By Jite Eriabie
A total of 60 incidents were reported in Asia during January-October 2017, representing the lowest number in the 10-year reporting period, piracy watchdog ReCAAP said.
Out of the total number, 51 were actual incidents and nine were attempted incidents. Compared to January-October 2016, there was a 9% decrease in the total number of incidents for the first ten months of 2017 and a 67% decrease compared to the same period in 2015. A total of 66 incidents were reported in the first ten months of 2016, and 184 incidents in 2015.
The improvement was attributed to, among other factors, an upgrade in the situation at certain ports and anchorages in Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Although the overall situation during January-October 2017 has improved, there was an increase in the number of incidents reported at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh (Chittagong), Philippines (Manila and Batangas); and on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) compared to the same period in 2016.
In October alone, a total of nine incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported, seven of which were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents. Of the nine incidents, two were piracy incidents and seven were armed robberies against ships.
However, there has been an increase in the number of incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).
The ReCAAP ISC expressed its concern about the increase in the number of incidents in the SS and advised all ships to exercise enhanced vigilance, maintain strict look-out while underway in the SS, particularly during hours of darkness, raise the alarm when suspicious boats in the vicinity or unknown personnel on board ships were sighted; and report all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately.
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