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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Maritime Security News

21 Apr 2024

Ukraine Says it Damaged Russian Rescue Ship in Crimea

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Ukraine's military said on Sunday it had struck and damaged a long-serving Russian rescue vessel in Sevastopol, the headquarters in occupied Crimea of Moscow's Black Sea Fleet.Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk said the vessel, the Kommuna, had been hit in Sevastopol Bay on Sunday morning and it was "clear that the ship is no longer in a state to carry out assignments."A post on the Ukrainian Armed Forces Telegram channel said the ship was one of the oldest operated by the Russian…

19 Apr 2024

Shipping Industry Urges UN to Protect Vessels After Iran Seizure

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Merchant ships and seafarers are increasingly in peril at sea as attacks escalate in the Middle East and the United Nations must do more to protect supply chains, the industry said in a letter released on Friday.Tensions have soared across the Middle East since the start of Israel's campaign in Gaza in October, with Israel or its ally the United States clashing repeatedly with Iranian-aligned groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.In a letter sent on Thursday to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres…

18 Apr 2024

Houthis Conduct 'Operations' in Indian Ocean, Leader Says

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The leader of Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis, who have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea, said on Thursday the group had carried out "operations" in the Indian Ocean and towards southern Israel.Abdul Malik al-Houthi's comments made clear that the Houthis have acted on earlier threats to expand operations to the Indian Ocean region and attacks towards southern Israel.The Houthis have repeatedly launched attacks towards the southern Israeli port of Eilat in what they have described…

17 Apr 2024

Crew of Ship Seized by Iran Are Safe, Operator MSC Says

File photo: MSC Aries shown docked in the Port of Los Angeles in December 2021 (© angeldibilio / Adobe Stock)

The 25 crew members of the MSC Aries, which was seized by Iran on April 13, are safe, shipping firm MSC said on Wednesday, adding that discussions with Iranian authorities are in progress to secure their earliest release."We are also working with the Iranian authorities to have the cargo discharged," the Swiss headquartered company said in a statement.Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the container vessel in the Strait of Hormuz days after Tehran vowed to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1.

16 Apr 2024

Portugal Urges Iran to Release Containership MSC Aries

Screenshot from video filmed by a seafarer on board the MSC Aries as Iranian forces seized the vessel. (Courtesy ITF)

Portugal's foreign ministry summoned Iran's ambassador on Tuesday to condemn Saturday's attack on Israel by Tehran and to demand the immediate release of a Portuguese-flagged container ship, the MSC Aries, that was seized by Iran on April 13.The ministry said in a statement after the meeting that it "will await the results of this formal measure and evaluate any additional steps, depending on those".It said Portugal had demanded the release of the crew "as explanations provided so far have not been considered consistent"…

16 Apr 2024

Broker Howden Launches Red Sea Cargo War Insurance as Ship Risks Surge

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Howden has started offering war risk cargo insurance to cover vessels sailing through the Red Sea against drone and missile attacks as geopolitical tensions escalate in the region, the UK-based insurance broker told Reuters on Tuesday.The cost of insuring a seven-day Red Sea voyage has risen by hundreds of thousands of dollars since Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis began attacking shipping in the area in November in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.Howden said the new…

15 Apr 2024

Iran Says MSC Aries Vessel Seized for 'Violating Maritime Laws'

Screenshot from video filmed by a seafarer on board the MSC Aries as Iranian forces seized the vessel. (Courtesy ITF)

A Portuguese-flagged container ship, the MSC Aries, was seized by Iran on April 13 for "violating maritime laws", Iran's foreign ministry said on Monday, adding that there was no doubt the vessel was linked to Israel.Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the cargo vessel in the Strait of Hormuz days after Tehran vowed to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1. Iran had said it could close the crucial shipping route."The vessel was diverted…

