BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO have published interim guidance on maritime security in the southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb off Yemen. The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) have advised that a range of threats other than piracy, such as sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs), were potential dangers.
BIMCO Secretary General and CEO Angus Frew, said that “we have been advised that these threats are real, and therefore decided to provide guidance for ships operating in the area. We have seen two incidents in January, and we want to make sure owners and operators are aware and advise their crews accordingly".
He said that it was important that company security officers and ship Masters were informed of these new threats, as the threat patterns and mitigating measures differed from the more familiar regional threat of piracy.
The guidance stressed the importance of using the Maritime Security Transit Corridor, registration with MSCHOA and reporting to UKMTO, as well as reviewing and updating risk assessments and plans to include these new threats. The guidance also includes advice specific to identified threat types, including WBIEDs and complements the guidance provided in BMP 4.
ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe said that the guidance "supports the activity of military forces in the region, and adds a further layer to the awareness and preparedness of ships in the region”, adding that "the ability of the industry to successfully risk assess dynamic situations in cooperation with State resources and naval operations ensures the continued safety and security of maritime trade”.
The Interim Guidance on Maritime Security in the Southern Red Sea and Bab al-Mandeb is available on the BIMCO, ICS and INTERTANKO websites