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Year in Review: Top shipping stories to remember from 2018

As 2018 is reaching its end, the key developments and challenges that shaped the maritime landscape focus on the unprecedented opportunities that blockchain brought on the spotlight, to the unforeseen evolvement of the shipping regulatory framework that shifted the industry toward a more sustainable approach, the past year claims the title of a turning point for the future of shipping.

Pirate skiffs surround tanker on the Arabian Sea

In its weekly report for the period of 11-17 December, the ReCAAP ISC informed it received no reports of incident of piracy or armed robbery against ships in Asia. However, the ReCAAP Focal Point (UK) reported an incident of attempted piracy outside Asia, involving a crude oil tanker while sailing southeast of Bab Al Mendeb Strait, on 13 December. 

Three crew abducted from boat in Sulu-Celebes

On 5 December, around 20 men, who are believed to be from the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group, armed with firearms, boarded the boat from speed boats painted green with grey, and powered with double engine. They abducted three crew, one Malaysian and two Indonesians.

Armed persons approach tug off Malaysia and open fire

According to IMB, on December 5, four armed persons approached a tug towing an unladen barge, off Malaysia, and opened fire. As a result, the Master was shot in the leg. He was transferred to the hospital, while the rest of the crew are safe. According to local media, one of the crew members fired around 10 shots from flare guns at the suspects.

Denmark presents measures to combat piracy

Denmark announced the upcoming priorities regarding the fight against piracy and other criminal activity at sea. The priorities contain civil and military efforts against piracy. The geographical focus remains in Western Africa and the Horn of Africa. ​From 2019 to 2022, the priorities in the fight against piracy and other maritime crimes will replace the current Government strategy of 2015-2018. 

Pirates board product tanker in Venezuela

As IMB reported two robbers boarded a product tanker that was anchored in Puerto La Cruz Anchorage, Venezuela, on December 1, and tried to open the forward store. The crew members saw the perpetrators on time and raised the alarm.

IMB reports two piracy incidents in India, Nigeria

IMB reported two separate piracy incidents in India and Nigeria, on 17 and 21 of November respectively. The first incident took place in Kakinada Anchorage, where robbers boarded a product tanker and stole its stores. The other incident occurred in Lagos Anchorage, where robbers boarded a vessels, but they were noticed.

EU NAVFOR, Kenya cooperate to tackle piracy

On 16 of November, EU NAVFOR Italian Warship Federico Martinengo visited the Port of Mombasa, in Kenya. There the ship’s crew carried out the second combined exercise together with Kenyan Navy counterparts. During the exercise, EU NAVFOR’s crew showed techniques to the Kenyan Navy in firefighting, first aid and anti-flooding procedures.

Attempts in Gulf of Guinea to improve maritime security

The Gulf of Guinea is one of the regions that has the most issues with piracy. In order to address these problems, a workshop for participants from the Gulf of Guinea, was held in Ghana, from 13 to 16 November. The workshop aims to improve national capacity to advance port security.

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