Archive for October 2015

Maritime Piracy Surges in Asia   1 comment

Stock Photo

By MarEx 

ReCAAP released its latest update on maritime piracy, and it reveals that armed robbery and maritime crime continues to surge in Asia. There were 161 incidents of piracy and armed robbery reported there in the first nine months of 2015, which represents a 25 percent increase in the total incidents compared to 2014.

Of the 161 reported incidents, ReCAAP classifies 150 as armed robbery and the remaining 11 as piracy. Crewmembers were unharmed in 83 percent of incidents.

Of those 161 incidents, ReCAAP defines 92 of them as category four (CAT 4) incidents. CAT 4 incidents involve one to three perpetrators who were not reported to be armed and escaped empty-handed upon being sighted. The majority of the CAT 4 incidents involved ships in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore  Straits (SOMS) this year compared to the previous four years.

ReCAAP also states that CAT 1 incidents, which involve nine or more armed pirates that successfully hijack a vessel or steal cargoes, continues to be a pressing issue. There have been 11 CAT 1 this year all of whihc involved the hijacking of oil tankers.

ReCAAP also noted there was common patterns in the majority of incidents. Pirates typically strike at night to use darkness to their advantage. It is also common for pirates to board more than one vessel per day especially if they fail to in crime on another ship.

Posted October 24, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS

Piracy Attempt Thwarted   1 comment

Stock Photo

By MarEx 

The crew aboard the Philippine-flagged M/V Cecilia V thwarted a piracy attempt off the Davao del Sur province on October 10.

According to Sarangani Coast Guard officials, nine pirated approached the ship on two motorized boats. Captain Elvy Elim spotted the pirates as they approached his vessel and ordered his 22 crewmembers to close all possible entry points and lock themselves in their rooms.

Elim then notified the coast guard that there were pirates approaching his ship.

The pirates reportedly walked around the ship for close to an hour trying to enter its rooms and asking for food. The coast guard’s response team arrived on the scene about one hour after Elim’s distress signal, but the pirates had already fled the scene.

Maritime piracy has skyrocketed in Southeast Asia this year. In July, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said that incidents of piracy and armed robbery had risen 18 percent during the first half of 2015.

Last week, the Philippines, the U.S. and five other nations participated in a five-day naval exercise to combat rising regional piracy. The Singapore-based Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise (SEACAT) included more than 100 U.S. sailors and personnel from the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand. Bangladeshi navy officials also observed the exercises.

The Cecilia V was carrying 950 metric tons of copra from Davao to Santos City.

Posted October 21, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS

E.U. Reduces High Risk Areas off Somalia   1 comment

Stock Photo

By MarEx 

The E.U. Chair for the Contact Group of Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) has revised and reduced territories it deemed to be High Risk Areas (HRA) for piracy in the Indian Ocean. The revision will take effect on December 1 and reflects a decline of piracy in the region.

The revision might also reduce operating and insurance costs for vessel operators transiting the region. The HRA has previously covered most of India’s western coast and triggered increases in insurance rates that have led to a rise costs.

About 70 percent of India’s international trade is by sea and about 40 percent of India’s $7 trillion GDP is generated through international trade.

The HRA was extended to India’s west coast in 2010, which brought the entire Indian Ocean into an exclusion zone. The HRA extension of the Indian Ocean meant the exclusion from annual war risk cover increased premiums for ship operators. The standard war risk insurance charge covered normal operations.

In response to rising surge of piracy in the region, the EU, China, Russia and the U.S. amongst other nations sent warships to protect the commercial shipping lanes. The increased military presence led to a steep drop in piracy. In January 2014, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that piracy in the Indian Ocean 40 percent since 2011.

While the HRA has been reduced, BIMCO warns operators not to become complacent transporting cargoes through the region.

BIMCO stated: “While the revision re-designates the area considered to be at a high risk of Somalia-based pirate groups, it is stressed that these groups retain the ability to attack at historical limits of their activity… Any lowering of guard in the region is likely to present an opportunity for a resurgence of pirate activities.”

Posted October 21, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS

High Risk Area reduced   1 comment


Several IOR countries had pushed for re-sizing of HRA.

Vigilance still crucial as piracy High Risk Area in the Indian Ocean reduced

Organisations representing the global shipping and oil industry have announced that the size of the ‘High Risk Area’ for piracy in the Indian Ocean has been reduced and issued new advice to merchant ship operators.