14 Apr 2024

Vessel Seized by Iran is Managed by MSC

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MSC is the manager and commercial operator of a vessel seized on Saturday by Iranian authorities, international shipping company Zodiac Maritime said in a statement."MSC is responsible for all vessel activities including cargo operations and maintenance. Title to the vessel is held by Gortal Shipping Inc as financier, and she has been leased to MSC on a long-term basis. Gortal Shipping Inc is affiliated with Zodiac Maritime," said the company, partly owned by Israeli businessman…

14 Apr 2024

Somali Pirates Release Ship after Ransom Paid

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Somali pirates released a hijacked ship, MV Abdullah, and its crew of 23 early on Sunday after a $5 million ransom was paid, according to two pirates."The money was brought to us two nights ago as usual... we checked whether the money was fake or not. Then we divided the money into groups and left, avoiding the government forces," Abdirashiid Yusuf, one of the pirates, told Reuters.He added the ship had been released with all its crew.Somalia government officials did not respond to a request for comment.The MV Abdullah…

11 Apr 2024

Subrosa Group Launches Maritime Security Division

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Subrosa Group (SRG) announced it is rolling out a new Maritime Security (MarSec) division, SRG Maritime Security, to deliver security services globally to the commercial shipping and offshore industries, private vessels and superyachts.SRG's CEO, Niall Burns, said, "The establishment of our Maritime Security division is a direct response to the critical need for elite armed protection for large vessels navigating increasingly perilous waters worldwide. Incidents of maritime attacks are alarmingly on the rise…

10 Apr 2024

US Forces Engage Houthi UAVs

U.S.Forces, Allies conduct joint strikes in Yemen (Source: CENTCOM)

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement that its forces had successfully engaged three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen over the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.There were no injuries or damage reported by U.S., coalition, or commercial ships, the statement added.U.S. forces also destroyed eight UAVs in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen later on April 10, the statement said.(Reuters - Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Enas Alashray; Editing by Kim Coghill)

10 Apr 2024

Houthis Target Four Vessels in Gulf of Aden

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Yemen's Houthis said on Wednesday they targeted four vessels, including what they described as a U.S. warship, with drones and naval missiles in the Gulf of Aden, part of their stated campaign of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.The Iran-aligned group attacked "MSC Darwin ship, MSC GINA, MV Yorktown" along with the U.S. destroyer, the group's military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a televised speech.The U.S. military said on Tuesday that it had destroyed an inbound anti-ship…

10 Apr 2024

US Coast Guard Says Boardings of Chinese Fishing Vessels in South Pacific Legal

(File photo: Sara Muir / U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard has rejected comments by a Chinese diplomat that its recent boardings of Chinese fishing boats in the Pacific Islands alongside local police are illegal, saying the joint patrols are at the behest of Pacific nations to protect coastal fisheries.Reuters reported last month that six Chinese fishing boats were found to be violating Vanuatu's fisheries law after being inspected by local police who were on board the first U.S. Coast Guard boat to patrol the waters of the Pacific Islands nation.China's Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong…

08 Apr 2024

The Maritime Industry Has Unique Cybersecurity Challenges

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With supply chain attacks on the rise, and nation-state attackers constantly looking for new ways to disrupt national security and economic stability, one of the most vulnerable areas is the security around our maritime operations. The Biden-Harris Administration's recent Executive Order to fortify the cybersecurity of U.S. ports underscores this concern, spotlighting the urgency of addressing vulnerabilities in a sector that drives over $5.4 trillion in economic activity annually.

07 Apr 2024

Royal Navy Ship to Help Boost Aid for Gaza

Source: UK MOD

A British Royal Navy ship will supply aid to Gaza as part of an international effort to help set up a new humanitarian maritime corridor in early May, the foreign office and ministry of defence said on Saturday.The multinational effort, involving the United States, Cyprus and other partners, will develop a new temporary pier off the coast of Gaza, British foreign minister David Cameron said."The situation in Gaza is dire and the prospect of famine is real. We remain committed to getting aid to those who so desperately need it…

