Access the latest Maritime Security Threat Advisory for the week commencing 20th February 2023.

👉  Following reports of poor weather conditions within the Black Sea region and a corresponding increase in the threat of drifting sea mines, the last reporting period has seen two sea mines detonate off the Turkish coast and another offshore a beach in Georgia. Drifting sea mines continue to represent a persistent threat to commercial vessels operating throughout the Black Sea. Two significant dates are drawing near with the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 24th February and the upcoming renegotiation of the UN brokered grain deal. Both hold significance for the maritime domain, however it is not expected that any uptick in Russian military activity around the time of the anniversary will have an impact on commercial vessels beyond prohibited areas of operation.

👉 Within the Indian Ocean, Iran is understood to have conducted an attack against the Israeli owned M/T CAMPO SQUARE within the Arabian Sea, roughly 300nm SW Vadinar Terminal, India. The vessel is understood to have been hit by an aerial drone, SHAHED 136 type, which would follow previous attack methodology by Iran against such vessels. The vessel is understood to have been impacted on forecastle with ‘minor damages’ observed according to the vessel owner. Such attacks are a continuation of an established pattern of tit for tat action between Israel and Iran, with the later seeking to target Israeli owned commercial vessels. Whilst such vessels continue to operate at a heightened risk, the risk to wider commercial vessels from Iran is considerably lower.

👉 Within Yemen, Houthi rebels announced that vessels inbound Hodeidah port would no longer be subject to inspection. This claim was strongly denied by the Yemeni government reiterating that the UNVIM’s security processes would only be terminated by another UN Security Council.

👉 Within the Gulf of Guinea, rates of piracy and maritime crime are continuing to fall with overall incident rates 67% lower than the opening two-month period in 2022. Issues involving the maritime domain continue, with a recent incident believed to have been perpetuated by Biafra Nations League where militants are said to have shot dead two escorts of an oil vessel near Cameroonian waters. Such incidents are localised to the areas in question and are highly unlikely to represent a threat to wider commercial vessels operating offshore.