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Web Alert: The International Maritime Bureau issue 2018 piracy report

25 January 2019

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) have issued their annual 2018 piracy and armed robbery report, which has shown an increase in reported incidents compared to last year.

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017. In particular, a noted increase of attacks against ships and crews around West Africa has been reported.

The IMB have also issued the following press release, providing a synopsis on particular areas where acts of piracy and armed robbery have been prominent.

Types of vessels attacked

Gulf of Guinea
Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo have more than doubled in 2018. These waters accounted for all six hijackings worldwide, 13 of the 18 ships fired upon, 130 of the 141 hostages taken globally, and 78 of 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom (in the last three months of 2018, 41 kidnappings were recorded in waters off Nigeria alone).

Somalia
Although no ships were hijacked, pirates fired upon a suezmax tanker in the Gulf of Aden, as well as a product tanker and a capesize bulk carrier more than three hundred miles from the Somali coastline.

Indonesia improves
Patrols by the Indonesia Marine Police have seen the number of incidents drop for the third successive year. The majority of the 36 Indonesian reports were low level opportunistic thefts. Six crew however were taken hostage and threatened, indicating the need for continued vigilance and appropriate reporting.

Malaysia
Attacks off Sabah, eastern Malaysia, continue to be a cause of concern with five crew from two fishing boats reported as kidnapped. Separately four attackers in a speedboat fired on a tug, and the master was shot in the leg.

Philippines
Ten incidents have been reported from the Philippine islands – down from 22 in 2017. Batangas anchorage accounts for five of these. In one attack, suspected militants fired upon a general cargo ship highlighting the need for registering transit with appropriate authorities and paying heed to the IMB broadcasts via Inmarsat SafetyNet Service, which provides information on suspected militant movements.

Total incidents per region


Table 1: List of countries where vessels have been fired upon or hijacked in 2018

Country

Attempted

Boarded

Fired Upon

Hijacked

Benin

 

3

 

2

Congo

 

4

1

2

Ghana

1

8

 

1

Gulf of Aden

   

1

 

Malaysia

2

8

1

 

Nigeria

7

28

12

1

Philippines

3

6

1

 

Somalia

   

2

 

Grand Total

13

57

18

6


Table 2: Total Types of attacks

Category

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Attempted

28

27

22

22

34

Boarded

183

203

150

136

143

Fired upon

13

1

12

16

18

Hijack

21

15

7

6

6

Total

245

246

191

180

201

 

Types of attacks


Table 3: Type of violence to crew

Types of Violence

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Assaulted

1

14

5

6

 

Hostage

442

271

151

91

141

Injured

13

14

8

6

8

Kidnap/Ransom

9

19

62

75

83

Killed

4

1

 

3

 

Missing

1

 

 

 

 

Threatened

9

14

10

10

9

Total

479

333

236

191

241


Reliable global anti-piracy support

Since 1991, IMB’s 24-hour manned Piracy Reporting Centre has provided the maritime industry, governments and response agencies with timely and transparent data on piracy and armed robbery incidents – received directly from the Master of the vessel or its owners. The IMB PRC’s prompt forwarding of reports and liaison with response agencies, its broadcasts to shipping via Inmarsat Safety Net Services and email alerts to CSOs, all provided free of charge, has helped the response against piracy and armed robbery and the security of seafarers, globally.

IMB continues to urge shipmasters and owners and other maritime interests to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the IMB PRC. This first step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle this crime. As an independent, non-commercial, and apolitical organization, IMB provides transparent statistics, which acts as a catalyst to achieve this goal.

The full report can be found in the attachment on the right.

For more information, please contact your usual club contact or the authors of this article.​