Maritime Threat Picture

in collaboration with NORTH

Alarm raised after intruders spotted on product tanker view more

Crew member assaulted by intruders view more

Robbers tie up security guards view more

Attack on merchant ship broken off after security vessel approaches view more

Pirates seize twelve crew members view more

SOMALIA - Risk: Ships should register with the EU’s Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa view more

Conakry Anchorage: Shots fired at tanker's bridge view more

Malaysia: Armed boarders seize three crew from dock fishing vessel view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Economic and social turmoil contribute to deteriorating port security. view more

Ships report skiffs coming alongside view more

Chrome cargoes causing confusion in Mozambique view more

Nigeria - Risk: Sharp rise in the number of vessels being boarded by intruders view more

Libya – Risk: Tankers and their crews being detained on suspicion of oil smuggling view more

NIGERIA/GULF OF GUINEA: Risk - Piracy threat in Gulf of Guinea view more

PERU - Risk: of robberies from ships in Callao view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Difficult navigation and port conditions in Abidjan view more

Threat: Hijacking and boarding for theft in South China Sea view more

MALACCA STRAIT - Risk: robbery. Maintain strict anti-piracy and robbery watches. view more

SINGAPORE STRAIT - Risk: Armed robbery whilst transiting the Singapore Strait view more

Risk: Syrian sanctions view more

IRAN - Risk: Iranian Sanctions view more

LIBYA - Risk: fines issued for delays in discharging at Misurata, Libya view more

Risk: Drug trafficking at Puerto Cabello, Lake Maracaibo and Orinoco River ports view more

ALGERIA - Risk: Customs fines in Algeria view more

VIETNAM - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in Vietnam view more

Ice-conditions at Ukrainian ports view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Hull staining at Dakar, Senegal view more

SUDAN - Risk: Damage and shortage claims for bagged cargo in Port Sudan view more

UAE - Risk Possible delays caused by disembarking crew due to injury or sickness at Fujairah, UAE view more

CAMEROON - Risk: Fines imposed for sewage treatment plant effluent non-compliance view more

CHINA - Risk: Theft from ships in Tianjin anchorage view more

GUINEA - Risk: armed robbery at Conakry Anchorage view more

PHILIPPINES - Theft from vessels in Manila and Batangas view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Delays due to hull cleaning in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Fines for inaccurate bunker customs declarations in the port of Dakar, Senegal view more

INDIA - Risk: Fines and delays for seafarers failing to submit a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in Mumbai, India view more

EGYPT- Risk: Fines for fender damage claims in Egyptian ports view more

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Risk: Fines for unauthorised transit through marine reserve areas view more

ARGENTINA - Risk: Grounding in the Parana River, Argentina view more

PERU - Risk: Unexpected charges for sludge removal services at ports in Peru view more

SAUDI ARABIA & UAE Risk: Infection from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) view more

MEXICO - Risk: Shipper's surveyor forcing Masters to accept pre-prepared non-clausable mate's receipts at Veracruz, Mexico view more

URUGUAY - Risk: Fines and delays for non-compliance with Uruguayan Oil Spill Response Organisation (OSRO) contract requirements view more

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Navigation through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Australia view more

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines for short landing fertilizer cargoes in Argentina view more

ANGOLA - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and delays for carrying out non-approved bunkering operations in Angolan waters view more

LIBYA - Risk: Ship arrest for loading banned illicit crude oil from Libya view more

HONG KONG - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with Hong Kong - Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulations view more

USA - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI within the US Emission Control Area view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Self heating petroleum coke at Amuay Terminal, Venezuela view more

CAMEROON - Risk: Vessels grounding in the approaches to Douala port, Cameroon view more

CHINA - Risk: Fines following illegal discharges into the Bohai Sea and China's inland waterways view more

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Detentions and delays arising from Port State Control (PSC) inspections and non-compliance with MLC 2006 regulations view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Cape Town view more

UKRAINE - Risk: Ballast water sampling requirements, Ukraine view more

CHINA - Risk: The collection of tax from non-resident taxpayers engaged in international transportation business with China view more

SAUDI ARABIA - Risk: Potential shortage claims when loading bulk sulphur at Jubail, Saudi Arabia view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of paper shortage claims in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire view more

PAKISTAN - Risk: Ship arrest and customs fines as a result of fabricated coal cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan view more

BULGARIA - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Varna, Bulgaria view more

ROMANIA - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Constantza, Romania view more

