Potential Hijack / Interception
18 Sept 2019
Approxim ately 55nm east of the
Source Confidence Level
See What Exactly Happens
Reporting indicates that a sailing yacht has potentially been the subject of a hijacking in the southern Red Sea approximately 55nm east of the Eritrean coast and 18nm north of the Dahlak Islands. Reporting indicates that a MAYDAY call was received stating that the vessel was being approached by 6 men in a speedboat armed with AK47 and a? machinegun?. There are believed to have been 4 personnel on board the Yacht believed to be Russian nationals.
Our Expert Say's
This incident has yet to be confirmed as a MARSEC incident. Additional, unconfirmed reporting indicated that the occupants of the speedboat were wearing a uniform. If confirmed, it is highly likely that this incident is an interception by Eritrean coastguard forces. This area is known to have been previously used by military craft and is also a prime location for smuggling and human trafficking between Yemen and Eretria. Piracy in this area is uncommon and whilst sailing yachts are not recommended to transit this area, a hijacking of this nature would be a highly unusual occurrence both in light of the location and known capabilities and intent of regional actors. As such, it is assessed at this time that the vessel has been approached and intercepted by local military / paramilitary forces and as such, there is no change to the risk profile within the southern Red Sea.