Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah

Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah

Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah

Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah.

ReCAAP ISC Special Report on Abducting of Crew from Ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and Waters off Eastern Sabah (Part III)

ReCAAP ISC has issued a Special Report includes an advisory to the shipping industry to exercise enhanced vigilance and to report immediately to the relevant Centres when transiting Sulu-Celebes Sea and Eastern Sabah waters.

Summary of Report

Incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off eastern Sabah were first reported in March 2016, and these continue to occur. A total of 22 incidents comprising 13 actual incidents and 9 attempted incidents had been reported to the ReCAAP ISC. A total of 58 crew had been abducted; and as of 31 March 2017, 37 crew had been released and 21 crew are still being held in captivity. For the first six months (between March and September 2016), fishing trawlers and tug boats towing barges were targeted. However, from October 2016 onwards, larger tonnage ships including bulk carrier, general cargo ship, container ship and product tanker were targeted. Most of these larger tonnage ships managed to avoid boarding by conducting evasive manoeuvres and implementing effective anti-piracy measures. About 80% of the incidents occurred during daylight hours, and in most incidents the perpetrators did not harm the crew except in three incidents involving Giang Hai where two crew were killed, and Henry and Royal 16 where the crew had suffered some injuries. The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was reportedly to be behind most of these incidents. There is no evidence to suggest that particular flag ship or nationality of crew were targeted.

Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah

The ReCAAP ISC is deeply concerned about the situation in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and waters off Eastern Sabah; and had issued two Special Reports in April 2016 and July 2016. As it was advised in the Incident Alert dated 21 November 2016, the ReCAAP ISC maintains the advice that all ships to re-route from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise enhanced vigilance while transiting the area, and to report immediately to the Centres.

Update of Situation (March 2016 – March 2017) Overview

Incidents involving the abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and off eastern Sabah region were first reported in March 2016, and continue to occur. Between March 2016 and March 2017, a total of 22 incidents of abduction of crew (comprising 13 actual incidents and nine attempted incidents) were reported to the ReCAAP ISC. Most of the incidents were claimed by the terrorist group of the Philippines Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). As of 31 March 2017, 37 crew had been released/rescued and 21 crew are still being held in captivity. Map 2 (below) shows the approximate location of the 22 incidents.

Update on Situation Map - ReCAAP ISC

Between March 2016 and September 2016, the perpetrators mostly targeted at tug boats towing barges and fishing trawlers. Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah. However, since October 2016, the perpetrators began to attack ships of larger tonnages. In their attempt to board some of the ships, they fired at them. This was evidenced in the incident involving Panama-registered bulk carrier Ken Toku on 23 Nov 16 when the perpetrators fired at the starboard side of the ship, and in the incident involving Antigua and Barbuda-registered container ship, Ocean Kingdom on 3 Jan 17 when the perpetrators fired continuously at the ship resulting in multiple bullet shots at the bridge area and different parts of the ship.

No crew were injured in these incidents. However, in the incident involving Indonesia-registered tug boat Henry on 15 Apr 16, one crew was wounded during the shoot-out between the perpetrators and the Malaysian Marine Police, and in the incident involving Vietnam-registered bulk carrier Royal 16 on 11 Nov 16, two crew were wounded when the perpetrators fired at the cabin doors of the ship.

In the latest incident involving Vietnam-registered general cargo ship Giang Hai on 19 Feb 17, one of the crew was shot when he tried to deny the perpetrators’ access to the bridge. He died from his injuries subsequently. Of the six abducted crew, one of them was reportedly killed by the perpetrators during transport and his body was thrown overboard.

Download the Full Report HERE

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Maritime Security Abducting Crew In Sulu And Celebes Seas And Waters Off Eastern Sabah