CHINA - Risk: Navigation danger due to expansion of aquaculture at Lanshan, China view more

CANADA - Risk: Ice navigation in Canadian waters during the winter months view more

CHINA - Risk: Fines, Port State Control detentions and delays for breaching regulations for passing through the Qiongzhou Straits, China view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in customs documentation at Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Misdeclared metallic iron content of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) cargoes at San Felix, Venezuela view more

MALAYSIA - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Kuantan, Malaysia, may be prone to liquefaction view more

GABON - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in port clearance documentation at Port Gentil, Gabon view more

CHINA - Risk: Fertilizer loaded in Chinese ports susceptible to caking and contamination view more

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Delays resulting from port officials' refusal to land stowaways at Abidjan and San Pedro, Cote d'Ivoire view more

CHINA - Risk: Danger to navigation due to sea ice in the Baohai Sea, China view more

KUWAIT - Risk: Claims arising from grain cargo shortages in Shuwaikh port, Kuwait view more

CHINA - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of fluorspar cargoes in China view more

PAKISTAN - Risk: Bulk liquid cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan view more

BRAZIL - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Trombetas, Brazil may be prone to liquefaction view more

SAUDI ARABIA - Risk: Grain cargo shortage claims at Saudi Arabian ports view more

ANGOLA - Risk: Damages and shortage claims for bagged rice cargoes to Luanda view more

INDONESIA - Risk: Potential mis-declaration of Indonesian nickel ore cargoes in Indonesia view more

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Risk: US Environmental Protection Agency fines for noncompliance with MARPOL Annex VI low sulphur content fuels. view more

UKRAINE - Risk: Black-listing and possible ship arrest resulting from previously visiting Crimean ports view more

THAILAND - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of loading/discharging dangerous goods without permission from Thailand's Marine Safety and Environment Bureau/Harbour Department view more

TURKEY - Risk: Fines for short landing of cargo at Turkish ports view more

HONG KONG - Risk: Fines for emitting dark smoke in the port of Hong Kong view more

INDONESIA - Risk: Fraudulent Port State Control (PSC) inspection charges in Indonesia view more

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: Issues loading iron ore during the rainy season in Sierra Leone view more

GHANA - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Takoradi may be prone to liquefaction view more

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: Problems associated with the loading of bauxite on the Sherbro River, Sierra Leone view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Durban view more

NORTH AMERICA - Risk: Delays due to the discovery of Asian Gypsy Moth in Canada and the USA view more

SUDAN - Risk: Regular shortage claims following the discharge of bulk wheat at Port Sudan view more

ALGERIA -Risk: Customs fines due to shortage claims for grain cargoes shipped to Algeria view more

INDIA - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of iron ore cargoes in Goa, India view more

MEXICO - Risk: Delays, ship arrest and problems loading iron ore cargo in Mexican ports view more

MEXICO - Risk: Drug cartel activity and acts of violence in and around Mexican port cities view more

South America - Risk: Drug Trafficking throughout South America view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Ships anchoring in South African coastal waters are obliged to first obtain permission from the South African Maritime Safety Authority view more

YEMEN - Risk: Sanctions and the US Department of the Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List for Yemen view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Senegalese authorities forbid the landing of stowaways at the port of Dakar view more

CAMEROON - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of exaggerated cargo claims at the port of Douala view more

BENIN - Risk: Exaggerated shortage claims resulting in customs fines view more

YEMEN - Risk: Fines, delays and detention as a result of differences in oil record books and shipboard retention of oils, Yemen view more

YEMEN - Risk: Fabricated stevedore personal Injury claims in Yemeni ports view more

YEMEN - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and possible delays as a result of late reporting of Fixed and Floating Object (FFO) claims in Yemen view more

YEMEN - Risk: Ship security as a result of the civil war in Yemen view more

GHANA - Risk: Stowaways boarding or being discovered at Tema Port or Takoradi ports, Ghana view more

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: associated with discharging bulk rice at ports in Sierra Leone view more

JORDAN - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in the port of Aqaba view more

LIBYA - Risk: status of, and security at, Libyan Ports view more

YEMEN - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of exaggerated cargo shortage claims in Yemen view more

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Possible ship detention by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as a consequence of using non-approved navigation charts in Australian waters view more

COLOMBIA - Risk: Possible delays caused by the Colombian Navy carrying out routine anti-drug trafficking searches in Colombia's ports (Puerto Bolivar, Puerto Neuvo and Puerto Drummond) view more

LIBYA - Risk: Sanctions and US Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List, Libya view more

