One pirate attack, three robbery incidents reported on ships in Asia over seven-day period in April 2020

NYK Joanna
NYK Joanna

During April 14 to 20, 2020, four incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia were reported to the Information Sharing Centre (ISC) of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

Of the four incidents, one was a piracy incident that occurred on board a very large crude carrier (VLCC) while underway in the South China Sea.

The three incidents of armed robbery against ships were: an incident that occurred on board a containership while anchored at Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) Breakwater, Philippines; an 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 an incident on a chemical tanker while anchored off Alang Anchorage, India.

No crew injuries were reported in any of the four incidents though the perpetrators in one of the boardings were confirmed to be armed.

The details of the four incidents are as follows:

  • On Tuesday, April 14, the Singapore-flagged containership NYK Joanna (pictured) was at anchor at the MICT breakwater in Manila when it was boarded by two perpetrators, one of whom was seen brandishing a knife. The perpetrators escaped, having stolen a set of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), one battery-powered torch, and three sets of chain blocks. The incident was reported to the Philippine Coast Guard station in Manila and to VTMS Manila.
  • On Thursday, April 16, the Belgian-flagged VLCC Arafura was en route from the port of Sungai Linggi, Malaysia, to Qingdao, China, when the master discovered that padlocks to some restricted spaces onboard were cut using a heavy cutter. A breathing apparatus air compressor unit and various spare parts were confirmed stolen.
  • Also on April 16, the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Palais was en route from Singapore to China when the master reported to Singapore VTIS East on the sighting of three perpetrators at the stern of the ship. There was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew. The master raised the alarm and a search on board the ship was conducted to locate the perpetrators, but with no sighting of them. The master reported that the crew were safe and some engine spare parts were stolen.
  • Seafrost, a Palau-flagged chemical tanker, was boarded by perpetrators off Alang Anchorage, India, on Saturday, April 18. Some property on the ship was reported stolen.

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