This reduction to the High Risk Area is in response to the ongoing containment of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean, but a group of shipping and oil industry organisations (BIMCO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intercargo, INTERTANKO and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) stressed that a serious threat remains and that correct reporting and vigilance remains crucial.

The reduction of the High Risk Area takes full account of recent shipping industry experience, and follows extensive consultation with governments through the diplomatic Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and military naval forces, including NATO, Combined Maritime Forces and EU NAVFOR, which continue to provide vital protection to shipping.

The new industry advice, which takes effect from 1 December, changes that currently contained in the latest edition of Best Management Practices for Protection against Somali Based Piracy (BMP 4), which is jointly produced by the industry group.

The amendment to BMP 4 that relates to this issue can be downloaded via each shipping organisations’ website (as can BMP4) – a direct link to it on the BIMCO site is here.

In summary:

·         The area previously classified as “high risk” now forms only a part of  the area called the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA)
·         Ships entering the VRA must still register with the Maritime Security Centre for the Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and report to the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) to be monitored during transit;
·         Pre-transit risk assessments should take into account the latest information from both the Voluntary Reporting Area and High Risk Area.

The industry associations further emphasised that in view of the continuing high risk of pirate attack, shipping companies must continue to maintain full compliance with the BMP and be vigilant in their voluntary reporting on piracy incidents, sighting of potential pirates, and any suspicious activity – as this provides crucial intelligence on risk levels in the area.

Posted October 9, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS

SEACAT Anti-Pracy Exercises Begin   1 comment

NavyStock Photo

By MarEx 

On October 5th, the U.S. and six other nations began a five-day naval exercise. The Singapore-based Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise (SEACAT) wants more ability to combat the growing amounts of piracyincidents in the region.

SEACAT did its first anti-terrorism exercise in 2002, and has expanded the program to include piracy and smuggling.

The joint exercise will included more than 100 U.S. sailors and personnel from Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Bangladeshi navy officials will also observe the exercises. Meanwhile, participating naval officers will receive simulated reports of suspicious activity in the Straits of Singapore and Malacca, the Andaman Sea and the South China Sea in order to run simulated response tactics.

The South China Sea has experienced a marked increase in piracy and robbery this year as well.

In July, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said that incidents of piracy and armed robbery had risen 18 percent during the first half of 2015 over last year. There were about 106 incidents reported between January and June 2015 verses a total of 90 in 2014.

The U.S. Navy said it also sees the exercise as an opportunity to contribute to the region in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and search-and rescue operations. The U.S. Navy said an increased presence of warships in the region could intercept suspicious vessels and improve responses times.

Posted October 7, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS

The Drug Ship and Mysterious Death of UN Official   1 comment


By MarEx 

A U.N. official involved in the investigation of the Höegh Transporter, which was detained at Kenya’s Port of Mombasa last week, was found dead in his Kenyan hotel room.

Shamus Mangan, an Australian, was a U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime detective tracking the Höegh Transporter, which the agency believed was transporting drugs.

Local authorities said that Mangan was discovered by hotel employees with blood in his mouth, but no apparent physical injuries. Locals said that Mangan, 41, was probably murdered due to his role in the investigation of the Singapore-flagged auto carrier.

The ship’s crew has been arrested are being questioned by authorities.

The Höegh Transporter was transporting nearly 4,000 military vehicles from Mumbai, which were to be used for U.N. peacekeeping missions in South Sudan. On September 17, Kenyan soldiers detained the ship and shut down the Port of Mombasa after receiving a tip that the vessel was transporting drugs and firearms.

Kenyan officials revealed they discovered cocaine inside the tires of the vehicles as well as more than 40 rifles, including nine M-16s, and nine NATO-grade machine guns hidden in the truck’s compartments.

East Africa is a key export route for Afghan narcotics shipments bound for Europe and maritime forces have attempted to slow the flow of drug transport in the region. Mombasa serves as the main gateway for imports and exports in the region and East Africa has been a key export route for narcotic shipments bound for Europe.

The vessel is still being guarded by Kenyan authorities and is likely to be blown up for carrying drugs and illegal weapons into the country.

Posted October 1, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS

Infographic: Piracy 2015   1 comment


By MarEx 

The estimated annual loss due to piracy worldwide is about $13 billion. This infographic depicts the current state of piracy.

Source: Nature’s Water

Posted October 1, 2015 by rrts in -NEWS