The NATO Shipping Centre in its latest Weekly Update¬†has stressed that weather conditions with¬† the current Northeast Dry Monsoon are not as strong as the SW Monsoon, and despite some heightened waves and winds pirates will still be able to operate.
The NE dry monsoon is now established and will have an influence on the region until the end of February. Some increased winds and seas are expected, and single skiffs and whalers might find it more difficult to operate under these conditions. However, it is being stressed that¬†pirate action groups (PAGs) using ‚Äúmothership‚Äù dhows are likely to sustain their operations throughout the Northeast Dry Monsoon season.
All mariners are advised that although the weather conditions might seem unfavourable to small boat activity, the presence of pirate attack groups at sea in the HRA cannot be ruled out. Successful disruptions by Naval Forces, in conjunction with Masters‚Äô adherence to and implementation of BMP4, have significantly reduced the pirates‚Äô ability to capture vessels. However, pirates retain the capability of conducting acts of piracy against vessels of opportunity.
Pirate Attack Groups have made ‚Äúsoft approaches‚Äù on merchant ships transiting the HRA. Skiffs have been known to approach vessels in order to probe the reaction of the crew and any possible Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) onboard. If the pirate approach does not elicit a response, the pirates may then proceed with an attack, using additional skiffs. However, the use of BMP4 and the reaction of PCASP have recently been effective in warning off any small boats which might otherwise have had close contact with the transiting vessel.