YEMEN - Risk: Unexpected expenses and fines arising from the shifting of vessels, arrival draught restrictions and exceeding time allotted for discharge in Hodeida view more

TURKEY - Risk: Issues associated with loading steel products in Turkish ports view more

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Delays caused by ship detentions due to the discovery of armaments on board merchant vessels in South Africa view more

TUNISIA - Risk: P&I claims and customs fines arising from short landing of cargo in Tunisian ports. view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Senegalese authorities robustly impose customs fines on vessels calling at Dakar view more

SENEGAL - Risk: Restricted availability of bunkers at Dakar roads, Senegal view more

THAILAND - Risk: Problems associated with loading bulk and bagged sugar in Thailand view more

THAILAND - Risk: Old, damaged bagged rice from Thailand view more

THAILAND - Risk: Potential damage to bagged rice due to dunnaging in Thailand view more

NIGERIA – Risk: Nigerian navy arrest vessels employing the services of armed security guards view more

SUDAN - Risk: Fraudulent steel transactions to Port Sudan view more

TAIWAN - Risk: Damage to nets and equipment, safe transit of the coastal fishing zones of Taiwan view more

GUATEMALA - Risk: Nickel ore can liquefy due to excessive moisture content view more

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines in Argentina relating to the misdeclaration of ship's stores view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Eritrea, but only South of 15º N view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Venezuela. view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Yemen view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Syria view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Saudi Arabia, excluding transit view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Lebanon view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Israel view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Iraq, including all Iraqi offshore terminals view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Iran view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: The port of Jakarata view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Pakistan view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Togo view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Somalia view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Indian Ocean / Arabian Sea / Gulf of Aden / Gulf of Oman / Southern Red Sea view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Benin view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Nigeria view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Libya view more

Joint War Committee Listed Area: Gulf of Guinea, but only the waters of the Togolese, Beninese and Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zones north of Latitude 3° N view more

USA - Risk: merchant vessels subject to fines and severe delays due to illegal contraband carriage, particularly from the port of Miami and Port Everglades view more

CARIBBEAN - Risk: commercial vessels being used to traffic and smuggle contraband in the Caribbean Basin, particularly to and from the Port of Spain, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Jamaica view more

ECUADOR - Risk: Drug trafficking, theft and piracy at the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar view more

SPAIN - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband from North and West Africa though Algeciras (Spain) into European black markets view more

THE NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband through the major shipping hubs of Antwerp and Rotterdam view more

LIBYA & SYRIA - Risk: Implications of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean view more

INDONESIA AND PHILIPPINES - Risk: nickel ore liquefaction due to excessive moisture content during voyages from the Philippines and Indonesia view more

INDONESIA - Threat: of theft from ships at anchor view more

BANGLADESH - Risk of theft from ships anchoring in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar view more

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Current Incidents
Enduring Risks
Listed Areas
Latest Incidents
15/10/2018 LC Posn 06.17 - 03.13

Background

Intruders who boarded a product tanker in Lagos Secure Anchorage jumped overboard when the tanker’s crew raised the alarm.

The tanker was boarded during darkness in the early hours October 14.

The duty watchman raised the alarm after spotting two intruders. The ship’s horn was sounded and the intruders made their escape by jumping over the vessel’s side.

Local authorities were alerted and a patrol boat was sent to the vessel.

A search of the tanker, which was anchored at the time of the boarding, suggested nothing had been stolen.

 

Assessment and Analysis

There have been a least seven cases of illegal boarding in Lagos ports and anchorages reported to the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre in the last seven months.

All the unauthorised intrusions took place at night.

In most cases the intruders fled empty handed.

Many other cases of illegal boarding are believed to go unreported.

Vessels visiting Lagos should take extra precautions.

Crew members should maintain a good visual and radar watch for the approach of small craft.

If possible, ships at anchor or at berth should illuminate their sides. Ladders and ropes should be secured and stowed away.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

10/10/2018 LC Posn -2.37 - -80.03

Background

Intruders boarded a container ship while it was being piloted on the Guayaquil River in Ecuador.

The incident happened before dawn on October 2.

The master of the 2,556 TEU-capacity MAERSK NEWBURY alerted the authorities as soon as he realised there were unauthorised people on-board.

The crew mustered in the forecastle but not before one crew member had been assaulted by the intruders and received a cut on his forehead.

According to details published by the piracy information sharing centre ReCAAP the intruders fled the vessel once they had been discovered.

