Asian Piracy on the Rise

A copy of the Live Piracy Map showing the incidents for 2014.

Authorities and ship owners are being warned of increasing piracy attempts and attacks in Asia.

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre reported 129 incidents between January and the end of September of 2014. This included 117 actual attacks and 12 attempted attacks. This compared to 99 incidents reported during the same months of 2013.

Whilst the majority of the incidents were just petty theft, there has been several occasions of bulk vessels being attacked and taken over.  Their fuel and oil (cargo) are usually siphoned, with the pirates releasing the vessels several days later.  There has been several occassions when crew members have been injured during attacks.

Container ships are not often targeted, due to their higher operating speeds and freeboard (height above the water), however, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has updated their report recently to include this entry:

21.10.2014: 0740 LT: Posn: 01:09N – 107:06E, Around 10nm South of Vung Tau, Vietnam.
Four boats approached a drifting container ship from various directions. Two boats approached the stern and asked the duty crew if they had any scrap items available onboard. As the crew was distracted the other two boats approached via the port side and five robbers armed with knives boarded the vessel. Alert duty bosun sighted the robbers and raised the alarm. Crew mustered. The robbers threatened the bosun and jumped overboard empty handed. Vung Tau VTS notified.

We’ve reported that within one week back in March, pirates attacked three ships near Singapore. Dryad Maritime released this chilling information infographic back in April which also indicates how many crewmembers have been taken hostage by pirates.

An example of modern day pirates

Whilst it’s not often reported or discussed, there is generally a notice of pirates attacking everyday. It’s an alarming trend that we will follow closely and report on when necessary.

Image credit for modern day pirates