Onderwerp: Bezoek-historie

1332 Piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia
Geldigheid:16-06-2009 t/m Status: Geldig vandaag

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Piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia

  1. Following adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1851 (2008), the Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was established and held its inaugural  meeting on 14 January 2009 to facilitate discussion and coordination of actions among States and organizations to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia. The participants in the CGPCS, inter alia, agreed to establish four working groups, one of which (Working Group 3) was to address the strengthening of shipping self-awareness and other capabilities.
  2. In order to progress the work of Working Group 3, 11 industry organizations developed the Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia (Best management practices), attached in annex 1.
  3. The Maritime Safety Committee (the Committee), at its eighty-sixth session (27 May to 5 June 2009), considering the distinctive nature of the incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia, and deciding that guidance specific to the area was warranted, endorsed the work of Working Group 3 and agreed to promulgate the Best  management practices to all interested parties.
  4. The Committee, noting that vessels engaged in fishing in piracy affected areas off the coast of Somalia were particularly vulnerable to attack, also endorsed the additional guidance to vessels engaged in fishing attached in annex 2. This guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with the Best management practices attached in annex 1.
  5. Nothing in the Best management practices or in the additional guidance for vessels engaged in fishing should be read as contradicting the Organization’s universal guidance on piracy and armed robbery against ships contained in:

  1. MSC.1/Circ.1333 on Recommendations to Governments for preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery against ships;
  2. MSC.1/Circ.1334 on Guidance to shipowners and ship operators, shipmasters and crews on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships; and
  3. resolution A.922(22) on Code of practice for investigation of crimes of piracy and armed robbery against ships,

    or subsequent amendments thereto.

  • In considering the guidance in the Best management practices on the use of non-lethal measures to deter boarding by pirates or armed robbers, the Committee stressed that seafarers should not be put at increased risk. With respect to the use of fire-fighting systems, the Committee also recognized that the types and capabilities of onboard fire-fighting systems vary on vessels. Such safety implications should be considered in the vessel’s preparations for the transit.

  • Nothing in the attached Best management practices should be read as limiting the Master’s authority to take action deemed necessary by the Master to protect the lives of passengers and crew.

  • Administrations are invited to bring the attached Best management practices to the attention of shipowners, ship operators and managers, companies, shipmasters, ship security officers and all other relevant parties.

  • Member Governments are invited to bring the attached Best management practices and the additional guidance to vessels engaged in fishing to the attention of fishing vessel owners, operators and managers, regional fishery management organizations, fishermen and all other relevant parties.

  • Member Governments, Administrations, international organizations and non-governmental organizations with consultative status are also invited to bring to the attention of the Committee, at the earliest opportunity, the results of the experience gained from the use of the Best management practices and the additional guidance to vessels engaged in fishing, for consideration of action to be taken.

Annex 1 Best management practices to deter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia

Best management practices to deter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia

(February 2009)

In an effort to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Coast of Somalia, these Best management practices are supported by the following international industry representatives:

  1. International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO)
  2. International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)
  3. Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)
  4. Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)
  5. Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO)
  6. International Association of Dry Cargo Ship Owners (INTERCARGO)
  7. International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (IGP&I)
  8. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)
  9. International Union of Marine Insurers (IUMI)
  10. Joint War Committee (JWC)
  11. International Maritime Bureau (IMB)

Recommended best management practices

Recommended best management practices



1 Introduction

1. Introduction

    1. Whilst recognizing the absolute discretion of the Master at all times to adopt appropriate measures to avoid, deter or delay piracy attacks in this region, this checklist of best practices is provided for ship owners and ship operators, Masters and their crews.
    2. Not all may be applicable for each ship, therefore as part of the risk analysis an assessment is recommended to determine which of the BMP will be most suitable for the ship. The following have however generally proved effective:

