(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A merchant vessel reported the sighting of two potential pirate skiffs in the Sea of Oman recently. The pirate skiffs pursued the vessel for some time before the embarked armed security team fired warning shots to deter them.
The report, issued by the Dubai-based UK Maritime Trade Office (UKMTO), stated the two skiffs were spotted by a merchant vessel while in transit through the Sea of Oman on May 21. One skiff had four persons on board, while the other had three, all of whom had masked faces and one person standing in the bow'.
The skiffs were spotted some four nautical miles away from the vessel, and continued to be tracked until one skiff reached within 0.5 nautical miles whereupon an armed security team fired four warning shots, causing the skiffs to break away. Weapons or ladders were sighted, and the event has been classified as suspicious'.'
According to the NATO Shipping Centre, the threat of piracy against merchant shipping continues to be present throughout the High Risk Area'.
Disruptions by naval forces over the past few months, and greater adherence by merchant vessels to defensive measures, have reduced pirates' ability to capture vessels, it adds.
In addition, the Spring Transition season allows regional seas to moderate as winds from the north east lessen, creating favourable conditions for single skiffs and whalers to operate.'&