New Incidents Of Piracy And Armed Robbery Recorded

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One incident of piracy and one incident of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 21st – 27th May 2024.

New Incident 

The incident (CAT 4) occurred onboard a barge towed by a tug boat in the South China Sea on its approach to Singapore Strait. No injury to the crew, only Scrap metals were stolen from the barge. The incident of armed robbery against ships (CAT 2) occurred onboard a bulk carrier while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). An oiler was restrained in the steering gear room by the perpetrators and some engine spare parts were stolen.

Area of concern

With the incident in SOMS, a total of 15 incidents have been reported in the area since January 2024. The ReCAAP ISC advises ships to exercise enhanced vigilance and maintain lookout when transiting SOMS; and the coastal States to increase patrols and enforcement in the area and at ports and anchorages.

Downgrading of threat level

The efforts by the Philippine Government in Zamboanga, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi through the conduct of continuous military operations led to the dismantling of the support base and neutralizing of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Sulu archipelago. Against this backdrop, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), coordinated with other stakeholders and counterparts that have vital involvement in the maritime security of the Sulu-Celebes Seas, reviewed the threat situation, and recommended further downgrading the threat level of ‘Abduction of the crew from ‘MODERATE’ to ‘MODERATE LOW’, which implies that ‘Incidents are unlikely to occur due to perpetrators’ perceived lack of capability to orchestrate an attack. Nevertheless, minimal damages are expected to the vessel and crew in case of an attack.

Update of ReCAAP ISC Advisory

  • With the downgrading of the threat on the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the by the PCG, ReCAAP ISC has updated its Advisory for ships to “exercise vigilance & adopt necessary preventive measures while transiting the area”.
  • For ships transiting the area, the ship masters and crew are strongly encouraged to exercise extra vigilance and report all incidents immediately to
    the Operation Centres of the Philippines and the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.

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Source: Safety4sea