    2 Prior to Transit – General Planning

    2. Prior to Transit – General Planning

    1. General

      1. The Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), is the planning and coordination authority for EU Forces in the Gulf of Aden and the area off the Coast of Somalia. UKMTO Dubai is the first point of contact for ships in the region. The day-to-day interface between Masters and the military is provided by UKMTO Dubai, who talk to the ships and liaise directly with MSCHOA and the naval commanders at sea. UKMTO requires regular updates on the position and intended movements of ships; they use this information to help the naval units maintain an accurate picture of shipping. (See Glossary at Appendix 1 for further detail.)
      2. Prior to transiting the high risk area, the owner and Master should carry out their own risk assessment to assess the likelihood and consequences of piracy attacks on the ship, based on the latest available information. The outcome of this risk assessment should identify measures for prevention, mitigation and recovery and will mean combining statutory requirements with supplementary measures to combat piracy.
      3. Company crisis management procedures should consider appropriate measures to meet the threat of piracy by adopting IMO and other industry recommended  practices as appropriate to the particular circumstances and ship type.
      4. Advanced notice of the passage plan is required by the naval authorities so that they can identify vulnerabilities and plan suitable protection. This is achieved through MSCHOA. The information provided will enable MSCHOA to plan suitable protection and track the ship's passage through the area.
      5. Whilst measures should be taken to prevent pirates boarding, the safety of crew and passengers is paramount.

    2. Company Planning:

      1. It is strongly recommended that managers and/or the operations department register their ships and passage plan prior to transit of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) with MSCHOA (http://www.mschoa.org).
      2. Review the Ship Security Assessment (SSA) and implementation of the Ship Security Plan (SSP) as required by the International Ship and Port Facility Code (ISPS) to counter the piracy threat.
      3. The Company Security Officer (CSO) is encouraged to see that a contingency plan for the high risk passage is in place, exercised, briefed and discussed with the Master and the Ship Security Officer (SSO).
      4. Be aware of the particular high risk sea areas that have been promulgated.
      5. Carry out crew training prior to passage.
      6. The use of additional private security guards is at the discretion of the company but the use of armed guards is not recommended.
      7. Consider additional resources to enhance watch keeping numbers.

    3. Ship’s Master Planning:

    1. Once the ship’s passage is registered with MSCHOA, Masters are advised to update their position and intended movements with UKMTO during the planning phase, preferably 3 – 4 days before entering either the GoA or passing the coast of Somalia.
    2. Prior to transit of the region it is recommended that the crew should be thoroughly
    3. The anti-piracy contingency plan has been shown to be most effective when implemented in advance; a drill is conducted prior to arrival in the area, the plan reviewed and all personnel briefed on their duties; including familiarity with the alarm signal signifying a piracy attack.
    4. Masters are advised to also prepare an emergency communication plan, to include all essential emergency contact numbers and pre-prepared messages, which should be ready at hand or permanently displayed near the communications panel (e.g., telephone numbers of MSCHOA, IMB PRC, CSO, etc. – see Contact List at Appendix 2).
    5. Define the ship’s AIS policy: SOLAS permits the Master the discretion to switch off AIS if he believes that its use increases the ship’s vulnerability. However, in order to provide naval forces with tracking information within the GoA it is recommended that AIS transmission is continued but restricted to ship’s identity, position, course, speed, navigational status and safety related information. Off the coast of Somalia the decision is again left to the Master’s discretion, but current naval advice is to turn it off completely. This should be verified with MSCHOA.

