Interestingly, UKMTO have no incidents to report from the last week. This is slightly odd, as MARLO issued an alert on May 14th and more often than not the agencies inform one another of incidents.
Perhaps this one slipped through the net.
(Image courtesy of OCEANUSLive.org)
A MV reported two suspicious skiffs which made an approach at or around 0420 UTC. The MV was travelling NW bound and was approached in position 12:44.8N-043:21.6E in the Bab el Mandeb Strait.
The ‘approach’ was within 2nm (hardly an approach, then) and the MV couldn’t determine whether the skiffs’ occupants were armed. One skiff approached from port quarter between Eritrea and Djibouti and the other passed close, West to East. The MV initiated BMP 4 measures and the embarked armed security team showed the skiffs their weapons, at which point the skiffs moved away.
The MV reported sighting a larger vessel within 6nm of its std bow which the Master ‘presumed’ to be a mother ship in position 12:53.8N-043:18.4E, although this is unconfirmed.
Seems a bit of a stretch to me. Two skiffs at a distance of 2nm and a mother ship at 6nm in one of the busiest shipping channels in the Middle East?