Web alert: IMB publishes annual report on piracy, showing increase in hijackings in SE Asia

News & Insights 14 January 2015


Piracy is reported to be at its lowest level since 2008, but there has been a marked increase in the number of hijackings in the previous 12 months.

The IMB has published its annual report on piracy, covering the period from January to December 2014. Overall, the report highlights a continued downward trend in reported piracy incidents globally.
 
However, while piracy is reported to be at its lowest level since 2008, there has been a marked increase in the number of hijackings in the previous 12 months. The increase, from 12 incidents in 2013 to 21 in 2014, is attributable to attacks on small tankers in the coastal waters of South East Asia. Eleven of the 21 vessels hijacked were taken in the waters around Pulau Bintan and the South China Sea. Pirates in the area appear to be focusing on tankers with cargoes of marine diesel and gas oil so that the product can be stolen and sold.
 
In total in 2014, there were 245 reported piracy incidents, with the highest number of events taking place in the following locations: 

  • South East Asia – 141
  • Africa – 55 (11 of which relate to Somalian piracy) 
  • Indian subcontinent – 34 

During 2014, 21 ships were hijacked, 183 vessels were boarded and there were 13 reported incidents of ships being fired upon. In relation to personnel, 4 piracy-related deaths are reported, as well as a further 13 injuries, with 442 crew members being taken hostage and 9 kidnapped.
 
Aside from the increase in reported incidents in South East Asia, a significant number of incidents were reported in West Africa, with a particular focus on Nigeria where there were 18 attacks. The majority of attacks in this region were focused upon tankers and other vessels linked to the oil industry.
 
The IMB reports that incidents in Bangladesh have increased, from 12 in 2014 to 21 in 2014, but that the majority of attacks were low-level in nature and focused around minor instances of theft.
 
While the statistics published by the IMB appear to reflect a downturn in reported piracy events globally, a risk still exists and the club continues to recommend that members are vigilant and exercise caution in affected areas, as well as complying with the latest version of Best Management Practices and related guidance.

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