Incident Alert – Suspicious Approach – Gulf of Aden

INCIDENT ALERT – Suspicious Approach – Gulf of Aden
Date: 05 October 2023 – 1300 UTC
Position: Lat 11 33’ 55” N – Long 45 14’ 49” E
Location: Approximately 70 Nm South of Aden, Yemen


Incident Details:

It has been reported by the UKMTO that approximately ten small craft with eight to ten people on board approached a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden and closed to within 50 -100 meters. Some of the boats were carrying ladders. After the alarm was raised the boast followed for an additional 15 minutes before departing. The crew and vessel are safe.


Comment: This is the first suspicious approach by small craft on a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden for several months. It, therefore, serves as a timely reminder that small boat activity is ever present in the region and ships should remain vigilant when transiting the area.

Analysis: The reason behind this approach is unclear but the mention of multiple craft, some with ladders makes it most likely that this incident is linked to fishing activity. This sort of reporting is likely to increase as the Monsoon season abates. Piracy or nation-state actions cannot be ruled out entirely and vessels in the area are advised to exercise caution.