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ReCAAP Piracy/Armed Robbery At Sea in Asia - Nov 2016

December 13, 2016 - 13:22:49 UTC

ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia - November 2016 Report

ReCAAP ISC latest reports reveals that a total of 10 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in November 2016. Of these, six were actual incidents and four were attempted incidents. Of the six actual incidents, five were incidents of armed robbery against ships and one was a piracy incident. Of great concern was the continued occurrence of incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and off eastern Sabah. In November 2016, one actual incident and four attempted incidents of abduction of crew were reported.

Number of Incidents by Month (Nov 2015 - 2016)

In November 2016, 10 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia. On a month-to-month comparison from November 2015 to November 2016, the number of incidents has fluctuated throughout the one-year period. Graph 1 below shows the number of incidents reported between November 2015 and November 2016.

Number of Incidents Nov 2016 - ReCAAP ISC

Significance Level of Incidents

Of the six actual incidents reported in November 2016, one was a CAT 1 incident, one was a CAT 2 incident, three were CAT 3 incidents and one was a CAT 4 incident. The CAT 1 incident involved the abduction of six crew from a bulk carrier and the CAT 2 incident occurred on board a product tanker while anchored at Dumai anchorage, Indonesia. Of the three CAT 3 incidents, two occurred at ports and anchorages in Indonesia (Muara Berau anchorage and Batu Ampar port); and another at Vung Tau anchorage in Vietnam. The CAT 4 incident occurred on board a ship while anchored in the South China Sea.

Latest Modus Operandi of Perpetrators

Between March 2016 and November 2016, nine incidents of abduction of crew and four attempted incidents in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and off eastern Sabah had been reported to the ReCAAP ISC. Prior to October 2016, the perpetrators targeted local ships, namely tug boats towing barges and shing trawlers. Since October 2016, the perpetrators have begun to target ships of larger tonnage (Dong Bang Giant No.2, Royal 16, Southern Falcon, Kumiai Shagang, Easter K and Cemtex Fortune). Based on the description of the recent attempted incidents and taking into consideration the proximity and time of these incidents, the same group of perpetrators may be involved.

Latest Modus Operandi Perpetrators; Map - ReCAAP ISC


The ReCAAP ISC urges all ships to re-route from the area, where possible. Otherwise, the ReCAAP ISC strongly advises master and crew to exercise enhanced vigilance and adopt anti-piracy measures when transiting the area. They are advised to raise alarm and alert the crew when sighting suspicious boats approaching or in the vicinity. They are strongly encouraged to report to the PCG and coastal States immediately, to alert ships in the vicinity and to increase speed and conduct evasive manoeuvers as demonstrated in the attempted incidents involving Southern Falcon, Kumiai Shagang, Easter K and Cemtex Fortune.


The situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia has witnessed continuous improvement in November 2016, with a 60% decrease in total number of incidents compared to the same period in 2015. Notably continued improvement was observed in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) with no incident reported in the SOMS since April 2016. Also, no incident involving hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo was reported in November 2016. However, the situation in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and off Eastern Sabah is quite alarming. More need to be done by the littoral States and the shipping industry to firrmly address the situation of abduction of crew in the area. In particular, the littoral States are requested to step up patrols and enforcement in the area; and the shipping industry is expected to adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the ‘Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia’.

OCEANUSLive Note: Whilst ReCAAP ISC reports 10 incidents in Asian water for November 2016, OCEANUSLive collated reports indicate twice as many incidents occurred in the region for November. At least 16 incidents were reported via the IMO GISIS website. This indicates the difficulty in the region to garner accurate reporting of incidents and a mrked increase in attacks and approaches on merchant shipping in the area. The increase in abductions, mainly by suspected Abu Sayyaf militants, is a clear warning for shipping companis and seafarers to maintain vigilance when transiting the dangerous waters of the Sulu and Celebes Seas, as well as the eastern Sabah region.

Download ReCAAP ISC Full Report HERE

Source: ReCAAP ISC

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