Three actual incidents of armed robbery against ships (one CAT 2 and two CAT 3), and one attempted incident in Asia were reported to ReCAAP ISC, between 18 – 24 July.
Of the four incidents, two incidents occurred to bulk carriers while underway in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), and two incidents on board a tanker and a chemical tanker while anchored at Batam Anchorage and Dumai Port, Inner Anchorage respectively.
Area of concern
The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the SOMS. With the two incidents occurred in SOMS, a total of 48 incidents were reported in the SOMS since January 2023. The Centre advises ships to continue to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting SOMS; and the littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in the area.
Downgrading of threat level
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), after careful consideration of inputs from stakeholders and counterparts with vital involvement in securing the Sulu-Celebes
Seas maritime security measure, recommends the downgrading of the threat on the ‘Abduction of Crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas’ from ‘POTENTIALLY HIGH’ to ‘MODERATE’. The MODERATE threat level implies that ‘Incidents are possible to occur but are relatively less severe in nature’.
Update of ReCAAP ISC Advisory
- As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas has diminished since January 2020 due to successful military operations and robust law enforcement initiatives, the ReCAAP ISC updates its Advisory to all ships to consider re-route from the area as an option based on its prerogative.
- For ships transiting the area, the ship masters and crew are strongly encouraged to exercise extra vigilance and report all incidents immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.
Ship master and crew are to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, referring to the Poster on the Contact Details for Reporting of Incidents of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, exercise vigilance and adopt appropriate preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide 2 to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia.