Piracy in S E Asia in 2014
Nearly 150 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships have been reported in Asia since the start of 2014 by the Singapore based agency ReCAAP in their monthly and quarterly reports. Copies of these reports are freely available on their website www.recaap.org .
The majority of reported incidents, approximately 60 per cent, were petty theft incidents. However, these incidents are intimidating as in most cases the pirates are operating in groups of up to six men, consistent with past trends. About half of the incidents did not have reports of the type of weapons carried or no weapons were carried by the pirates/robbers. Whilst it is not common for the crew to suffer injury there are reports of crew being either assaulted, bound or locked up or otherwise threatened, ,
Incidents involving siphoning of fuel and other oil products continue to be reported with two further seizures taking place in October this year. The situation regarding armed robbery on board ships varies with improvements in safety around ports and anchorages in Indonesia contrasted with further incidents on board ships anchored in the South China Sea.
Engine spares, stores and scrap metal have increasingly been targeted of late, in particular on ships and barges underway in the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
ReCAAP urges masters and crew to exercise extra vigilance while operating in locations of concern, carry out risk assessments and make prompt reporting of all incidents to the nearest coastal state authorities.