The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has released a report for July 2014 showing that the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia has decreased from 21 incidents reported in June 2014 to 14 incidents in July 2014.
Of the 14 incidents reported in July 2014, close to 50% were petty thefts and the rest were armed robbery against ships, including three Category 1 (very significant) incidents.
The three Category 1 incidents involved siphoning of Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) from product tankers, Moresby 9 and Oriental Glory; and an armed robbery onboard product tanker, Ji Xiang.
Of the 14 incidents reported in July 2014, seven incidents occurred in the South China Sea (SCS), and seven occurred at ports and anchorages in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The ReCAAP ISC urges crews to exercise enhanced vigilance which is key to prevent boarding.
However, should the perpetrators manage to board the vessel, the crew is to remain calm, avoid physical confrontation with the perpetrators; and report the incident to the nearest coastal authority at the first available opportunity.
They should also note the physical appearance, attire and other details of the perpetrators, the language/dialect spoken, description of boats they used, etc. all of which are useful to aid in investigations carried out by the authorities.
On the same note, the ReCAAP ISC encourages the littoral States to respond in a timely manner to all incidents reported to them, step up surveillance and increase coordinated patrols among inter-governmental enforcement agencies, particularly in areas of concern.
World Maritime News Staff