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Risk mitigation interventions after suspected tanker attacks transiting the Gulf of Oman

Risk mitigation interventions after suspected tanker attacks transiting the Gulf of Oman


The Norwegian tanker Front Altair in the waters of the Gulf of Oman after the attack.


Following the two suspected attacks against tankers transiting the Gulf of Oman Thursday, INTERTANKO (International Association of Independent Tanker Owners) and OCIMF(Oil Companies International Marine Forum) recommended operators to review associated BMP5 guidance.

Risk mitigation measures

INTERTANKO and OCIMF recommend that companies review BMP5 (Best Management Practice) and consider sending the following guidance to vessels:

  • Undertake a new ship- and voyage-specific threat risk assessment before entering any region where there has been an incident or the threat has changed.
  • After the risk assessment, review the Ship’s Security Plan.
  • Review section 2 of BMP5, which outlines threats.
  • Maintain a full and vigilant bridge watch for vessels at anchor.
  • Implement deck patrols.
  • Implement a waterborne security patrol.
  • Maintain a strict communications watch and establish communication with all vessels coming close.
  • Ensure strict boarding controls are in place.
  • Only lower accommodation gangways or ladders when necessary.
  • Rig outboard lighting where possible, particularly over the stern and rig/use searchlights if available.
  • Report any suspicious activity immediately to both the port and UKMTO(United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations) +442392222060.
  • Monitor relevant VHF and other communication channels.
  • Check all fire-fighting equipment is available for immediate use. Make sure the emergency fire pump is available if any maintenance is being undertaken.
  • Keep the Automatic Information System (AIS) on. There is no need to complete the field stating the last or next port of call.
  • Additional measures Operators may wish to take if alerted to suspicious activity include:

  • Rotate the propeller continuously or at short, irregular intervals.
  • Operate bow and stern thrusters at zero (0) thrust.
  • Turn the rudder frequently.
  • Switch the echo sounder to transmit counter/combat swimmer/diver threat.

Shipping industry condemned the attacks, with the IMO Secretary General, the International Chamber of Shipping and INTERTANKO noting that this is an intolerable situation threatening the lives of seafarers, the environment and the world economy.

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