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May 21 2020

NATO Shipping Centre, Extraordinary WARNING as of 20 May 2020


"Shipping in the Red Sea, Southern Red Sea and Western Gulf of Aden is recommended to stay alert and be cautious. Due to recent attacks there are indications that more attacks could happen in the near future” 

Recently there has been attack on Shipping taken place around 75 nautical miles off Yemen. A UK flagged chemical/products tanker, MV STOLT APAL, was attacked by two skiffs in Gulf of Aden on 17 May. It` has been confirmed in a statement by vessel owner that the tanker was attacked by two speedboats.  

The vessel's armed guards exchanged fire with two skiffs manned by six armed attackers, who approached the vessel at high speed. After multiple warning shots were fired by the private armed security team aboard Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship. The armed guard team returned fire, disabling one skiff and ending the pursuit.

There were no injuries to crew or the team of armed guards aboard, the company reported, and the bridge area suffered minor bullet damage. No cargo damage or pollution was detected after the shootout, and Stolt Apal resumed its journey to Yanbu Commerical Port, Saudi Arabia.

According to IHS Markit AISLive ship tracking data, as of 18 May the vessel is currently transiting the Strait of Hormuz. 


 On 20 May, an unnamed tanker transiting North in the Red Sea spotted two high-speed skiffs approximately 48 nautical miles South-West of Hodeidah Port, Yemen near position 14:24N – 042:11E. It has been reported by the Master, there were seven assailants onboard each skiff carrying objects, possibly weapons. The skiffs also had black flags with white Arabic letters. The skiffs approached to approximately 0.5 nautical miles to the vessel and passed tanker` alongside its starboard heading toward a stern. There were no attepts to board or chase the tanker.
There are  indications that more attacks could happen in near future 

Story by NATO Shipping Centre

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