Aris 13 released
The first commercial ship to be hijacked off Somalia since 2012 occurred on 13 March. The Aris 13, IMO No 9012501, 1,188 GT, was hijacked off the north east coast of Somalia.
We are happy to report that the Aris 13 has already been released.
INTERTANKO understands that village elders working with local police were able to force the release of the Aris 13 from her captors. The vessel has now sailed from Somalia and all crew are safe and unharmed.
The Aris 13 was taken while transiting from Djibouti to Mogadishu at around 6knots, less than 15Nm from the coast of Somalia. While it is understandable that the ship would plot a route through the Strait between Socatra and the mainland for this passage; passing at this distance from the coast and travelling at low speed, places any vessel at great risk. Further, it is understood that the vessel was not reporting to the relevant authorities nor was it transmitting an AIS signal prior to the attack.
INTERTANKO has warned vessels not to use this passage when travelling between Asia and the Red Sea. Therefore, any vessel using this passage should do so with extreme caution.
All vessels in the area are reminded that the risk of piracy has not disappeared and that all vessels should comply with BMP4. It is recommended that Members should refresh their memories of the content of the BMP4 which can be downloaded here.
In particular it should be noted that page five of BMP4 contains the three fundamental steps for compliance:
1, Register with MSCHOA
Ensure that a ‘Vessel Movement Registration Form’ has been submitted to MSCHOA prior to entering the High Risk Area (an area bounded by Suez and the Strait of Hormuz to the North, 10°S and 78°E). This may be done directly – online by the Ship’s Operator, by fax, or by email. (See Annex E for details of the MSCHOA Vessel Movement Registration Form). All vessel movements should be registered with MSCHOA even if the vessel is transiting as part of a National Convoy, there is a security team onboard or if not transiting the Gulf of Aden.
2, Report to UKMTO
On entering the UKMTO Voluntary Reporting Area – an area bounded by Suez to the North, 10°S and 78°E – ensure that a UKMTO ‘Vessel Position Reporting Form - Initial Report’ is sent (see Annex B). Vessels are strongly encouraged to report daily to the UKMTO by email at 08:00 hours GMT whilst operating within the High Risk Area. The UKMTO ‘Vessel Position Reporting Form – Daily Position Report’ (as set out in Annex B) should be used UKMTO acts as the primary point of contact for merchant vessels and liaison with military forces in the region and it is the primary point of contact during an attack. For this reason they should be aware that the vessel is transiting the High Risk Area.
3, Implement self-protection
The Ship Protection Measures described in BMP are the most basic that are likely to be effective. Owners may wish to consider making alterations to the vessel beyond the scope of this booklet, and/ or provide additional equipment and/or manpower as a means of further reducing the risk of piracy attack. If pirates are unable to board a ship they cannot hijack it.