Piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia down in 2017

There were a total of nine incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in November 2017 in Asia, down from 12 in the same month last year, states ReCAAP ISC in its November report. Seven were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents. Four were piracy incidents and five were armed robberies against ships.

There was no actual or attempted incident involving crew abduction in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah in November 2017. However, on November 22nd there was a theft of oil cargo. There was also an increase in the number of incidents occurring on board ships while anchored in the South China Sea. All four incidents in the South China Sea occurred in close proximity to each other; and were thought to have occurred when the ships were anchored outside the port limit areas in the SCS to avoid paying port dues. ReCAAP ISC said that it was concerned at the increase in the number of incidents in the SCS and advised all ships to avoid anchor outside the port limit area.

Between January and November there were 71 reported incidents, of which 60 were actual and 11 were attempted. This represented the lowest number in the past 10 years; it was down 9% on January-to-November 2016; 63% down on January-to-November 2015.

However, there was an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong), Philippines (Manila and Batangas), on ships while underway in the South China Sea and in the Straits of Malacca & Singapore.

Of the seven actual incidents in November 2017, one was a CAT 1 incident, three were CAT 3 incidents and three were CAT 4 incidents. The CAT 1 incident involved the hijacking on November 22nd of the barge Ever Omega, which was being towed by tug boat Ever Prosper off Singkawang, Indonesia. The barge was eventually recovered, but her cargo of Crude Palm Kernel Oil (CPKO) had been stolen.