Incident Alert – Vessel Boarded in The Arabian Sea

Incident Alert – Vessel Boarded in The Arabian Sea
Date: 14 December 2023 1200 UTC
Position: Lat 11°58’ N Long 61°19’ E (Approx)
Location: Approximately 700Nm East of Bossaso, Somalia


Incident Details

The UKMTO released Warning 008/DEC/2023 and subsequent Updates after receiving reports of a distress call heard over VHF from a vessel being boarded by unknown persons, approximately 700nm east of Bossaso, Somalia. The latest UKMTO update says they received a report from the hijacked vessel’s Company Security Officer who believes the crew no longer has control of the vessel. The vessel is currently heading towards Somalia, approximately 680nm east of Bossaso. At present the crew is reported as safe.



A Bulgarian shipping company issued a statement yesterday, stating one of their vessels was involved in the incident. We believe the vessel is the Maltese-flagged, Bulgarian-owned, Bulk Carrier RUEN which has 18 persons onboard.


MSCHOA has released an update that states an EUNAVFOR surface asset has been dispatched to investigate the incident. Reports indicate an Iranian fishing vessel that was operating nearby had turned off its AIS shortly before the incident was reported. This would tie in with the reports in November of an Iranian FV being taken off Puntland, Somalia with according to local sources, the intent of being used as a Pirate mothership. There is intense speculation about who may have carried out this vessel boarding, but the event does carry all the hallmarks of an act of (Somali) piracy and cannot be ruled out at this point.