In light of the prevailing development of the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia, the ReCAAP ISC produces a summary of the latest figures of the situation for the period of January - September 2014 to be highlighted prior to the publication of the ReCAAP ISC Third Quarterly Report.
There has been significant change of the trend in terms of the numberof incidents within the nine-month period from January to September2014.For the first six months of 2014, there has been a significant increase inthe number of incidents compared to the same period of last year. TheReCAAP ISC witnesses a surge in the number of incidents from 61reported during January - June 2013 to 90 during the same period in2014. However, after July 2014, there has been a significant reductionin the number of incidents within the three-month period from July toSeptember in 2014.
On a quarter-to-quarter comparison, there was a33% decrease in the number of incidents ofpiracy and armed robbery against shipsreported during the period of July - September2014 compared to the period of April - June2014. A total of 39 incidents were reportedduring July - September 2014 compared to 58incidents during April - June 2014.
However, the accumulative number of incidents reportedduring January - September 2014 was 129 due to thesurge of incidents reported during January - June 2014.Compared to the same period in 2010 - 2013, there hasbeen an upward trend in the overall number of incidentsreported during January - September 2014. Except forincidents involving siphoning of ship fuel/oil, the bulk ofthe incidents reported during January - September 2014were petty thefts, while the Category 2 incidents andCategory 3 incidents have remained fairly consistentcompared to the same period in 2011 - 2013.
Of concern were the Category 1 incidentsinvolving siphoning of ship fuel/oil whichindicates a decline in number of incidentsreported in August 2014 and September2014 due to ongoing collaborative efforts ofthe maritime enforcement authorities, andthe shipping industry.
However, the ReCAAP ISC urges the authorities andall stakeholders not to be complacent. Masters andshipping companies are urged to carry out their'risk assessment', conduct internal checks andenforce vigilance at sea to minimise the risk ofboarding especially during hours of darkness.
While there has been a decrease in the number of incidents reported at some portsand anchorages in Indonesia; ships anchored off north-east of Pulau Bintan in theSouth China Sea had been boarded more frequently. Mostly less significance andpetty theft in nature, these opportunistic robbers also boarded ships whileunderway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in theStraits of Malacca and Singapore.
The ReCAAP ISC has to monitor carefully the developments taking place in the last quarter of2014 from October to December in order for us to make an overall assessment on the currentsituation in the context of the improving situation since 2010.
The ReCAAP ISC urges the littoral States to step up surveillance, maintain continuouspresence and conduct more regular joint coordinated patrols in the Straits of Malacca andSingapore, and advises ship masters to exercise extra vigilance when traversing areassusceptible to piracy attacks and to report all incidents immediately to the authorities ofthe coastal States