Shipowners have been urged to implement additional security measures due to an increase in thefts aboard vessels anchored outside of Northern China’s ports during the winter months.
Protection and indemnity (P&I) club, The Standard Club, said that months of December, January and February are the high season for thieves to approach merchant ships anchored outside the port of Tianjin. The thieves steal bunkers, ship stores, spare parts, and other property.
Similar reports of thieving during these months have been received from the port of Dalian as well, according to the club.
“The thieves tend to disguise their small boats as fishing boats which will not attract attention from merchant ships. High waves interfering with radar signals and fewer crew members engaged in safety patrols during frozen nights may also be contributing factors to the higher occurrence of theft in winter,” The Standard Club said.
The club informed that its correspondents at Tianjin received four reports of theft from ships last winter.
In the past, Chinese ships were the usual targets, however, foreign ships appear to have become the focus of theft now.