07 Apr 2024

Houthis Say They Targeted Western Ships


Houthi forces in Yemen said on Sunday they had launched rockets and drones at British, U.S. and Israeli ships, the latest in a campaign of attacks on shipping in support of Palestinians in the Gaza war.The Iran-aligned group said it had targeted a British ship and a number of U.S. frigates in the Red Sea, while in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean it had attacked two Israeli vessels heading to Israeli ports.The operations took place during the last 72 hours, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised statement…

04 Apr 2024

Faulty Missile Launcher Closes Busy Danish Sea Lane

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An activated but faulty missile launcher on a Danish navy vessel triggered a closure of airspace and shipping traffic in the Great Belt strait on Thursday, the Danish armed forces said.Denmark's National Maritime Authority had earlier warned ships not to sail through the Great Belt strait, one of the world's busiest sea lanes and the main maritime access to the Baltic Sea, due to the risk of "falling missile fragments"."The problem occurred during a mandatory test where the missile launcher is activated and cannot be deactivated…

01 Apr 2024

UKMTO Reports Suspicious Encounter off Yemen

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The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said on Monday it received a report of an incident 150 nautical miles northwest of Yemen's Hodeidah."The Master of the vessel reported that they were hailed by an entity claiming to be Yemini Navy who requested the vessel turn on its automatic identification system," an advisory note said."Shortly after the hailing, a crew member of the vessel reported that they heard suspected gun shots," the advisory note added.Months of Red Sea attacks by Yemen's Houthi militants have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer a

30 Mar 2024

Indian Navy Rescues Iranian Fishing Vessel Hijacked by Pirates

(Photo: Indian Navy)

The Indian Navy said it had freed a hijacked Iranian fishing vessel from nine armed pirates in the Arabian Sea on Friday, rescuing its crew unharmed.The fishing vessel, Al-Kambar 786, was southwest of the Yemeni island of Socotra on March 28 when it was reported to have been boarded by pirates, according to a statement from the navy late on Friday.The ship was intercepted by the INS Sumedha and INS Trishul, leading to "over 12 hours of intense coercive tactical measures" forcing the pirates to surrender…

29 Mar 2024

US Military Destroys Four Houthi Drones

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The U.S. military said on Thursday that it had destroyed four unmanned drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen.The U.S. Central Command said on the social media site X that the drones "presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships in the region."The drones were aimed at a coalition vessel and a U.S. warship and "were engaged in self defense over the Red Sea," the statement from the U.S. Central Command said, adding there were no injuries or damage reported to the U.S. or coalition ships.(Reuters - Reporting by Jasper Ward and Dan Whitcomb)

28 Mar 2024

Russian Warships Enter Red Sea

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Several Russian warships have passed the Bab al-Mandab Strait into the Red Sea, the Russian navy's Pacific Fleet said on Thursday, amid attacks by Yemen's Houthis on merchant shipping.The Zvezda TV channel, owned by the defense ministry, quoted the fleet as saying the Russian cruiser Varyag and the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov were taking part in the voyage.(Reuters - Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Mark Heinrich

26 Mar 2024

Houthis Say Six Ships Attacked in Past 72 Hours

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Yemen's Houthis said on Tuesday that they had mounted six attacks on ships with drones and missiles in the last 72 hours in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.The Houthis attacked the Maersk Saratoga, APL Detroit, Huang Pu and Pretty Lady after identifying them as either U.S.

25 Mar 2024

India Brings 35 Somali Pirates to Mumbai

Indian naval forces seized the Maltese-flagged bulk carrier Ruen that had been hijacked by Somali pirates, rescuing 17 crew members. All 35 pirates aboard the ship surrendered. (Photo: Indian Navy)

The Indian navy handed over 35 Somali pirates to the police in Mumbai on Saturday, after 100 days of anti-piracy operations east of the Red Sea, where piracy has resurfaced for the first time in nearly a decade.India, the largest national force in the Gulf of Aden and northern Arabian Sea region, captured the pirates from the cargo ship Ruen last week, three months after it was hijacked off the Somali coast.Taking advantage of Western forces' focus on protecting shipping from attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi militants…