Ocean Shipping in Asia Safer This Year - Global Trade Magazine
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  June 15th, 2016 | Written by

Ocean Shipping in Asia Safer This Year

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  • The oil tanker Hai Soon 12 was hijacked in May, the first such incident in nine months.
  • Indonesian authorities foiled theft of tanker by boarding, rescuing crew, and arresting the perpetrators.
  • Of eight maritime incidents in Asia reported in May, seven were armed robberies against ships and one was a piracy.

A total of eight incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia in May 2016. This accounts for a 65-percent decrease compared to the same period in 2015, according to a new report from the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

For the period of January to May 2016, a total of 38 incidents were reported, the lowest in number compared to the same period in the past four years.

There was no incidents reported in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in May 2016. However, there was one incident involving the hijacking of an oil tanker, the Hai Soon 12, after a lapse of nine months from the last oil cargo theft incident which occurred last year on August 8. In the latest case, the Indonesian authorities successfully foiled the theft by boarding the tanker, rescuing the crew, arresting the perpetrators, and recovering the full cargo.

Of the eight incidents reported in May 2016, seven were armed robberies against ships and one was a piracy incident occurred in the South China Sea.

Between January and May 2016, a total of 38 incidents were reported in Asia, and this accounts for a 56-percent decrease in overall number of incidents compared to the first five months of 2015 when 87 incidents were reported. The number of incidents reported during January to May 2016 is the lowest in five years for the January-to-May reporting period.

Of the eight incidents reported in May 2016, besides the hijacking of the Hai Soon 12 off, another serious incident occurred at Samarinda Anchorage, Indonesia, involving four perpetrators armed with knives who boarded a bulk carrier, tied up the crew, and fled with ship stores. The other six incidents were of petty theft, mostly occurring at ports and anchorages.

Of the eight incidents reported in May 2016, four incidents occurred on board ships while anchored in Indonesia, one in Vietnam, and one in India. The other two incidents occurred on board ships while underway in the South China Sea and Java Sea.

While the number and severity of incidents decreased in May 2016, “there is no room for complacency,” concluded the ReCAAP report. “The failed attempt on Hai Soon 12 demonstrates the importance of timely reporting by the ship master, effectiveness of the information sharing mechanism and quick responses by the enforcement agencies.”

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