ReCAAP ISC informed that during 19-25 April 22, two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported.
he first incident occurred to a container ship while berthed at Port of Makar, General Santos City, the Philippines. The second incident occurred to a barge towed by a tug boat while underway in the Singapore Strait. In both incidents, the crew was safe and nothing was stolen from the ships.
Regarding the first incident, on 18 April the OOW (2nd officer) was on roving when he sighted two perpetrators attempting to board the ship near the portside gangway. The perpetrators jumped into the water when realized that they had been spotted. At 0305 hrs on the same day, the duty AB on deck patrol sighted one perpetrator near the portside gangway of the ship. He immediately informed the 2nd officer who saw the perpetrator jumping into the water from the aft station area of the ship. The master and crew conducted a search in the engine room, accommodation and main deck; and found that the padlocks of the fire station locker and chemical locker were broken. However, nothing was stolen and the crew was not injured.
On the second incident, on 19 April the master of the tug boat reported to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) that two perpetrators were sighted escaping from the barge on tow. The Singapore Police Coast Guard intercepted the ships and arrested the remaining eight perpetrators on board the barge. The crew was safe during the incident. With this incident, a total of 20 incidents (comprising 19 actual incidents and one attempted incident) were reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2022.
Abduction of crew is 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).
However, ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory issued via ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 November 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.