Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia

(Image Courtesy: ReCAAP ISC)


During 21-27 Apr 20, two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to the ReCAAP ISC. Of the two incidents, one was a CAT 31 incident that occurred on board a bulk carrier while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait; and the other was a CAT 42 incident that occurred
on board a tanker while anchored at Vung Tau Anchorage, Vietnam.

The location of the incidents is shown in the map above.


As the risk of the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah is high as demonstrated by the recurrence of the abduction incident on 17 Jan 20, the ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory issued via ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 Nov 16 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters
and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report immediately to the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.

The contact details of the Operation Centres of the Philippines and ESSCOM of Malaysia (updated by ReCAAP ISC on 3 Jan 19) are as follows:

In the event that the ship master is not able to establish contact with the Operation Centres of the Philippines as listed in the ReCAAP ISC Advisory, he can contact the Philippine Coast Guard Command Centre at the following contact details:

Tel: +632-8-527-8481 (ext: 6136/37)

+632-998-585-5327 (mobile)
+632-917-842-8249 (mobile)
+632-8-527-3877 (fax)

Email: pcgcomcen@coastguard.gov.ph

The ReCAAP ISC advises the shipping industry and ships to enhance their situation awareness by referring to the Guidance on Abduction of Crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and Waters off Eastern Sabah produced by ReCAAP ISC in July 2019.


“The ReCAAP ISC urges 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.”

Sea News, April 29

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra