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Attacks on Vessels - Security Threat - Risk Alert 102

SSM Roundel

Steamship Mutual

Published: December 05, 2023

Members will be aware of the recent attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden & Horn of Africa, reportedly targeting Israeli affiliated vessels.  There have also been incidents involving other vessels transiting the region, extending into the territorial waters of Somalia, Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Oman, Arabian Sea and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. 

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and rockets/missiles by threat actors has created a number of additional new challenges for vessels when considering manoeuvres for an effective threat evasion.

The Club would like to bring to Members’ attention the need to assess all applicable risks before transiting any similar security sensitive or high risk areas and to implement measures that will best serve to mitigate these. It is suggested that the risk assessment and mitigation should include the Best Management Practices (BMP) measures whilst considering the following aspects:

Attacks on Vessels

Picture Reference - Recent incidents - UKMTO  

  • Reporting of threats.
  • Monitoring of information bulletins/advisories.
  • Routeing advisories including for example, transit corridors and the availability of convoys and security escorts.
  • Additional security hardening measures such as rocket/missile protection for key areas such as Bridge, Engine Control Room, Citadel.
  • Communication systems – Ship Security Alert Systems.
  • Training - Drills and Exercise (before transits) including evasive manoeuvres, timely decision to transmit security alerts and timely retreat to the Citadel. Special consideration should be given to any limitations of vessel speed and manoeuvrability when attempting to evade an aerial or subsea threat.
  • Consideration that may be associated with particular demographics such as targeted Nationality – including crew, ownership, charterer, cargo, or links/affiliation to thereof.

Following are a list of Club publications and other sources of information that Members may find of value:

Club reference:

Other references:

For further information on this or other Loss Prevention topics please contact the Loss Prevention Department, Steamship Insurance Management Services Ltd. Tel: +44 20 7247 5490; Email: [email protected]

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