Incident Alert – Vessel Hijacked by Pirates off the Somali Coast

Date: 23 May 2024 at 1045 UTC Position: 01° 16’S 05° 107’E

Location: Approximately 420nm southeast of Merca, Somalia

Incident Details

UKMTO have reported a piracy hijack incident in the Somali Basin.  UKMTO incident 074 states that a merchant vessel was hijacked 420nm southeast of Merca, Somalia. Two small craft containing an unknown number of pirates boarded the vessel. The pirates have since departed the vessel, with the Company Security Officer has reporting that the crew are safe.

Vessel Hijacked by Pirates off the Somali Coast
Vessel Hijacked by Pirates off the Somali Coast


The frequency and scale of piracy attacks has risen over the past year. There have been over 20 confirmed piracy related hijackings in this region since November 2023 with an estimated 4 active Pirate Action groups (PAG) currently reported as active in this region. The recent MV ABDULLAH hijacking demonstrated the profitable nature of piracy with a $5million USD ransom paid out to the hijackers.


It is likely that piracy related incidents will continue to rise in frequency and scale as their operations become more profitable. This vessel did not have an Armed Security Team (AST) embarked with them at the time of the boarding. Recent attempted hijackings have been successfully repelled by AST, also demonstrating the importance of complying with BMP 5 counter-piracy measures and the value that an embarked AST can provide. The PAGs expanding their operations up to 1000nm off the Somali coast, and willingly engaging vessels via small arms, also increases the threat level of ships passing this region.