During 29 March – 4 April 22, two incidents (one CAT 31 incident and one CAT 42 incident) of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to the ReCAAP ISC.
The CAT 3 incident occurred to a ship while anchored at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia; and the CAT 4 incident occurred to a ship while anchored at Batangas Anchorage, the Philippines.
The CAT 3 incident occurred on 24 Mar to a bulk carrier while anchored at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia. Three perpetrators armed with long knives and a steel bar were sighted at the forecastle.
The duty crew reported the incident to the bridge. The duty officer raised the ship’s alarm and made an announcement through the PA system.
The master mustered all crew at the bridge and instructed the duty crew to retreat to the accommodation block. The perpetrators stolen some ship strores from the forecastle store. The crew was not injured.
The CAT 4 incident occurred to a RORO car carrier while anchored in the vicinity waters off Delta Anchorage Batangas City, the Philippines. While at anchor, the duty officer sighted five perpetrators on board the ship. The ship’s alarm was immediately raised and the perpetrators escaped in a small unlit boat.
The crew conducted a search on board the ship, and discovered that one fire hydrant cap was missing. The crew also found some stolen items left behind by the perpetrators at the forward station. The crew was not injured.
Abduction of crew in Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah
There is no incident of abduction of crew reported since the last incident in January 2020 up to today, and no crew is currently being held in captivity by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
On 23 Apr 21, the Philippine Armed Forces conducted a military operation against members of the ASG during which one of the ASG leaders responsible for the abduction of crew in the area of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi had managed to escape. The threat of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains high particularly in the areas of Sulu and nearby waters off Tawi-Tawi.
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 all incidents immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.
The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia
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