The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) published its second quarterly report. The report says that 107 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first six months of 2018. In addition, all 2018 crew kidnappings have taken place in the Gulf of Guinea in six separate incidents.
Of these 107 incidents:
- 69 vessels were boarded;
- 23 attempted attacks;
- 11 vessels fired upon;
- 4 vessels got hijacked;
- No vessels were reported as hijacked in the second quarter.
Furthermore, as far crewmembers are concerned the numbers of hostages increased. More specifically:
- Crewmembers taken hostage increased from 63 to 102 compared to the same time period in 2017;
- Crew kidnappings decreased from 41 by the second quarter in 2017 to 25 so far in 2018. All 25 crew kidnappings reported this year have happened over six incidents in the Gulf of Guinea;
- 3 crewmembers were injured;
- 6 crewmembers were threatened.
Nevertheless, the report mentions that the true number of incidents in the Gulf of Guinea is believed to be significantly higher than what is reported.
In addition, the 107 incidents took place on the following kind of ships:
- 40 on tankers;
- 39 on bulk carriers;
- 6 on container ships;
- 22 on others.
Finally, positive news is that fewer incidents were reported in the Philippines and off Somalia. In fact, except from Gulf of Guinea, the number of 2018 incidents decreased in key piracy hotspots and there were no reported incidents recorded off the coast of Somalia in the second quarter of 2018. This drops the amount of incidents in the Philippines from 13 by the second quarter of 2017 to 3 in the same time period this year.
However, Masters are urged to maintain high levels of vigilance when transiting the high-risk area and to follow the latest version of the best management practices.
In June 2018, the 5th edition of the piracy-specific Best Management Practice (BMP5) was published compiling a useful and comprehensive guidance which introduces effective measures for the protection of crew, vessels and cargo while transiting the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.
The BMP5 were produced and supported by many major shipping associations focusing on the following fundamental requirements:
1.Understand the threat;
2.Conduct risk assessments;
3.Implement ship protection measures;
IMB’s second quarterly report may be downloaded here