In light of the prevailing development of the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia, the ReCAAP ISC produces a summary of the latest figures of the situation for the period of January – September 2014 to be highlighted prior to the publication of the ReCAAP ISC Third Quarterly Report.
There has been significant change of the trend in terms of the number of incidents within the nine-month period from January to September 2014.
For the first six months of 2014, there has been a significant increase in the number of incidents compared to the same period of last year. The ReCAAP ISC witnesses a surge in the number of incidents from 61 reported during January – June 2013 to 90 during the same period in 2014. However, after July 2014, there has been a significant reduction in the number of incidents within the three-month period from July to September in 2014.
On a quarter-to-quarter comparison, there was a 33% decrease in the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported during the period of July – September 2014 compared to the period of April – June 2014. A total of 39 incidents were reportedduring July – September 2014 compared to 58 incidents during April – June 2014.
However, the accumulative number of incidents reported during January – September 2014 was 129 due to the surge of incidents reported during January – June 2014. Compared to the same period in 2010 – 2013, there has been an upward trend in the overall number of incidents reported during January – September 2014. Except for incidents involving siphoning of ship fuel/oil, the bulk of the incidents reported during January – September 2014 were petty thefts, while the Category 2 incidents and Category 3 incidents have remained fairly consistent compared to the same period in 2011 – 2013.
Of concern were the Category 1 incidents involving siphoning of ship fuel/oil which indicates a decline in number of incidents reported in August 2014 and September 2014 due to ongoing collaborative efforts of the maritime enforcement authorities, and the shipping industry.
However, the ReCAAP ISC urges the authorities and all stakeholders not to be complacent. Masters and shipping companies are urged to carry out their ‘risk assessment’, conduct internal checks and enforce vigilance at sea to minimise the risk of boarding especially during hours of darkness.
While there has been a decrease in the number of incidents reported at some ports and anchorages in Indonesia; ships anchored off north-east of Pulau Bintan in the South China Sea had been boarded more frequently. Mostly less significance and petty theft in nature, these opportunistic robbers also boarded ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
The ReCAAP ISC has to monitor carefully the developments taking place in the last quarter of 2014 from October to December in order for us to make an overall assessment on the current situation in the context of the improving situation since 2010.
The ReCAAP ISC urges the littoral States to step up surveillance, maintain continuous presence and conduct more regular joint coordinated patrols in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, and advises ship masters to exercise extra vigilance when traversing areas susceptible to piracy attacks and to report all incidents immediately to the authorities of the coastal States.
Source: ReCAAP ISC
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