Three actual incidents of armed robbery against ships (one CAT 2, one CAT 3 and one CAT 4) in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 10th – 16th October.
f the three incidents, one occurred on 24 Aug 23 to a tanker while anchored at Dumai Anchorage, Indonesia. The other two incidents occurred on 14 Oct 23 to a VLCC, and on 16 Oct 23 to a tanker, while they were underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).
Area of concern
With the two incidents off Pulau Cula, a total of 59 incidents were reported in the SOMS since January 2023. The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the SOMS. The Centre advises ships to continue to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting SOMS; and the littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in the area.
Downgrading of threat level
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), after careful consideration of inputs from stakeholders and counterparts with vital involvement in securing the Sulu-Celebes Seas maritime security measure, recommends the downgrading of the threat on the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ from ‘POTENTIALLY HIGH’ to ‘MODERATE’. The MODERATE threat level implies that ‘Incidents are possible to occur but are relatively less severe in nature’.
Update of ReCAAP ISC Advisory
- As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas has diminished since January 2020 due to successful military operations and robust law enforcement initiatives, the ReCAAP ISC updates its Advisory to all ships to consider re-route from the area as an option based on its prerogative.
- For ships transiting the area, the ship masters and crew are strongly encouraged to exercise extra vigilance and report all incidents immediately to
the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.
Ship master and crew are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State RCC and flag State, referring to the Poster on Contact Details for Reporting of Incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, exercise vigilance and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.