Incident Alert – Shots Fired! – Suspected Piracy Attack – Gulf of Aden – Pirates Repelled by Armed Security Team

Date: 10 May 2024 at 0757 UTC Position: 12° 38’N 48° 24’E

Location: Approximately 90nm Northwest of Bosaso, Somalia

Incident Details

The UKMTO and MSCHOA have reported a suspected piracy incident in the Gulf of Aden. MSCHOA Alert 049/2024 states that a merchant vessel reported being under attack in a position 90nm NW of Bosaso, Somalia. A skiff manned with 5-6 persons carrying weapons and a ladder, approached the ship from the starboard side in an attempt to board. The ship altered course away from the skiff and sounded its horn but the skiff continued its approach. The ship’s Armed Security Team (AST) showed their weapons and the skiff started firing at the vessel. In reply, the armed guards shot 4 rounds that started a fire on the skiff. The skiff aborted its approach. All crew are safe and the merchant vessel is proceeding to her destination.

Suspected Piracy Attack – Gulf of AdenPirates Repelled by Armed Security Team
Suspected Piracy Attack – Gulf of Aden
Pirates Repelled by Armed Security Team


This attack comes 2 days after the sighting of a suspected pirate mothership 300nm East of the Island of Socotra, and is the latest in a series of pirate-related incidents this year. This incident adds credibility to the reports by regional authorities that a Pirate Action Group (PAG) is active in the western Gulf of Aden and that up to 3 other PAG may also be active in the Somali Basin and Indian Ocean.


Given the position this incident took place, it is highly likely this attack was carried out by a PAG. If the details in this report are confirmed, this is the first pirate attack this year that states that the pirates engaged the target vessel with firearms. The positive action taken by the AST appears to have prevented the incident escalating into a hijack situation and proves the importance of complying with BMP 5 counter-piracy measures and the value to commercial vessels in having an AST embarked.