    3 Prior to Transit Voyage Planning

    3. Prior to Transit Voyage Planning

    1. Masters having registered their ship with MSCHOA should report to UKMTO before entering the GoA or passing the coast of Somalia.
    2. Inside the GoA

      1. EUNAVFOR strongly recommends that ships conduct their passage within the IRTC. Westbound ships should bias themselves to the northern portion of the corridor, and eastbound ships to the southern portion. Group Transit (GT) guidance within the GoA for times and speeds are on the MSCHOA web site, if a GT is contemplated.
      2. Ships should avoid entering Yemeni Territorial Waters (TTWs) while on transit. This is for reasons of customary international law, as it is not possible for international military forces (non Yemeni) to be able to protect ships that are attacked inside Yemeni TTW.
      3. Ships may be asked to make adjustments to passage plans to conform to MSCHOA routeing advice.
      4. During GTs ships should not expect to be permanently in the company of a warship. But all warships in the GoA, whether part of EUNAVFOR or coordinating with them, will be aware of the GoA GTs and will have access to the full details of vulnerable shipping.
      5. MSCHOA strongly recommends Masters make every effort to plan transit periods of highest risk areas of the GoA for night passage (MSCHOA will advise ships). Very few successful attacks have occurred at night.

    3. Outside the GoA

      1. Ships transiting South and East of the Coast of Somalia to ports outside of East Africa should consider navigating to the east of Madagascar or (for guidance) maintain a distance of more than 600 nautical miles from the coastline.
      2. Masters should still update UKMTO in the usual manner with their ship course and details.

    4 Prior to Transit – Defensive Measures

    4. Prior to Transit – Defensive Measures

    1. Taking into account the manning levels, ensure that ship routines are adjusted sufficiently in advance to ensure well-rested and well-briefed crew are on watch and ensure sufficient watch
      keepers are available.
    2. Consider minimizing external communications (radios, handsets and AIS information) to essential safety and security related communication and SOLAS information only, during transit of the GoA and passing the Coast of Somalia.
    3. Increase readiness and redundancy by running additional auxiliary machinery, including generators and steering motors.
    4. Increase lookouts/bridge manning.
    5. Man the Engine Room.
    6. Secure and control access to bridge, engine room, steering gear room, and crew quarters.
    7. In case of emergency, warships can be contacted on VHF Ch. 16 (Backup Ch.08).
    8. Check all ladders and outboard equipment are stowed or up on deck.
    9. If the ship has a comparatively low freeboard consider the possibility of extending the width of the gunwales to prevent grappling hooks from gaining hold.
    10. It is recommended a piracy attack muster point or “citadel” is designated and lock down procedures rehearsed in order to delay access to control of the ship and buy time. Ideally this should be away from external bulkheads and portholes.
    11. Consider the use of dummies at the rails to simulate additional lookouts. However if ship design creates lookout black spots and the security assessment identifies this risk then it may have to
      be covered by manpower.
    12. It is suggested fire pumps and/or hoses should be pressurized and ready for discharge overboard in highest risk quarters.
    13. Consider the use of razor wire/physical barriers around stern/lowest points of access, commensurate with crew safety and escape.
    14. Consider the use of passive defence equipment.
    15. Consider providing night vision optics for use during the hours of darkness.
    16. Operate CCTV (if fitted).

    5 In Transit – Operations

    5. In Transit – Operations

    1. All ships inside the GoA are strongly urged to use the IRTC and follow MSCHOA GT advice and timings as promulgated on the MSCHOA web site.
    2. If you intend to follow a GT through the IRTC: Transit at the group transit speed but remain aware of the ship’s limitations. (Current advice for example is that if your maximum speed is 16
      knots, consider joining a 14 knot GT and keep those 2 knots in reserve.)
    3. If you do not intend to follow a GT through the IRTC: Maintain full sea speed through the high risk area. (Current advice is that if the maximum speed of the ship is more than 18 knots, then do not slow down for a GT, maintain speed).
    4. Ships should comply with the International Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea at all times; navigation lights should not be turned off at night. Follow the guidance given by Flag State Authority (e.g., for UK ships Marine Guidance Notice 298).
    5. Provide deck lighting only as required for safety. Lighting in the shadow zones around the ship’s hull may extend the area of visibility for lookouts, but only where consistent with safe navigation. (Current naval advice is to transit with navigation lights only.)
    6. Keep photographs of pirate “mother ships” on the bridge. Report immediately if sighted. Report all sightings of suspect mother ships to UKMTO and the IMB PRC. (See Appendix 3 or an example of a Piracy Report for passing such information or any other attack or sighting.)
    7. The Master should try to make as early an assessment of a threat as possible. As soon as the Master feels that a threat is developing he should immediately call the UKMTO.
    8. Keep a good lookout for suspicious craft, especially from astern. Note that most attacks to date have occurred from the port quarter.
    9. Protect the crew from exposure to undue risk. Only essential work on deck should occur in
      transit of the high risk area.
    10. Use light, alarm bells and crew activity to alert suspected pirates that they have been detected.
    11. A variety of other additional commercially available non-lethal defensive measures are available that could be considered; however these should be assessed by companies on their merits and on the particular characteristics of the ship concerned.