The Ecuador Coast Guard (ECG) responded to the master’s alert. It searched the ship and no intruders were found.

There were no indications that anything had been stolen.

Assessment and Analysis

This is the third report of container ships being targeted by intruders while underway near the port of Guayaquil in less than three months.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre had reported two attempts to board container ships on the same day in August.

Both attempts were broken off after the intruders, who had approached the vessels in small skiffs, realised they had been spotted.

In February 2018 intruders, one armed with a gun, were spotted on a ship anchored off Guayaquil. They fled after being confronted.

Crews on board ships in the approaches to Guayaquil and in the port itself should remain vigilant, especially at night.

Any small craft approaching ships, either at anchor or underway, should immediately be reported to the master.

 

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

01/10/2018 LC Posn 1.30 - 104.25

Background

A drilling rig has been boarded by two robbers armed with swords.

The assailants tied up two security guards and stole their personal belongs. They also stole communications equipment before fleeing.

The robbery took place before dawn on September 26.

The rig had been close to the Malaysian shore, at the eastern end of the Singapore Strait, some 1.5 nautical miles (nm) southeast of Tanjung Bulat.

Shore-based staff arrived on the rig and released the security guards when it was noticed they had failed to make a routine radio call.

Details of the robbery were posted by the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre.

Assessment and Analysis

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) says attacks on vessels in the Singapore Strait have been increasing.

In the first six months of 2018 it recorded four incidents in which robbers had boarded or attempted to board ships, up from just two cases in the same period the year before.

In its half-yearly report the organisation said the Singapore Strait was an ‘area of concern’.

Robbers have usually targeted cash, crew members’ property and engine spares.

When they have been armed it has generally been with machetes and knives.

Ships entering the Singapore Strait and its Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) should maintain a high level of vigilance.

If suspicious boats attempt to come alongside an alarm should be raised and, if possible, evasion action taken. Shore-side maritime authorities should be alerted.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

26/09/2018 UTC Posn 2.45 - 6.39

Background

A merchant vessel came under attack in the Gulf of Guinea on September 25, close to where pirates kidnapped seafarers from a bulk carrier three days earlier.

A report of the incident was sent to The Marine Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG).

The vessel, which was not identified in details released by MDAT-GoG, was approached shortly after mid-day by a speedboat with seven people on board.

Shots were fired in the vessel’s direction but the attack was broken off after a local security vessel closed in.

None of the crew of the merchant vessel was hurt.

The attack took place some 120 nautical miles (nm) southwest of Nigeria’s Bonny Island.

On September 22, pirates had boarded a bulk carrier 45 nm southwest of Bonny Island and abducted 12 crew members. The pirates hooked ladders to the ship’s side and cut through a razor wire barrier to force their way on board.

Assessment and Analysis

Ships off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea are vulnerable to pirate attack, especially in waters off the Niger Delta.

Attacks typically involve assailants coming alongside in small boats and climbing aboard using ladders, ropes and hooks. The attackers are often armed and violent.

Vessels in the area should exercise extreme caution. They should monitor the approach of unknown skiffs and speedboats, avoid slow steaming and minimise time spent in anchorages.

Evasive action and the use of citadels have proved effective in frustrating pirate assaults as have some vessel hardening measures.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

24/09/2018 Posn 3.85 - 6.82

Background

Twelve crew members from a bulk carrier have been taken hostage by pirates 45 nautical miles (nm) southwest of Nigeria’s Bonny Island.

The 46,500 deadweight tonne (dwt) MV GLARUS, carrying a cargo of wheat, was sailing between Lagos and Port Harcourt.

The vessel’s operator, Switzerland-based Massoel Shipping, said the Swiss flagged vessel was boarded by pirates early on Saturday morning (September 22).

The company said the pirates climbed onto the vessel using long ladders. They cut the razor wire deployed on deck to deter intruders and gained access to the bridge.

After destroying much of the vessel’s communication equipment they left, taking hostage 12 of the ship’s 19 strong crew.

Nigerian authorities said seven of the kidnapped crew came from Philippines; the others were one each from Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia and Bosnia.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Ships off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea are vulnerable to pirate attack, especially in waters off the Niger Delta.

In an attack in April, 2018, 12 crew members were kidnapped from the general cargo vessel FWN RAPIDE as it prepared to enter Port Harcourt.

A study published in July estimated the number of seafarers kidnapped for ransom in the Delta region had risen from 52 in 2016 to 75 in 2017. It said 35 seafarers had been kidnapped in the first half of 2018. Many piracy incidents, meanwhile, are believed to go unreported.

