IMB Reports Increase In Pirate And Armed Attacks Off West Africa Waters
Recently the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that the waters off West Africa remain the most dangerous hotspot for piracy and armed attacks on shipping. Recently, armed pirates kidnapped 10 Turkish seafarers from a Turkish-flagged ship, Paskoy-1, off Nigeria on 13 July.
A further eight crew members were left on board. The regional authorities were notified by IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) that a Ghana Navy patrol boat located the ship on 15 July and escorted it to a safe port.
Over in South East Asian waters, where piracy has been reducing with joint marine police and maritime authority operations across neighboring countries, there was an armed pirate attack in the South China Sea around 16 nautical miles off Pulau Damar, Indonesia on 21 July.
Seven pirates armed with a pistol and knives boarded the South Korean-flagged and -owned bulk carrier CK Bluebell, took the captain and second officer hostage and assaulted them, and stole USD13,000 cash and personal belongings from the crew. Some crew suffered minor injuries during the incident.
Other recent incidents reported to the IMB worldwide 24-hour PRC include the following.
- On July 21, five robbers armed with knives boarded a containership anchored at Freetown, Sierra Leone. They took the duty crew member hostage and stole his personal belongings and ship’s property. The robbers escaped after the alarm was raised and the crew mustered. The duty crew member sustained injuries.
- On July 11, six small wooden boats approached a tug and barge off Tanjung Piai, Johor, Malaysia. Robbers boarded the barge, stole its cargo of scrap metal and escaped.
- On June 30, robbers boarded a bulk carrier berthed at Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta, Indonesia. The alarm was raised and the crew mustered. Ship’s property was reported as stolen.