Archive for January 2019

IMB: Gulf of Guinea Led the World for Piracy in 2018   Leave a comment

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The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has released its global piracy report for 2018, and it warns that the maritime industry experienced a net increase in attacks year-over-year. In particular, the agency recorded a “marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa.”

Worldwide, the IMB recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017. The Gulf of Guinea is particularly dangerous for seafarers: reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Congo more than doubled in 2018, and these incidents accounted for the overwhelming majority of serious acts of piracy worldwide. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for all six hijackings, 13 of the 18 ships fired upon, 130 of the 141 hostages held, and 78 of 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom worldwide.

In a worrisome trend, this violence accelerated in the last quarter of the year. 41 kidnappings were recorded off Nigeria between October and December, more than half the annual total. Some of these attacks occurred up to 100 nm offshore, well outside of the territorial waters of West African states.

In addition, the prevalence of piracy may well be above the official statistics, as the IMB believes that about half of all attacks go unreported.

“There is an urgent need for increased cooperation and sharing of intelligence between the Gulf of Guinea’s littoral states so that effective action can be taken against pirates, both at sea and on shore where their operations originate and end,” said the IMB in a statement.

In other regional developments, acts of piracy declined or remained at relatively low levels off the shores of other historic hot spots like Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Somali pirates fired upon three merchant vessels last year, but they conducted no successful boardings. In Sabah, Malaysia, five crewmembers from two fishing boats were kidnapped, and one tug came under attack – far less than the outbreak of abductions seen in 2017. In Indonesia, six crewmembers were held hostage and threatened in one incident, but the overwhelming majority of reports were for acts of low-level theft.

For the full IMB Piracy Reporting Centre annual report, visit


Posted January 18, 2019 by rrts in -NEWS

Asian Piracy Decreased Twenty-Five Percent Last Year   Leave a comment

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ReCAAP ISC has released its 2018 annual report highlighting that reported piracy incidents in Asia decreased 25 percent year-on-year last year.

There were 76 incidents of piracy and armed robbery reported in Asia between January to December 2018, comprising 62 actual incidents and 14 attempted incidents. This represents a decrease of 25 percent in the total number of incidents and a 31 percent decrease in actual incidents compared to 2017.

It also represents the lowest number of incidents since ReCAAP ISC began keeping records in 2007.

There was improvement at some ports and anchorages in 2018, particularly at the Manila anchorage in the Philippines. Successful arrests of perpetrators were reported in Bangladesh (Chittagong), India (off Alang, Gujarat), Philippines (Manila), Indonesia (Pulau Batam), Malaysia (Pulau Tinggi, Sarawak and off Tambisan, Sabah)

There was no theft of oil cargo in 2018. While there were two incidents of suspicious intent to steal oil cargo reported in June and August 2018, the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) successfully arrested the mastermind and perpetrators in both incidents

There was also a decrease of incidence of abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah in 2018. Three incidents (two actual and one attempted incidents) of abduction of crew were reported in 2018 compared to seven incidents (three actual and four attempted incidents) in 2017.

Areas of Concern

There were more than 10 incidents at ports and anchorages  in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and in Samarinda, Indonesia. There were also slight increases reported in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Despite the decrease in the number of incidents in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah, the abduction of crew for ransom remains a serious threat in the area.

Insights from Data Analytics

Over the past 12 years (2007-2018), ReCAAP ISC has collected the data of 1,560 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. Using data analytics, ReCAAP ISC has made several observations on the incidents:

•  The majority of the incidents involved four to six perpetrators (34 percent) or one to three perpetrators (24 percent)

•  The most commonly used weapons were knives/machetes. The weapons were often used to cut mooring ropes and remove items on the deck such as life/floating buoys, fire hose, etc

•  More than 81 percent of the incidents reported that the crew did not suffer from any injures or there was no information on the condition of the crew

•  In 32 percent of the incidents, nothing was stolen by perpetrators who escaped empty-handed when sighted by the crew

•  The most common stolen items were ship stores (e.g. ropes, paint, lubricating oil/grease, etc)

•  There was no evidence to suggest that certain types of ships were targeted, but  63 percent of incidents occurred on board either tankers or bulk carriers

•  Most of the incidents occurred during hours of darkness: 60 percent of incidents occurred between 0000-0600 hours and 20 percent between 1900-2400 hours.

Posted January 18, 2019 by rrts in -NEWS

Pirates Kidnap Crewmembers from MSC Container Ship   Leave a comment

The MSC Mandy in 2014 (file image courtesy Philippe Ales)


MSC has confirmed a successful pirate attack on the sub-Panamax container ship MSC Mandy off the coast of Cotonou, Benin.

The 2,700 TEU Mandy was under way in the Gulf of Guinea on Wednesday when she was attacked and boarded at a position about 55 nm offshore. Six crew members have been reported missing.

According to MSC, the vessel was quickly secured after the attack, and the safety of the other seafarers on board has been assured. The Mandy diverted to an anchorage off Lagos, Nigeria after the incident, where she remained Thursday.

The attack was first reported by the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), a NATO partnership operated by the French and British navies. MDAT-GoG collects daily voluntary reports from vessels under way in the Gulf of Guinea, an area with high piracy risk.

Maritime piracy – particularly kidnapping – is a serious concern in the Gulf of Guinea. According to Oceans Beyond Piracy, 100 seafarers were kidnapped in the waters off the Gulf of Guinea in 2017, and EOS Risk Group counted 35 more in the first half of 2018 alone. Last month, the IMB ICC piracy reporting center was informed of one attempted attack on a chemical tanker and one successful boarding of an OSV under way, both off Nigeria. Millions of dollars have been spent on additional maritime security measures for the region, but local authorities have had only limited success in interdicting and foiling attacks.

In a concerning trend, the reach of Nigerian pirates has expanded from the historic center of activity off the Niger River Delta to include waters off Benin and Ghana, well to the west. Despite this expansion, most attacks are still concentrated in the vicinity of the petroleum hub of Bonny Island, with pirates searching out vessel targets as far as 100 nm from shore.

Posted January 5, 2019 by rrts in -NEWS