Weekly Maritime Security Report 12 February 2020
East Africa and Indian Ocean
Yemen: Mine kills 3 Egyptian fishermen in Red Sea
A mine planted by Yemen's Houthi rebels killed three Egyptian fishermen in the Red Sea's international waters, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said. The coalition added that the Houthis had planted sea mines across the Bab al-Mandeb strait and the Red Sea.
Analysis: expect increased activities both on land and in littoral territorial waters by groups affiliated with Ansar Allah and other aligned Houthi movements.
Morocco: Authorities seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis in Tangier
Authorities seized 2.4 tonnes of cannabis in the northern port city of Tangier. The narcotics were destined for international trafficking by sea. Police arrested four people in connection with the seizure. The suspects were also operating a migrant-smuggling network, according to authorities. Morocco is a major producer of cannabis.
Japan: (UPDATE) Authorities quarantine 3,500 people on cruise ship in Yokohama
A total of 136 people on board a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Yokohama have tested positive for coronavirus, as authorities confirmed 66 new cases. The increasing number of patients on the Diamond Princess has raised concerns about a possible mass spread among the more than 3,600 people still on board. Officials on the cruise ship began screening guests on the evening of 3 February, and the vessel was placed under quarantine on 4 February.
Analysis: Japan and other sovereign states will take the action they deem appropriate to defend against the spread of the virus. Seafarers having come into contact with areas affected by coronavirus should take comprehensive protective measures (in terms of policy and procedures) and document their routes in preparation for any port calls and actions by authorities.
China: Hong Kong to quarantine travellers from mainland, close cruise terminals
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the territory will close two cruise terminals and put anyone coming from mainland China into compulsory quarantine for 14 days. The move came as thousands of passengers and crew on a cruise ship that docked in Hong Kong on 5 February were being kept on board while they were tested for the coronavirus. The measures are aimed at curbing the cross-border flow of people to prevent the spread of a new coronavirus which originated in mainland China in December 2019. There have so far been 21 confirmed cases in Hong Kong.
Analysis: Expect increased vigilance around all far east ports
Select Maritime News
Tunisia: National Guard detain 10 migrants in Monastir
Maritime units of the National Guard detained 10 migrants at Teboulba port in Monastir. Authorities seized an inflatable boat and an undisclosed sum of cash at the scene. Tunisian authorities detain tens of migrants planning to cross the Mediterranean on a weekly basis, though numbers seeking to cross typically decline in winter months due to poor sea conditions.
Mexico: Gunmen attack conservationists in Gulf of California
Suspected poachers in four boats attacked a vessel belonging to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) in the Gulf of California. The attack took place in a designated safe zone for the endangered vaquita porpoise. The captain of the vessel carried out evasive manoeuvres and water cannons were deployed to repel the assailants. The Sea Sheperd vessel was not hit by gunfire during the skirmish and there were no reports of casualties. Poachers have attacked conservation vessels in the Gulf of California in previous incidents. In January 2019, 50 small boats attacked a Sea Shepherd vessel in the area and assailants threw Molotov cocktails at the ship, setting its hull on fire.
Lebanon: Inclement weather closes Sidon port
Heavy rain and winds disrupted transport in various parts of the country. The inclement weather led to a halt in operations at Sidon port, leaving three ships carrying fuel unable to unload. Road closures were reported in various parts of the country. Authorities ordered schools to close in northern Danniyeh and Akkar districts.
United Kingdom: Authorities rescue 90 migrants off Dover
Coastguard and border force vessels rescued 90 migrants in eight boats in the English Channel off the coast of Dover. The group included nationals from Syria, Mali and Yemen, according to the Home Office. The incident is the largest detention of migrants in a single day in the UK. There has been an uptick in the number of migrants attempting to cross from France to Britain in recent months.
Brazil: Authorities seize 328kg of cocaine at Rio de Janerio port
Authorities seized 328 kg of cocaine concealed among a cargo of granite inside a container at Rio de Janeiro port. Authorities, aided by sniffer dogs, found the narcotics during a routine cargo inspection. The cargo had originated in Suape port in Pernambuco state and authorities said the narcotics were bound for Valencia port in Spain. Drug seizures are intermittently reported at Rio de Janeiro port.
Brazil: Authorities seize 25kg of cocaine at Maraa port
Authorities seized 25 kg of cocaine from a ship anchored at Maraa port, Amazonas state. Authorities found the narcotics during a routine ship inspection. The origin and intended destination of the narcotics were unclear.
Israel: TechnipFMC declares force majeure on vessel over coronavirus.
Oil and gas company TechnipFMC, which is building a vessel off the Israeli coast necessary for it to begin offshore production, informed gas producer Energean that the coronavirus is a force majeure event. TechnipFMC said that travel restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak potentially entitled the company to claim a time extension for its Karish project. TechnipFMC provided no further details about how travel restrictions would impact the project. Energean said that it still expected its Karish project to deliver first gas in 2021.The coronavirus, which originated in China, has spread to 27 countries, triggering global travel restrictions that are adversely impacting business operations.
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