The ReCAAP ISC has issued its monthly report on piracy for May 2013. According to the report, four incidents of robbery against ships reported and no piracy incident during this month.
Compared to the same month of 2012 (eight incidents), the number of incidents reported in May 2013 had decreased by 50%. The number of incidents reported in May 2013 is the lowest compared to the same period during past four reporting years (2009-2012).
Two of the four incidents reported in May 2013 occurred onboard barges while underway. The incidents involved barge Crest 2825 occurred north of Tanjung Babi, Pulau Batam on 12 May 13, and barge Crest 289 at approximately 9.8 nm west-southwest of Pulau Berhala on 15 May 13. In the incident involving Crest 2825, the master of the Singapore-registered tug boat Crest Jade 1 reported that four men armed with knives and long knives boarded the barge at or about 2100 hours (local time) while the vessels were transiting to Malaysia.
The master activated the emergency alarm immediately, and the robbers upon hearing the alarm, fled in a small boat taking with them ship stores.In the incident involving barge Crest 289, the CSO of Singapore-registered tug boat TCL4401reported that robbers had boarded the barge between 0000-0400 hours (local time) while the vessels were passing the Tioman Island, enroute to Kuantan Port, Malaysia. The master discovered the missing items upon arrival at the Kuantan Port. In both incidents, the crew was not injured.
In May 2013, one noticeable characteristic in two of the robbery incidents is the specific targeting of barges while underway. This may be due to the inherent vulnerability of the barges as compared to the tug boats. Barges are usually unmanned while in transit making it easier for the robbers to board the vessel unnoticed. Cargoes and equipment are carried onboard the barges which provides the robbers more items to steal and more areas to hide, especially during the hours of darkness. As the barge is being towed by the tug boat at a slow speed, it takes considerable time for the tug boat to manoeuvre in order to initiate response, if any, against the robbers present onboard the barge. The robbers on being spotted escapes in the smaller high speed boats/crafts.
The ReCAAP ISC recommends that the owner of tug boat and barge may consider strengthening security measures on the barge; and the master should enhance vigilance and keep a close eye for the barge, especially in this region and in the hours of darkness.
For more information, please click at ReCAAP ISC Report – May 2013
Source: ReCAAP ICS