In March 2022, IFC informed that it recorded 257 Maritime Security (MARSEC) incidents which is higher than March 2021, where it recorded a little more than 150 incidents.
#1 Theft, Robbery and Piracy At Sea (TRAPS)
7 TRAPS incidents were reported in March 2022, all of which were boarding. This is a decrease as compared to January 2022 (14) and February 2022 (12), but an increase compared to March 2021.
Of the 7 incidents, 5 involved armed perpetrators, and one confrontation with no injuries reported in all. All of the incidents occurred during Period of Darkness (PoD).
5 of the incidents took place on ships underway, all of which occurred in the Singapore Strait; 1 of the incident occurred on anchored vessels; and 1 other berthed.
- 5 incidents were reported in the SS, lower compared to previous months (8) but much higher than previous years in the same period (One event in March 2021 and 2 in March 2020);
- 4 out of 5 incidents in the SS involved armed perpetrators (with knives, axes, rods, gun-like objects);
- One confrontation with crewmembers on March 31st on a Bulk Carrier, during which perpetrators tied one crew in the engine room;
- In early March, a TNI-AL Task Force was set up to combat the resurgence of events in the SS. This could be a contributing factor that led to no incidents being reported between 3rd-30th March.
- 6 unauthorised personnel were sighted on the forecastle area of a berthed vessel in Chittagong;
- Last event reported in this area on a merchant vessel was on May 24th, 2020 (Tanker FSL OSAKA);
- A bulk carrier was boarded by 3 perpetrators in the Belawan anchorage area;
- This is the second incident in Belawan this year (3 incidents reported in 2020 and 2021 on ships at anchor or berthed).
#2 Maritime Incidents (MI)
103 maritime incidents were reported in March 2022 which is 20% higher than March 2021 (82) and 18% higher than March 2020 (84).
22 (21%) of the incidents transpired in Indonesia, 13 (12%) in Malaysia and 10 (9%) in Philippines and India each. In addition, IFC also recorded 2 post incident reports for Jan 2022.
The most prevalent maritime incidents for the month were sunk/capsized 27 (26%), followed by grounding at 14 (13%), and adrift at 12 (11%)
102 deaths and missing persons were also recorded, which is higher as compared to the previous month. Of note, 68 SAR operations and 8 MEDEVAC were successfully conducted that led to 964 individuals rescued.
The total number of people who were rescued 964 for this month was the highest number since Feb 2020.
- All mariners to report any maritime security incidents timely to the nearest coastal state and inform the IFC at the earliest possible time.
- All mariners are strongly recommended to be vigilant, in particularly when operating in IFC identified hotspots (Sulu-Celebes seas, Eastbound lane of Traffic Separation Scheme in Singapore Strait, Jakarta Port in Indonesia and South Harbor Anchorage in Philippines).
- All mariners are advised to adopt Ship Protection Measures recommended in the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (e.g., illuminating the accommodation block and poop deck, deploying sentries and increase frequency of security rounds).
- All mariners to take note on the description of the perpetrators and to take photos of the perpetrators if possible. Where available, CCTV footage capturing the incident should be provided to the coastal state authorities for follow-on investigation.
- All mariners are advised to participate in IFC Voluntary Community Reporting (VCR) as depicted in MARSEC Chart Q6112 and Q6113.