Maritime News

Piracy incidents fall but hotspots still a concern

20 October 2017

The latest report on maritime piracy from the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) shows that there were 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported in the first nine months of 2017. While the number had reduced compared with the same period in 2016, the IMB reports continuing concern over attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and in South East Asia. 

In total, 92 vessels were boarded, 13 were fired upon, five vessels were hijacked and there were 11 attempted attacks in the first nine months of 2017.

In Nigeria, there were 20 reports of incidents, most of which occurred off the coast of Brass, Bonny and Bayelsa, with guns reportedly used in 18 incidents. Of the 49 crew members reported kidnapped worldwide, 39 were captured off Nigerian waters in seven separate incidents. The IMB warns that all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky, despite some intervention by the Nigerian Navy, and advises vessels in the area to be vigilant.

The IMB also reports successful action to thwart an attempted hijack of a Thai tanker off Pulau Yu in Malaysia in early September. The prompt intervention of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency led to the arrest of the 10 hijackers and safe escort of the tanker to a nearby port; the pirates were sentenced to long periods of imprisonment.

The IMB also reiterates the importance of consistent reporting of incidents to its 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC), to ensure accurate data and an effective response against piracy and armed robbery, keeping seafarers safe. 

Recent incidents reported to PRC include the following. 

  • Two robbers were spotted on board a bulk carrier anchored at Kandla, India on 17 October. The alarm was raised and the robbers escaped with stolen ship’s property.
  • Two robbers boarded a bulk carrier anchored at Samarinda, Indonesia on 13 October, threatened the duty seafarer with knives, stole ship’s property and escaped.
  • The master of a bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden spotted a boat with two skiffs approaching and notified a naval vessel. The master raised the alarm and all crew mustered. The naval vessel chased the boat and then boarded it and confiscated weapons and ladders.
  • Around six to eight robbers boarded a containership anchored at Manila, Philippines on 3 October. The alarm was raised, and the robbers escaped with stolen ship’s property.
  • Two robbers armed with knives were spotted on board a tanker anchored at Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela on 29 September. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered, and the robbers escaped empty-handed.
  • Three robbers attempted to board a tanker anchored at Port Au Prince, Haiti on 26 September. The alarm was raised and the robbers escaped empty-handed.
  • A robber boarded a tanker anchored at Lagos, Nigeria on 20 September. The alarm was raised and the robber escaped empty-handed.

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All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email: imbkl@icc-ccs.org

 

 




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