During 14-20 Apr 20, four incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to the ReCAAP ISC. Of the four incidents, one was a piracy incident (CAT 41) that occurred on board a VLCC while underway in the South China Sea. The three incidents of armed robbery against ships were a CAT 32 incident that occurred on board a container ship while anchored at Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) Breakwater, Philippines, two CAT 4 incidents that occurred on board , a bulk carrier while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait and an oil tanker while anchored off Alang Anchorage, India.
The location of the incidents is shown in the map below; and detailed description of the incidents tabulated in the attachment.
1* CAT (Category) 4 incident is classified as “least significant” in nature. Under this category, the perpetrators were not armed, and the crew not harmed.
2* CAT (Category) 3 incident is ‘less significant’ in nature. Under this category, the perpetrators could be armed with knives/machetes or other items such as sticks or rods. The crew was not harmed although there remains a small possibility that the crew could be subjected to duress or threat during the incident but not harmed physically. In most CAT 3 cases, the perpetrators were unable to steal anything from the vessel, but in cases where losses were reported, stores and engine spares were commonly targeted items.
Situation Of Abduction Of Crew In The Sulu-celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah
As the risk of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah is high as demonstrated by the recurrence of the abduction incident on 17 Jan 20, the ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory issued via ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible.
Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report immediately to the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia. The contact details of the Operation Centres of the Philippines and ESSCOM of Malaysia (updated by ReCAAP ISC on 3 Jan 19) are as follows:
In the event that the ship master is not able to establish contact with the Operation Centres of the Philippines as listed in the ReCAAP ISC Advisory, he can contact the Philippine Coast Guard Command Centre at the following contact details:
- Tel: +632-8-527-8481 (ext: 6136/37)
- +632-998-585-5327 (mobile)
- +632-917-842-8249 (mobile)
- +632-8-527-3877 (fax)
- Email: email@example.com
The ReCAAP ISC advises the shipping industry and ships to enhance their situation awareness by referring to the Guidance on Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah produced by ReCAAP ISC in July 2019. The Guidance is available at www.recaap.org.