ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia - February 2017 Report
ACCORDING to ReCAAP ISC latest report, a total of four incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in February 2017. Of these, three were actual incidents and one was an attempted incident.
Of the three actual incidents, two were incidents of armed robbery against ship and one was a piracy incident. Of concern was the continued occurrence of incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off eastern Sabah. In February 2017, one actual incident and one attempted incident involving the abduction of crew were reported.
NUMBER OF INCIDENTS BY MONTH (FEBRUARY 2016 – FEBRUARY 2017)
In February 2017, four incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. This is consistent with the total number reported in February 2016. On a month-on-month comparison between February 2016 and February 2017, there has been a continuous decrease in the total number of incidents in the past four months; from 12 incidents in November 2016 to seven incidents in December 2016 to six incidents in January 2017 and four incidents in February 2017.
SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL OF INCIDENTS
Of the four incidents reported in February 2017, one was a CAT 1 incident, two were CAT 4 incidents and one was an attempted incident. Of concern was the CAT 1 incident which involved the abduction of six crew from bulk carrier, Giang Hai. The other two were CAT 4 incidents occurred at ports and anchorages in China and India. The attempted incident involved the abduction of crew from bulk carrier, Donghae Star.
Timely reporting of the incident by the crew of Donghae Star to the Philippine Navy-Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS), Bongao has prevented boarding by the perpetrators and enabled the authorities to alert other ships transiting the area.
UPDATE ON SITUATION OF ABDUCTION OF CREW FROM SHIPS IN THE SULU-CELEBES SEA
Two incidents (comprising one actual incident and one attempted incident) of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and off eastern Sabah region were reported in February 2017.
Incident Involving Giang Hai (Bulk Carrier, 2875 GT) on 19 Feb
While underway from Indonesia to Iloilo port, Philippines, ve perpetrators armed with rearms in a green jungkong (small wooden traditional fishing boat) approached bulk carrier, Giang Hai. They reportedly red several warning shots at the ship ordering her to stop.
The perpetrators continuously red at the ship until they managed to board the ship. Upon boarding, the perpetrators gathered the crew at the crew deck. One of the crew was shot when he tried to block the perpetrators from entering the bridge. Subsequently, he died from the multiple gunshot wounds.
The perpetrators entered the bridge, destroyed the ship’s navigation and communication equipment, and abducted six crew (comprising the Master, Chief Officer, 3rd Officer, 2nd Engineer, 3rd Engineer and one crew).
he Vietnam MRCC informed the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) about the incident. The PCG Action Centre immediately directed personnel from Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao, Coast Guard Station (CGS) Bongao and Coast Guard Sub Station (CGSS) Taganak to the location of the incident.
At about 0910 hrs on 20 Feb, personnel of CGSS Taganak together with personnel of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Marines conducted joint maritime patrol in the vicinity waters off Baguan Island and rescued the remaining 10 crew and the crew who was killed.
The PCG also alerted Coast Guard units and Bureau of Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (BFAR) vessels in the area, issued Notice to Mariners and has organized a pursuit operation in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and PNP units in the area.
The overall situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in February 2017 continued to improve with continuous decrease in total number of incidents consecutively since November 2016. However, of concern was the continued occurrence of incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off eastern Sabah.
Under the current situation, all ships are advised to re-route, where possible. Otherwise ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise enhanced vigilance, maximise alertness in lookouts and maintain continuous communication with the shipping company and reporting centres.
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Source: ReCAAP ISC
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