Attacks typically involve assailants coming alongside in small boats and climbing aboard using ladders, ropes and hooks. The attackers are often armed and violent.

The greatest risk of boarding is overnight. Vessels are advised to minimise time spent in anchorages and to avoid slow steaming.

They are also advised to carefully monitor the approach of unknown skiffs.

Evasive action and the use of citadels have proved effective in frustrating pirate assaults, as have vessel hardening measures such as anti-boarding barriers along the ship’s rail. The September 22 attack, however, showed that razor wire at least can be overcome.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

17/09/2018 LC Posn 9.20 - -13.43

Background

Intruders who boarded a tanker in Conakry Anchorage in Guinea on September 17 fired at the bridge and ransacked the crew’s quarters.

Additional details of the attack, first reported by The Marine Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), were given by the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre.

It said the anchored tanker was boarded by four armed robbers at around 0300 local time.

The tanker’s master raised the alarm and called the crew to muster in the citadel.

The robbers fired at the bridge windows and broke into the crew’s quarters before escaping with some of their personal belongings. They were on-board the tanker for around 30 minutes.

The robbers are believed to have boarded by climbing the tanker’s anchor chain.

A vessel from the Navy of Equatorial Guinea arrived at the scene to provide the tanker assistance.

The tanker’s crew were all reported safe.

Assessment and Analysis

Robbers pose a threat to vessels at Conakry Anchorage in Guinea.

Intruders are often armed, either with knives or firearms.

Vessels in the anchorage should maintain a high level of surveillance, particularly at night.

Attention should be paid to lines and anchor chains and hawse pipes.

Most attacks appear to be opportunistic and well defended vessels with demonstrable crew alertness are the least vulnerable.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

17/09/2018 LC Posn 4.49 - 118.65

Background

Armed men have kidnapped crew from a docked fishing vessel close to the Malaysian port of Semporna.

Initial reports from Malaysian police said two crew members had been abducted but a senior official was later quoted as saying three men were missing.

The kidnappings took place on September 11, shortly after midnight. The fishing vessel, with its crew of four, was boarded by two men who appeared to be armed with rifles.

The alarm was raised by a crew member who had managed to hide.

He told police he had heard the sound of a vessel approaching and then the power supply to their own vessel was abruptly cut.

He said the abductors were speaking a dialect that suggested they were Filipinos.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Semporna, in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo, is on the western edge of the Celebes Sea.

In 2016 and early 2017 cases of kidnap-for-ransom in the Celebes and Sulu Seas were a major concern.

Many of the abductions were attributed to Abu Sayyaf, a Philippines-based group claiming allegiance to so-called Islamic State.

Six days after the Semporna abductions, however, it was still unclear who was responsible.

Malaysian police said they had received no reports of any ransom demands. They said they were investigating the kidnapping and hadn’t ruled out the possibility that the Abu Sayyaf group was involved.

Despite a decline in piracy and kidnappings in the Celebes and Sulu Seas since mid-2017 the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia (ReCAAP) has advised ships to avoid the area.

Ships that have to operate in the area should exercise extra vigilance and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

03/09/2018 Posn -2.39 - -80.02

Background

There have been two attempts to board container vessels underway near the port of Guayaquil.

Data published by the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre showed both attempts were made from small skiffs.

The first incident was recorded on August 20. According to the IMB, security guards on the container ship raised an alarm as a skiff with two people on-board came alongside.

The crew were alerted and the vessel’s deck lighting switched on. The skiff then moved away.

In the second incident, on August 20, a small skiff was tracked on a container ship’s radar. As it came alongside three men could be seen, one armed with a handgun. One of the three attempted to climb on board.

The container ship sounded its horn continuously and the boarding attempt was abandoned with the skiff moving away.

Both incidents were reported to Guayaquil Port Control.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Several cases of piracy and attempted robbery have been reported in Ecuador’s waters since the start of 2017.

In January 2017 a bulk carrier in Guayaquil’s outer anchorage port was boarded and ship’s properties stolen.

Later that year in August 2017 thieves boarded a container ship anchored in Esmeraldas Port and stole brass sounding pipe covers.

In February 2018 intruders, one armed with a gun, were spotted on a ship anchored off Guayaquil. The intruders fled after being confronted.

Ships should be vigilant, especially at night.

The latest attacks show that ships are vulnerable while underway as well as at anchor.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page