The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) posted its Quarterly Report for the period January – September 2016. During this period the number of reported incidents decreased 65% as compared to the same period in 2015.
There has been a significant improvement in the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January-September 2016 compared to the same period in past four years (2012-2015). The number of incidents reported during January-September 2016 has decreased by 65% compared to the same period in 2015. A total of 59 incidents were reported during January-September 2016 compared to 169 incidents during the same period in 2015. The total number of incidents reported during January-September 2016 is also the lowest amongst the reporting period of January-September of 2012-2016.
Of the 59 incidents, three were incidents of piracy and 56 armed robberies against ships. Of concern was the CAT 1 (very significant) incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu Sea, and they accounted for seven of the nine CAT 1 incidents reported during January-September 2016. The other two CAT 1 incidents involved the hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo; of which the Indonesian authorities had arrested the perpetrators involved in one of the incidents and recovered the cargo. More than two-thirds of the incidents reported during January-September 2016 were CAT 4 (minimum significant) incidents, and the number of CAT 2 and CAT 3 incidents had also decreased and were the lowest among the five year reporting period of January-September of 2012-2016.
The decrease in the overall number of incidents reported during January-September 2016 was most evident in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) involving ships while underway. Other improvements were reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh and Vietnam. There has also been a decrease in incidents involving hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo. Two such incidents were reported during January-September 2016 compared to 11 incidents during January-September 2014 and 12 incidents during January-September 2015.
About 73% of the incidents reported during January-September 2016 occurred on board ships while at ports and anchorages, and 27% on board ships while underway. In incidents where losses were reported, theft of ship stores such as mooring ropes, paint and engine spares were mostly stolen from ships anchored/berthed; while loss of crew’s personal belongings and cash were reported to ships while underway.
Although the total number of incidents has decreased, there is no room for complacency as more need to be done at certain ports and anchorages; and preventive measures be implemented to prevent the recurrence of incidents involving the abduction of crew in the Sulu Sea and hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo. The ReCAAP ISC encourages ship masters and crew to exercise enhanced vigilance while underway and maintain watch-keeping while at ports and anchorages; and the relevant authorities to implement port security measures, maintain regular surveillance and patrols, and render immediate responses to victim ships.
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