Second Crew Abduction of 2017 Ends in Fatality
On February 19, the Giang Hai, a Vietnam-registered bulk carrier was underway from Indonesia to IIoilo Port, Philippines, when an unidentified number of pirates boarded the ship and abducted six crew members. The incident took place 35 nautical miles north west of Doc Can Island, Sulu, Philippines.
According to a report the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), the master, chief officer, third Officer, second engineer and one oiler, were abducted and and shot one crew member, a sailor, was shot to death.
The pirates destroyed navigation and communication equipment before escaping. Philippine authorities are now investigating the incident with the ship at the Taganak anchorage area, Tawi Tawi, Philippines.
“Of concern,” the RECAAP report note, “this is the second incident involving abduction of crew in 2017, and the first time that a crew was shot to death. The ReCAAP ISC is deeply concerned about the situation of abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea region.”
The organization reiterated of November 2016 to all ships to re-route from that area where possible. “Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area,” the report said.
All vessels are advised to report to the Philippines authorities and Eastern Sabah Security Command prior to entering or passing the Sibutu Passage and Sulu-Celebes Sea.