Where the international structures are in place, all ships are strongly encouraged to inform military/international organisations of their movement.
- Essential to improve military situational awareness and their ability to respond.
- Once ships have commenced their passage it is important this reporting continues.
Indian Ocean Reporting
UKMTO is the primary point of contact for merchant ships and their CSOs, providing liaison with military forces in the region. UKMTO administers the Voluntary Reporting Scheme, under which merchant ships are encouraged to send regular reports. These include:
- Initial report (upon entering the VRA).
- Daily reports (update on ship’s position, course and speed).
- Final reports (upon departure from VRA or arrival in port).
- Reports of suspicious/irregular activity (when necessary).
- Warnings: Simple messages describing that an incident has occurred in a Lat/Long and with a time. This is normally accompanied by direct UKMTO-to-ship telephone calls to all ships within a nominated radius of the incident to give ships the earliest possible alert.
- Advisories: This is the next tier of alerts to ships, normally of sightings/reports that are relevant within the region.
More on BMP
The MSCHOA is the planning and coordination centre for the EU Naval Forces (EU NAVFOR).
MSCHOA encourages companies to register their ships’ movements before entering the HRA and if participating in the group transit system via their website www.mschoa.org.
When departing the VRA, ships should be aware of adjacent regional reporting requirements, e.g.: NATO Shipping Centre (Mediterranean – Chart Q6010) and ReCAAP Information Sharing Center/Singapore Information Fusion Center (SE Asia – Chart Q6012).
EU NAVFOR and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) produce Industry Releasable Threat Assessments (IRTAs) to aid risk management for companies.
Threat assessments are an important resource and should be considered as one part of the pre transit risk assessment process. Dyad Global provides Transit Risk Assessments that are a highly detailed route analysis encompassing both geo-spatial risk analysis of all maritime security incident reporting as well as detailed thematic reporting providing you with the contextual overview and recommendations to operate in as safe as possible a manner while keeping your commercial priorities firmly in sight.
The role of the seafarer in improving maritime safety and security in the region
Maritime security cannot be improved by the actions of law enforcement agencies and maritime security forces alone; seafarers operating in the region can help. This is more important in the seas off the coast of Somalia and Yemen where navies, coastguards and law enforcement agencies have limited resources.
Masters are encouraged to report suspicious activity and provide as much detail as possible. If it is possible to do so without compromising safety, photographs, video and radar plot data of suspicious activity are of enormous value to the responsible authorities. If there is any doubt as to whether the activity is suspicious, ships are encouraged to report.
Reporting suspicious activity to UKMTO
UKMTO can advise on the types of activity of interest to the regional maritime community. Often, seafarers do not report suspicious activity as they may be concerned observations could lead to further investigations by Port States and possible delay to the ship. UKMTO will forward information received in an anonymised form to the most appropriate agency empowered to act. While suspicious activity may appear inconsequential, when added to other reports it may be extremely valuable.
Vessels are able t determine hostile intent by an approaching vessel through a number of methods. At Dryad Global we recommend that a Step-aside manoeuvre presents one of the most effective ways of determining an approaching vessels intent: a step aside manoeuvre is a diagnostic action designed to test the intent of a newly detected vessel to determine its intentions. On spotting a suspicious vessel with a CPA less than 2nm alter course immediately to determine if the vessel alters to maintain a closing CPA. At a point where this is feels suspicious the Master should consider increasing to maximum sea speed and sounding the alarm and reacting in accordance with piracy drills.
Other events, activity and vessels may be deemed suspicious by the Master of a merchant ship having due regard to their own seagoing experiences within the region and information shared amongst the maritime community.
West Africa Reporting
Gulf of Mexico Reporting
Virtual reporting centre
In recognition of the significant under reporting of incidents in west Africa waters (estimated at 60-70%) MDAT GoG was established to provide virtual reporting and improved situational awareness to operators and countries in the region.
Ship owners, operators and masters are encouraged to register with MDAT GoG prior to entering the VRA and to report any suspicious activity and incidents of piracy and armed robbery. MDAT-GoG is operated by the navies of France and the United Kingdom from centres in Brest, France, and Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
telephone: +33(0)2 98 22 88 88
Mexican Navy Third Naval Region Campeche
What to do in case of emergency? If the boat is in serious and imminent danger, it must transmit the Mayday, Mayday, Mayday distress signal through VHF Channel 16 or the 2,182 KHz medium wave frequency.
What if I don't have a radio? The use of a mobile phone in an emergency may be an alternative, however, its range at sea is limited and the place from which you are calling is difficult to locate.
Being able to use 018006274621 (01800 MARINA1)
South East Asia Reporting
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP)
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) was established in Singapore on November 29, 2006. At the 12th Governing Council Meeting in 2018, the Council announced that ReCAAP ISC has met the criteria to be a Centre of Excellence for information sharing in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships at sea.
Anti Piracy Measures
Maritime Security Threats
As well as piracy, regional instability has introduced new security threats including the use of; anti-ship missiles, sea mines and Water-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (WBIED).
Maritime Security Geographical Regions
Where are the current hotspots that warrant the application of BMP5?
Threat and Risk Assessment
What is a security risk assessment? The threat assessment must include all regional security threats.
The output of the risk assessment will help develop the ship's voyage plan.
Ship Protection Measures
BMP5 provides Ship Protection Measures (SPM) based on real-life experience of piracy attack and incidents of maritime crime.
Ships under Attack
A ship may come under attack with little or no warning.