    6 If Attacked by Pirates

    6. If Attacked by Pirates

    1. Follow the ship’s pre-prepared contingency plan.
    2. Activate the Emergency Communication Plan/Call in order of priority:

      1. The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) Dubai.
      2. The Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA).
      3. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

    3. Activate the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), which will alert your Company Security Officer and flag State.
    4. If the Master has exercised his right to turn off the Automatic Identification System (AIS) during transit of the piracy area, this should be turned on once the ship comes under pirate attack.
    5. Sound emergency alarm and make a PA announcement ‘Pirate attack’ in accordance with the
      ship’s emergency plan.
    6. Make ‘Mayday’ call on VHF Ch. 16 (and backup Ch. 08, which is monitored by naval ships).
      Send a distress message via the DSC (Digital Selective Calling) system and Inmarsat-C as applicable. Establish telephone communication with UKMTO.
    7. Prevent skiffs closing on the ship by altering course and increasing speed where possible. Pirates have great difficulty boarding a ship that is:

      1. Making way at over 15 knots.
      2. Manoeuvring – it is suggested that as early as possible Masters carry out continuous small zigzag manoeuvres whilst maintaining speed. Consider increasing the pirates’ exposure to wind/waves and using bow wave and stern wash to restrict pirate craft coming alongside.

    8. Activate fire pump defensive measures.
    9. Muster all remaining crew in defined safe muster area/citadel.
    10. Maximize ship speed. Evidence to date from failed attacks is that the pirates will give up if unable to board within 30 – 45 minutes. If you can buy time until the military forces can arrive, this often leads the pirates to abort their attack1.

      1. This is why early registration with MSCHOA, use of Group Transit timings and updating your position with UKMTO are all essential: it gives a better probability that naval support will be nearby if the pirates attack.

    7 If Boarded by Pirates

    7. If Boarded by Pirates

    1. Before pirates gain access to the bridge, inform UKMTO, MSCHOA and if time permits the
    2. Offer no resistance; this could lead to unnecessary violence and harm to crew.
    3. If the bridge/engine room is to be evacuated, then the main engine should be stopped, all way taken off if possible and the ship navigated clear of other ships.
    4. Remain calm and co-operate fully with the pirates.
    5. Ensure all crew, other than bridge team, stay together in one location.
    6. If in a locked down “citadel” ensure internal protection/cover is available in case the pirates attempt to force entry. Keep clear of entry point/doors and portholes/windows – do not resist entry.

    8 In the Event of Military Action

    8. In the Event of Military Action

    1. Crew should be advised NOT to use cameras with flash at any time when any military action is underway
    2. In the event that naval personnel take action on board the ship, all personnel should keep low to the deck, cover their head with both hands (always ensuring that hands are visible and not holding anything) and make no sudden movements unless directed to by friendly forces.
    3. Be prepared to answer questions on identity and status on board.
    4. Be aware that English is not the working language of all naval units in the region.


