In continuing its work to keep the oceans clean, International Maritime Organization (IMO) encourages member countries to ratify and enforce the London Protocol to prohibit dumping at sea. As part of such efforts, a seminar was held in Djibouti City, Djibouti (11-13 December) on implementing the London Protocol. The workshop introduced participants from Djibouti and Somalia to the benefits of protecting the marine environment of the Red Sea from pollution of dumping of wastes and other matter at sea.

Somalia Signs on to Combat Piracy

© mathesius / Adobe Stock

Somalia has become the latest to sign the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, developed and adopted by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden that seeks to repress piracy and armed robbery against ships operating in the region. Adopted in January 2017, the amendment broadened the scope of the Djibouti Code, covering measures for suppressing a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife…

DRTC Equips with Modern Simulator

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) has been equipped with a modern computer-based training simulator as part of International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s efforts to promote maritime safety and security in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. Equipment installation, funded through a contribution to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund by the Kingdom of Denmark, has been completed and the first cohort of six Djibouti officers have been trained to operate it. The simulator training room consists of 11 trainee consoles and an instructor's work station.

Focus on Piracy Prevention at Djibouti

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A high-level workshop in Djibouti has seen an exchange of ideas on preventing a resurgence of piracy in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, as well as addressing other transnational organized crimes at sea that threaten the security of navigation. The event (29 October) was hosted at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre, which is part-funded by International Maritime Organization (IMO) and supports implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct – the international treaty that has been instrumental in repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region.

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