Increasing Crimes At Sea in The Singapore Strait!

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Information Fusion Centre (IFC) issued its latest infographic, providing a summary of incidents against ships in the Singapore Strait as of 26 October 2022, reports Safety4sea.

Robbery and Piracy at Sea

According to the IFC, there were 8 reported Theft, Robbery and Piracy at Sea (TRAPS) incidents in Phillip Channel, Singapore Strait (SS) since 1 Jan 2022, of which 7 incidents involved Bulk Carriers and 1 incident involved a Tanker. This is more than the total annual number of 3 incidents in Phillip Channel recorded in 2021.

All the incidents occurred in hours of darkness, and there were no confrontation and injury reported in all of the incidents. In 50% of the incidents, some engine parts and equipment were reported stolen.

Observed a recent uptick in incidents in Phillip Channel, there were 3 incidents reported in Oct 2022 thus far.

Based on past observations and trending, IFC anticipates opportunistic boarding of vessels in Phillip Channel to continue in the upcoming months leading up to the festive period (particularly in November and December). IFC will work with Indonesia Authorities to step up enforcement efforts.

Petty crime

Based on the incident reports this year, there were no confrontations in all of the incidents. In most cases, the perpetrators avoided confrontation, and fled immediately upon being sighted by the crew.

Perpetrators are usually unarmed, are in group of average 3-6 pax, and target slow-moving vessels (7-12 knots) with an average freeboard of 4- 7 metres.

Same group of perpetrators may target more than one vessel in succession, in the same night (observed in incidents occurring on 16 and 17 Oct 2022, where two vessels were targeted within 2 hours, and within 1nm from apart each other). Vessels are encouraged to report any sightings to the local authorities timely, in order to avoid subsequent boarding attempts.

Recommendations

  • Remain vigilant, particularly when transiting the areas of concern in the Phillip Channel.
  • Adopt Ship Protection Measures recommended in the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia, e.g., (1) turn on weather deck lighting around the accommodation block and rear facing lighting on the poop deck, (2) maintain an all-round lookout at an elevated position with focus on suspicious small craft(s) approaching or in proximity to the ship’s aft, and (3) sound ship’s alarm when suspicious small craft(s) sighted.

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Source: Safety4sea

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