Security Advisors Report Fifth Dhow Hijacking off Somalia

Another vessel has been hijacked in Somalia, raising more concerns that Somali pirates are active again, nearly a decade after they caused chaos for international shipping.

Pirate activities have reemerged along the coast of Somalia, marking a resurgence after several years of diminishing incidents.

A fishing vessel was hijacked by pirates in the morning of 2nd January 2024 in the position near Quandala in Somalia.

Vessels are advised to keep clear of this area and to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.

According to UK-established corporate security management business EOS Risk Group, this is the fifth dhow hijacked off Somalia since 22 of November.

“Maintain strict anti-piracy watch and measures and report all attacks and suspicious sightings to local authorities and to the IMB PRC,” advices EOS Risk Group which has been closely monitoring these hijackings.

Attacks on vessels by Somali pirates had declined drastically the last years largely due to patrols by U.S. and other allied naval forces.

The United Nations latest report on the situation in the country illustrates that joint counter-piracy efforts have resulted in a steady decline in attacks and hijackings since 2011.

However, although piracy off the coast of Somalia has been “repressed”, the ongoing threat of resurgence remains.

Adding to the evidence of renewed piracy, a recent incident occurred when an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel named Almeraj 1 was hijacked by a Somali clan militia offshore Eyl, Somalia.

Reports indicate that the militia demanded a ransom fee of US $400,000 with the threat of further such acts if the demand went unpaid.

In a separate incident in December, the Maltese-flagged merchant vessel Ruen, which left the port of Gwangyang (South Korea) with a cargo of metals, was hijacked on the morning of the 14th, as confirmed by its captain, and by the alert that was sent to the Operation Atalanta’s Joint Operation Centre.

In accordance with the latest report of EU Naval Force Operation Atalanta, during the early hours of the 15th, an Indian maritime patrol plane spotted the merchant ship, establishing radio communications with the crew.

According to the information received, the 18 crewmembers were fine, locked up in the citadel. Hours later, the pirates managed to break into the citadel and extracted the crew.

In the early morning of the 18th, a member of the crew of the vessel Ruen has been evacuated to the INS KOCHI, for medical care.