Incident Alert – Pirate Related Suspicious Approach ‎ Reported by a Merchant Vessel near Socotra

Incident Alert  – Pirate Related Suspicious Approach Reported by a Merchant Vessel near Socotra

Date: 21 April 2024 at 1035 UTC Position: 11° 36’N 054° 35’E

Location: Somali Basin – Approximately 50nm southeast of Socotra

Incident Details

On 21 April 2024, MSCHOA released Alert number 047 stating that a merchant vessel was suspiciously approached by three skiffs 50nm southeast of Socotra. The pursuit began 5nm away from the vessel, and after changing course to stay clear of the skiffs, they stopped their pursuit. The crew and vessel are reported to be safe.

                                                                             Fig 1. Location of Incident – 50nm Southeast of Socotra, Yemen


Since the beginning of 2024, there have been 26 maritime security incidents reported that are connected to the resurgence of piracy in the Somali Basin and wider Indian Ocean. These reports range from hijacking of fishing vessels and suspicious approaches relating to piracy of commercial ships. Notably, the MV ABDULLAH was hijacked in March and released in April for a reported ransom amount of $5million USD.


Regional authorities have indicated they believe there are up to 4 PAGs operating in these waters. With this increase in piracy activity, there has been an uptick in suspicious approaches that resemble this incident. Based on the vessels the suspected pirates were operating, and the manner in which the MV was approached, it is highly likely that the skiffs were operating within a PAG with the intent of boarding the vessel. Neptune recommends ship operators implement BMP 5 counter-piracy measures and consider using an Armed Security Team while transiting the region.