The ICC Worldwide Maritime Bureau’s newest international piracy and armed theft report recorded 37 incidents within the first three months of 2022 – in comparison with 38 incidents over the identical interval final 12 months – with almost half of them (41%) occurring in Southeast Asian waters, significantly within the Singapore Straits. Compared, there was a welcome lower in reported incidents within the Gulf of Guinea area with seven incidents reported for the reason that begin of the 12 months.
Sustained efforts are nonetheless wanted to make sure the continued security of seafarers within the West African area that continues to be harmful as evidenced by the hijack of a product tanker off the coast of Ivory Coast on 24 January, throughout which all 17 crew had been taken hostage. Reviews of armed robberies have additionally been acquired inside the anchorage waters of Angola and Ghana
Worldwide, that is the primary quarter since 2010 the place no crew kidnappings have been reported, though violence in opposition to and the risk to crews proceed with 23 crew taken hostage and an extra 4 crew threatened.
Efforts to be sustained within the Gulf of Guinea
Due to the efforts taken by maritime authorities within the area, there have been no reported crew kidnappings inside Gulf of Guinea waters in Q1 2022. It is a welcome change in comparison with 40 crew kidnappings in the identical interval in 2021. The efforts of the regional and worldwide navies have additionally resulted in a discount of reported incidents from 16 within the first quarter of 2021 to seven over the identical interval in 2022. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre nonetheless urges the Coastal response businesses and impartial worldwide navies to proceed their efforts to make sure piracy is completely addressed in these extremely dangerous waters.
The risk to harmless seafarers stays and is greatest exemplified with a current assault the place a Panamax sized bulk service was boarded by pirates 260 NM off the coast of Ghana on 3 April. This illustrates that regardless of a lower in reported incidents, the specter of Gulf of Guinea piracy and crew kidnappings stays.
On being notified of the incident, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre instantly alerted and liaised with the Regional Authorities and worldwide warships to request for help.
An Italian Navy warship and its helicopter immediately intervened, saving the crew and enabling the vessel to proceed to a secure port below escort.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre commends the immediate and optimistic actions of the Italian Navy which undoubtedly resulted within the crew and ship being saved.
Incidents on the rise within the Singapore Straits
Virtually 30% of all incidents reported globally for the reason that begin of 2022 have been in opposition to vessels navigating the Singapore Straits. Whereas these are thought of low degree opportunistic crimes and fall below the definition of armed theft crews proceed to be in danger. Within the 11 reported incidents in these waters, two crew had been threatened and one taken hostage during the incident. It has additionally been reported that in at the least one incident a gun was used to threaten the crew.
IMB Director Michael Howlett mentioned: “Perpetrators are armed in most incidents, placing crews in danger even within the low-level opportunistic incidents. Coastal States are urged to extend efforts to establish and apprehend these criminals to reinforce maritime safety and facilitate safer commerce throughout these essential and strategic waterways.”
Exterior the Singapore Straits, the data sharing cooperation between the Indonesian Marine Police and the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre continues to ship optimistic outcomes with solely 4 incidents reported off the coasts of Indonesia and Malaysia, in comparison with two over the identical interval in 2021.
Peruvian waters stay of concern.
As a area, South American ports account for 27% of the worldwide incidents, with 10 reported occasions. Notably, Callao anchorage in Peru stays an space of concern, with six incidents reported within the first three months of 2022 in comparison with 5 incidents throughout the identical interval final 12 months and just one in 2019..
Three incidents had been additionally reported in Macapa anchorage off the coast of Brazil. In two of those incidents, crews had been both threatened or taken hostage, threatened with knives, tied up with their face lined with burlap during the incident.
Menace subsists within the Gulf of Aden
Though no incidents had been reported there for the reason that begin of the 12 months, the specter of piracy nonetheless exists within the waters off the southern Purple Sea and within the Gulf of Aden, which embody the Yemeni and Somali coasts. Though the chance for incidents has lowered, the Somali pirates proceed to own the aptitude and capability to hold out incidents, and all service provider ships are suggested to stick to the suggestions within the newest Greatest Administration Practices, whereas transiting in these waters.
MB Piracy Reporting Centre
Since its founding in 1991, IMB Piracy Reporting Centre stays a single level of contact to report all crimes of maritime piracy and armed theft, 24-hours a day. In keeping with ICC’s function to allow enterprise to safe peace, prosperity and alternative for all, the Centre’s immediate forwarding of stories and liaison with response businesses, broadcasts to delivery by way of GMDSS Security Internet Companies and electronic mail alerts to CSOs, all supplied without charge, assist the response in opposition to piracy and armed theft, selling the safety of seafarers globally and facilitating international commerce.
IMB encourages all shipmasters and house owners to report all precise, tried and suspected international piracy and armed theft incidents to the Piracy Reporting Centre as an important first step to making sure enough sources are allotted by authorities to deal with maritime piracy.
Supply: The Worldwide Chamber of Commerce (ICC)