Pirate activity is on the rise again in regional waters after two incidents of small skiffs which are traditional pirate attack craft chasing merchant vessels, have been reported off the coast of Oman.
The most recent incident occurred on August 4, 110 nautical miles southeast of Muscat, as three suspected pirate skiffs approached a Liberian-flagged merchant tanker at high speed, forcing the embarked security team to fire warning flares to drive them away, according to a regional maritime security source.
The second incident, occurring on July 27, was reported by the UK Maritime and Trade Office in Dubai and involved a chemical tanker which spotted a skiff shadowing its movements seven nautical miles off the Oman coast. Alarms were raised, and multinational counter piracy warships alerted, before the skiff abandoned the chase.
The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre states that there have been nine incidents in regional waters involving Somali pirates. Attacks and hijackings have reduced over the past year, as merchant vessels and international security forces find methods to deter the pirates.