The first incident involved the Panamanian-flagged LPG tanker 'MT Lotus Gas', on 24 October. While at berth in Batangas Bay, Philippines, a perpetrator boarded the LPG tanker from a small bamboo watercraft. The perpetrator stole a fire hose coupling and a nozzle; and escaped. The crew was not injured. A fire hose coupling and a nozzle were stolen.
The second incident also occurred in Batangas and involved the Isle of Man-flagged tanker 'British Century', on 2 November. While at anchor at Tabangao “Alpha” Anchorage Area, Philippines, the deck roving watch spotted a perpetrator armed with knives at the ship’s forward. The OOW activated the general alarm and mustered the crew.
The crew went to the forecastle area and discovered that the security padlock to the bosun’s store was broken, and items were reported missing. The OOW reported the incident to Shell Terminal and ship’s local agent through VHF radio. The agent only submitted the report of the incident to Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) after the ship left the anchorage. The crew was not injured. The security padlock to the bosun's store was broken. A ship's bell, eight scupper plugs, three fire hose nozzles, four hydrant caps and six fire hose couplings were stolen.
The third incident was reported again in Batangas, involving the Liberian-flagged container ship 'Northern Defender', on 4 November. While at anchor at Tabangao Anchorage Area, two perpetrators boarded the ship from a small motor banca approximately three meters in length and painted in blue. The perpetrators stole various items including fire nozzles and cable wire from the ship.
The ship’s master and crew were not aware of the robbery on board their ship until when the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) maritime patrol team alerted and informed them of the stolen items which were confiscated by PCG. The crew was not injured, but various items were stolen from the ship, including fire nozzles and cable wire.
The fourth incident was reported on 5 November and involved the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier 'TN Sunrise'. While underway approximately 26 nm east of Pulau Bintan, Indonesia, five perpetrators armed with machetes and with their faces covered with balaclavas, boarded the port quarter of the ship from a small boat. The perpetrators managed to enter the wheelhouse and confronted the chief officer who was on watch-keeping duty. They brought the chief officer down to the master’s cabin where the perpetrators ordered the master to open the safe.
The perpetrators took some cash from the safe, tied up the master and chief officer and escaped at about 0500 hrs (local time). The chief officer managed to untie himself and subsequently activated the Ship Security Alert System. The crew was safe with no injury, and the ship proceeded to Singapore Pilot Eastern Boarding Ground Station.
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.
Included in this report is an incident of abduction of crew from the supply vessel 'Name Withheld' anchored at approximately 60nm south off the Republic of Congo, West Africa, on 29 October. While at anchor, 10 perpetrators armed with gun boarded the ship, assaulted the crew, damaged the ship’s radio equipment and abducted four crew members (the master, chief engineer, chief officer and AB). The abducted crew were taken to a Panama-flagged tanker and reportedly proceeding to Nigeria. The tanker was reported to be hijacked by pirates earlier.
The company's Emergency Response Team (ERT) was activated and the ship with the remaining 11 crew on board has been directed to proceed to the port of Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo. The company had arranged for a medical team to board the ship to assess the crew’s health condition and provide assistance and emotional support.