January 2018 has seen over 20 reported piracy related incidents

Piracy related incidents in the HRA of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the south of the Red Sea have largely consisted of suspicious approaches from unidentified vessels.

The vigilance of the crew and security teams on board these approached vessels have been key in preventing the situations escalating any further.

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The oil-tanker Marine Express has gone missing off of the coast of Benin, West Africa. Reports state that the last contact made with the vessel was on 01st February 2018.

At this stage, it has not been confirmed whether the ship was hijacked. What is known is that the vessel last made contact whilst at Cotonou Anchorage, on 01st February 2018. This is extremely close to the location that the MT Barrett was reported to be before she was hijacked last month.

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On the 2nd January 2018 an Iranian fishing vessel was hijacked off the coast of Somalia. In addition, there have been a total of seven other reported pirate related incidents in 2018 already, indicating that the significant increase in maritime piracy in 2017 is set to continue into the new year.

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