    Updating best management practices

    Updating best management practices

    1. It is anticipated that these BMP will be periodically updated based upon operational experience and lessons learned. The parties to this document will endeavour to meet regularly to update these BMP and to circulate revisions to their respective members and other interested organizations.
    2. If in doubt, consult the MSCHOA website where additional relevant information will always be posted (noting that this may not be endorsed by all of the above-listed organizations).


    Suggested planning and operational practices

    Suggested planning and operational practices for owners, operators, managers and masters, of ships transiting the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia




    1. The purpose of this document is to provide Best Management Practices (BMP) to assist companies and ships in avoiding piracy attacks, deterring attacks and delaying successful  attacks in the Gulf of Aden (GoA) and off the Coast of Somalia. The organizations consulted on this document represent the vast majority of ship owners and operators transiting the region.
    2. These organizations will encourage their members to utilize these BMP and will endeavour to promulgate these to other shipping interests as BMP for combating piracy in the region. This document complements guidance provided in MSC.1/Circ.1334.

    Typical attack profiles and lessons learnt

    Typical attack profiles and lessons learnt

    1. During 2008 significantly increased pirate attacks on merchant ships occurred throughout the GoA and off the coast of Somalia. The majority were clustered around the northern side of the GoA but some attacks have occurred further off the east coast of Somalia.
    2. Analysis of successful attacks indicates that the following common vulnerabilities are exploited by the pirates:

      1. Low speed
      2. Low freeboard
      3. Inadequate planning and procedures
      4. Visibly low state of alert and/or evident self protective measures
      5. Where a slow response by the ship is evident.

    3. Commonly two or more small high speed (up to 25 knots) open boats/“skiffs” are used in attacks often approaching from the port quarter and/or stern.
    4. The use of a pirate “mother ship”, which is a larger ship carrying personnel, equipment and smaller assault craft, has enabled the attacks to be successfully undertaken at a greater range from the shore.
    5. Vigilance should be highest at first light and last light, as the majority of the attacks have taken place during these periods.
    6. To date no successful attacks have occurred on ships at 15 knots or more.
    7. The majority of attempted hijacks have been repelled by ship’s crew who have planned and trained in advance of the passage and employed passive counter measures to good effect.

    Annex 2 Additional guidance for vessels

    Additional guidance for vessels engaged in fishing, supplemetary to the best management practices to deter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia

    1. Recommendations to vessels in fishing zones

      1. Non-Somali fishing vessels should avoid operating or transiting within 200 nm of the coast of Somalia, irrespective of whether or not they had been issued with licences to do so.

      2. Do not start fishing operations when the radar indicates the presence of unidentified boats.

      3. If polyester skiffs of a type typically used by pirates are sighted, move away from them full speed, sailing into wind and sea to make their navigation more difficult.

      4. Avoid stopping at night, be alert and maintain bridge, deck and engine-room watch.

      5. During fishing operations, when the vessel is more vulnerable, be alert and maintain radar watch in order to give maximum notice to the Authorities if an attack is in course.

      6. While navigating at night, use only the mandatory navigation and safety lights so as to prevent the glow of lighting attracting pirates who sometimes are in boats without radars and are just lurking around.

      7. While the vessel is drifting while fishing at night, keep guard at the bridge on deck and in the engine-room. Use only mandatory navigation and safety lights. The engine must be ready for an immediate start up.

      8. Keep away from unidentified ships.

      9. Use VHF as little as possible to avoid being heard by pirates and make location more difficult.

      10. Activate AIS when maritime patrol aircraft are operating in the area to facilitate identification and tracking.

    2. Identification

      1. Managers are strongly recommended to register their fishing vessels with MSCHOA for the whole period of activity off the coast of Somalia. This should include communicating a full list of the crewmen on board and their vessels’ intentions, if possible.

