‘November a quiet month for Asian pirates’

There has been a slowdown in piracy activity and armed robbery against ships in Asia in November 2015 for the third consecutive month this year, Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC said in its latest report.

Compared to October 2015, there has been a 53% decrease in number of incidents reported in November 2015. A total of seven incidents of armed robbery against ships were reported in November 2015 compared to 15 incidents in October 2015. Of the seven incidents, six were actual incidents and one was an attempted incident. No piracy incident was reported, and most importantly there were no incidents involving hijacking of tankers for theft of cargo oil.

Out of the seven incidents, three occurred in Indonesia, three in Vietnam, and one attempted incident in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).

The incident reported in the SOMS, involved a tug boat Salvigilant and a towing barge Poe Giant 1 while underway in the westbound lane of Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). A small boat attempted to board the barge by coming alongside, but aborted boarding when the master raised the alarm immediately. Notably, this is the first time in 2015 when no incident of robbery was reported on board ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the SOMS, the watchdog said.

Since January 2015 till November 2015, a total of 183 incidents comprising 170 actual and 13 attempted incidents had been reported. This is 98% of the total number of incidents reported in 2014.

The ReCAAP ISC commended and encouraged the littoral states, in particular Indonesian authorities to continue with their efforts in stepping up surveillance and enforcement in the area.

“Notably, for the first time in 2015, there was no report of incident reported on board ship while underway in the eastbound lane of the TSS of SOMS in November 2015. However, more needs to be done at certain ports and anchorages where the port authorities and enforcement agencies need to enhance their surveillance; and ship masters and crew to maintain stringent watch-keeping while their ships were anchored there. Whilst the numbers had declined, consolidated efforts to address regional situation with regional stakeholders are underway,” ReCAAP concluded.

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