Pirate and maritime crime activity in Southeast Asian waters is “at a high level” for the week of 20 September, according to intelligence co-ordinator MARLO.
A total of four incidents were recorded in the MARLO Piracy Analysis and Threat to Shipping report, as against two the previous week. Incidents for this week were one kidnapping, two boarding events, and one attempted boarding. The two incidents the week previously were attempted boardings.
Notably, the kidnapping incident did not involve ship crew or shipping personnel, but a holiday resort manager and three others from a resort on Samal Island in the southern Philippines.
Ships were targeted for boardings and attacks and involved two underway bulk carriers, one berthed product tanker, and one anchored bulk carrier.
In all cases, ship property, including engine spares, were stolen. No injuries were reported in these events. But one crew member was tied up while the robbery took place.
An underway bulk carrier was fired upon on 20 September. MARLO outlined the incident, which was successfully averted by swift actions from the crew.
Crewmen saw a speedboat carrying eight passengers approaching the ship and raised the alarm, mustered the remaining crew, notified the Vessel Traffic Information System, and employed anti-piracy measures.
“As the boat came alongside, the Master commenced evasive manoeuvring resulting in the robbers aborting the approach and moving away. Naval vessels in the vicinity were dispatched to assist the vessel,” states the report.
While maritime crime incidents have seen evidence of a decline in East and West Africa, activity in Southeast Asia has risen year-on-year. From a total of 129 incidents in 2012, events have risen steadily to a total of 207 in 2014, according to MARLO.
MARLO facilitates exchange of information on maritime security between the US Navy, the Combined (Coalition) Maritime Forces, and the maritime industry.