      2. Carry out training prior to passage or fishing operations in the area.

      3. Whenever fishing vessels are equipped with VMS devices, their manager should provide MSCHOA with access to VMS data.

      4. Fishing vessels should avoid sailing through areas where they have been informed that suspected pirate “mother ships” had been identified and should use all means to detect, as soon as possible, any movement of large or small vessels that could be suspicious.

      5. Fishing vessels should always identify themselves upon request from aircraft or ships from Operation ATALANTA or other international or national anti-piracy operation.

      6. Military, merchant and fishing vessels should respond without delay to any identification request made by a fishing vessel being approached (in order to facilitate early action to make escape possible, especially if the vessel is fishing).

    3. In case of attack

      1. In case of an attack or sighting a suspicious craft, warn the Authorities (UKMTO and MSCHOA) and the rest of the fleet.

      2. Communicate the contact details of the second master of the vessel (who is on land) whose knowledge of the vessel could contribute to the success of a military intervention.

        Recommendations only for Purse Seiners

      3. Evacuate all personnel from the deck and the crow’s nest.

      4. If pirates have taken control of the vessel and the purse seine is spread out, encourage the pirates to allow the nets to be recovered. If recovery of the purse seine is allowed, follow the instructions its stowage and explain the functioning of the gear in order to avoid misunderstanding.

    Appendix 1 Glossary


    The roles and inter-relationship of the coordinating bodies involved.


    EUNAVFOR is the main coordinating authority which operates the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa). All information and contact details are to be found within the MSCHOA website.

    MSC (HOA) Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa)

    MSCHOA was set up by the European Union (EU) as part of a European Security and Defence Policy initiative to combat piracy in the Horn of Africa. This work commenced with the establishment of EU NAVCO in September 2008. This Coordination Cell working in Brussels established links with a broad cross section of the maritime community and provided coordination with EU forces operating in the region. In November 2008, the Council of the European Union took  a major step further by setting up a naval mission – EU NAVFOR ATALANTA – to improve maritime security off the Somali coast by preventing and deterring pirate attacks and by helping to safeguard merchant shipping in the region.

    UKMTO – (UK) Maritime Trade Operations

    The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) office in Dubai acts as a point of contact for industry liaison with the Combined Military Forces (CMF). UKMTO Dubai also administers the Voluntary Reporting Scheme, under which merchant ships are encouraged to send daily reports, providing their position and ETA at their next port whilst transiting the region bound by Suez, 78°E and 5°S. UKMTO Dubai subsequently tracks ships, and the positional information is passed to CMF and EU headquarters. Emerging and relevant information affecting commercial traffic can then be passed directly to ships, rather than by company offices, improving responsiveness to any incident and saving time.

    For further information, or to join the Voluntary Reporting Scheme, please contact MTO Dubai:

    Appendix 2 Useful contact details

    Useful contact details



    +971 50 552 3215

    +971 4 306 5710
    (51) 210473

    Via Website for reporting

    +44 (0) 1923 958545
    +44 (0) 1923 958520


    +60 3 2078 5763

    +60 3 2078 5769
    MA34199 IMBPC1

    Appendix 3 Follow up report-piracy attack

    Follow up report-piracy attack

    1. Ship’s name and call sign, IMO number

    2. Reference initial PIRACY ALERT

    3. Position of incident/Latitude/Longitude/Name of the area

    4. Details of incident:
      • method of attack
      • description/number of suspect craft
      • number and brief description of pirates
      • what kind of weapons did the pirates carry
      • any other information (e.g., language spoken)
      • injuries to crew and passengers
      • damage to ship (which part of the ship was attacked?)
      • action taken by the Master and crew
      • was incident reported to the coastal authority and to whom?
      • action taken by the Coastal State.

    5. Last observed movements of pirates / suspect craft

    6. Assistance required

    7. Preferred communications with reporting ship:

      Appropriate Coast Radio Station/HF/MF/VHF/Inmarsat IDs (plus ocean region code)/MMSI

    8. Date/time of report (UTC)
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