Sailing yachts still vulnerable to pirate attack in the Indian Ocean

Published 10 years ago, updated 5 years ago

The advice of the Maritime Shipping Centre-Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), NATO Shipping Centre, UK Maritime, and Trade Organisation (UKMTO) and MARLO remains that sailing yachts should avoid transiting the High-Risk Area (HRA) in the Indian Ocean for the foreseeable future.

The HRA is bounded by Suez and the Strait of Hormuz to the north, and 10° S and 78° E.

With the end of the South West monsoon, the weather and sea states in the Indian Ocean and the Southern Red Sea will become more conducive to pirate activity. Despite the fact that attacks on merchant’s vessels appear to have decreased, the possibility of attacks and the successful pirating of sailing vessels remains likely due to their vulnerability and the reduction of revenue sources from merchant’s vessels.

To pirate groups, sailing yachts are an easy target and possible source of revenue. Sailing in large groups is unlikely to be a deterrent – groups of sailing yachts could be seen as a larger and more lucrative target.

For this reason, MSCHOA is restating our advice that sailing yachts should avoid transiting the HRA.

If, regardless of this advice, you elect to undertake a voyage in the HRA you should:

1. Inform Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) at  [email protected] with the subject line “Yacht Vessel Movement”; and

2. Maintain regular contact with UKMTO Dubai on +971 50552 3215 or email [email protected] and MARLO on [email protected] or +973 3940 1395 with position updates.

Further guidance can be found on the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa homepage, or on the NATO Shipping Centre homepage 

To see all the piracy and armed robbery incidents reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre during 2012, go to:

Live Piracy & Armed Robbery Report 2012

Live Piracy Map

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