An Incident Alert focusing on incidents at Manila Anchorage Areas, the Philippines. During January-August 2021, a total of eight incidents of armed robbery against ships occurred at Manila Anchorage areas in the Philippines. The location of all the eight incidents is at South Harbour Anchorage Area of Manila.
Particularly, in the latest three incidents in July and August, the perpetrators were armed with gun/knife and demonstrated violence to the crew.
In the incident on 17 Jul, the perpetrator pointed an improvised (hand-made) gun at a duty crew, took his radio and tied him to the railing of the ship.
During 17-23 August 2021, four incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia.
Of these, two were CAT 2 incidents and two were CAT 3 incidents. In fat, the two CAT 2 incidents occurred to ships while anchored at Tanjung Priok Anchorage, Indonesia, and at South Harbour Anchorage Area of Manila, the Philippines, respectively.
In both incidents, the perpetrators were armed with gun or knives and they tied up the crew. Engine spares were stolen in the incident at Tanjung Priok Anchorage, while buckets of paint were stolen in the incident at South Harbour Anchorage Area of Manila.
As explained, the two CAT 3 incidents occurred to ships while underway in the Singapore Strait. One incident occurred in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and the other in the westbound lane of the TSS. In both incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives and were sighted in the engine room of the ships. Engine spares were stolen in both incidents.
With these two incidents, a total of 24 incidents had occurred in the Singapore Strait (SS) since January 2021.
The ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.
Under section 4 of the IMSBC Code, Shippers must provide the Master or his representative with appropriate information on the cargo sufficiently in advance of loading to enable the precautions necessary for proper stowage and safe carriage of the cargo to be put into effect. They must also declare that the cargo information is correct.
Unfortunately, the Club regularly sees Cargo Declarations that are inaccurate or incomplete. These can be for many reasons, such as:
The above list should not be considered exhaustive but indicates frequent issues seen by the Club.
Before accepting a dry bulk cargo for loading, Masters must familiarise themselves thoroughly with the applicable IMSBC Code schedule and the information that needs to be provided by Shippers. They can then review the information supplied and:
In case of doubt, they should consult with owners, charterers and their P&I Club.
Members are reminded that compliance with the IMSBC Code is mandatory under SOLAS; therefore, cover may be prejudiced when an inaccurate Cargo Declaration is knowingly accepted.
Shots were fired for two hours
A Turkish-flagged Ro-Ro cargo ship became subject of a piracy attack while underway off Somalia on Friday, 13 August, according to information provided by EU NAVFOR.
As reported, the EU NAVFOR ATALANTA Joint Operation Centre received an alert according to which the MV ANATOLIAN was under attack by a skiff with 4-5 armed persons onboard. Reportedly, the skiff attempted to approach the vessel and opened fire with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). One of these RPG caused damage in the vicinity of the bridge.
After almost two hours of exchange of fire between the assailants and the Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel onboard, the attackers returned to shore. There were no injuries onboard the ship, which continued its route and arrived at the port of Mogadishu on August 14th.
The attack was monitored by EU NAVFOR ATALANTA JOC – Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA), sharing information with UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO). Finally, no direct intervention was necessary.
Although piracy and robbery at sea in Somalia has been deterred and suppressed, this incident demonstrates that these crimes are not eradicated. Therefore, CSOs and Masters are strongly recommended to register their vessels with EU NAVFOR – MSCHOA when entering the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) and to report any incidents to UKMTO in accordance with Best Management Practices, Revision 5 (BMP5)