Maritime Threat Picture

in collaboration with NORTH

'Unprecedented rise' in kidnapping presents 'serious and immediate threat' view more

Worries over supplies of IMO compliant bunker fuel view more

Vessels boarded while moving through Singapore Traffic Separation Scheme view more

STRAIT OF HORMUZ /PERSIAN GULF: Threat - US warms of possible Iranian action against US maritime interests view more

Crew members attacked as robbers target six ships in five days view more

Nigerian sailors killed in gun battle with kidnappers view more

Tanker boarded in Limboh Anchorage. Eight crew members seized. view more

Gun in speedboats in lethal attack against four vessels view more

20 crew taken from tanker view more

Crew-member assaulted by intruders view more

GUINEA: Risk - Robbers use violence to threaten crew view more

Somali-waters remain high risk view more

Abu Sayyaf terrorists targeting fishing boats view more

Pirates attacking vessels to kidnap crew view more

Thieves boarding vessels close to eastern approaches to Singapore Strait view more

Red Sea: Explosions reported on tanker against a background of growing regional tensions view more

Guayaquil - Risk: Armed robbers threatening crew view more

SINGAPORE - Threat: Thieves boarding barges moving through Singapore Strait view more

Douala Port Authority providing armed guards for ships view more

Libyan ports open but security concerns unresolved view more

JWC Listed Areas: Saudi Arabia (Red Sea coast) excluding transits view more

JWC Listed Area: United Arab Emirates view more

JWC Listed Area: Persian or Arabian Gulf and adjacent waters including the Gulf of Oman west of Longitude 58°E view more

JWC Listed Area: Oman view more

'Strong warning' to observe sanctions view more

United States adds Seychelles to the list of countries it regards as having inadequate anti-terrorism measures view more

SINGAPORE STRAIT - Risk: Indonesian authorities target vessels anchored without permission view more

INDONESIA - Risk: Vessels at anchor targeted by thieves view more

NIGERIA - Risk: Vessels visiting ports and anchorages in and around Lagos targeted by thieves. view more

VENEZUELA - Risk: Robbery on the rise in Venezuela's ports view more

ROMANIA - Risk: Authorities impose strict policies for exchanging and deballasting in Romania view more

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

Chrome cargoes causing confusion in Mozambique view more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JWC listed area in Saudi Arabia (Gulf coast) 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: 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
15/01/2020 Posn 14.65 - 81.35

Background

Local reports say supplies of bunker fuel complying with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new sulphur regulations are running low.

Business Line, an Indian web-based news provider, said coastal shipping operations on the country’s east coast were in danger of coming to a halt.

In a post on January 12, it quoted a senior unnamed shipping company official as saying: “There is virtually no supply of low sulphur fuel oil.”

He warned that feeder vessels carrying containers between Indian ports could come to a standstill if stocks were exhausted.

A week earlier, there had been reports of supplies of low sulphur fuel oil tightening in other parts of Asia and in Europe and the United States.

Since January 1, IMO rules have banned ships from using fuels with a sulphur content of more than 0.50%, unless they are fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems (scrubbers).

Assessment and Analysis

Shortages of low sulphur fuel oil on India’s east coast have prompted the Indian government to ask refiners to prioritise local bunker demand.

Meanwhile, the delays facing ships bunkering in other parts of the world have been attributed to a lack of suitably equipped delivery barges rather than a shortage of product.

In other moves, China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has found two ships in breach of the sulphur rules. It is not clear if they will face any penalty.

Ship operators who find they cannot obtain fuel that complies with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur regulations should complete a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR).

The IMO rules accept that ships should not have to deviate or ‘unduly delay’ a voyage in order to obtain low sulphur fuel and a Non-Availability Report can be used as mitigation if a ship has bunkered with non-compliant fuel.

Ships are cautioned, however, a FONAR is not a ‘free pass’ and a ship could still be forced to de-bunker non-compliant fuel at its own expense at its next port of call.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

07/01/2020 LC Posn 1.22 - 104.07

Background

Robbers have been targeting ships underway in the Singapore Strait.

Between December 20 and December 25, there were six reports of vessels being boarded.

Three of the incidents involved bulk carriers and three tankers.

The vessels were targeted while underway.

In at least two cases the intruders were armed with knives.

There were confrontations with ships’ crews. Seafarers were assaulted and on two occasions crew members were tied-up.

Five of the incidents took place within a few nautical miles of Nongsa Point on Indonesia’s Batam Island, towards the eastern end of the Singapore Strait.

The sixth, involving a tanker, was in the Strait’s western approaches.

In every case, the robbers were able to flee. On four occasions, they left empty handed. In two other cases, they stole cash, engine spares and personal property.

The vessels were boarded under cover of darkness, usually in the hours close to midnight.

The vessels targeted and the dates they were boarded were as follows:  the product tanker STENA IMMORTAL (December 25); the bulk carrier TRUST STAR (December 23); the tanker BAMZI (December 23); the bulk carrier JIAN FA (December 21); the bulk carrier AKIJ GLOBE (December 20): the tanker JAG LALIT (December 20).

Assessment and Analysis

Incidents of boarding and robbery from ships underway in the Singapore Strait surged in 2019, particularly in the final quarter.

In all, there were reports of 30 incidents in 2019, compared to just eight the year before.

The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia (ReCAAP) said in late December it was ‘seriously concerned’.

If the perpetrators remained at large, it said, there was the possibility they would strike again.

Vessels moving through the Strait should increase watch keeping and lookout for small boats moving in a suspicious pattern.

Watches should be especially alert after dark.

All incidents should be reported immediately to the nearest coastal state; that is, to Indonesia or Singapore.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

06/01/2020 LC Posn 5.37 - 5.31

Background

Four Nigerian Navy sailors have been killed protecting a dredger under attack near the mouth of Nigeria’s Ramos River.

Nigerian media reports say gunmen boarded the 3,500 deadweight-tonne (dwt) AMBIKA shortly before midnight on January 2, kidnapping three crew.

Details of what happened next are unclear, but one unnamed naval source said the Nigerian Navy dispatched a six-man rescue squad.

There followed an exchange of fire with the gunmen and four naval personnel were killed.

The gunmen were able to flee, taking their hostages with them.

The incident happened some three nautical miles (nm) from the river mouth, nine nm from the Forcados oil terminal.

Assessment and Analysis

Armed gangs have a record of attacking vessels in the Ramos River. What was unusual about the attack on the AMBIKA is that it took place offshore.

It was also unusual for the level of violence.

It came after a spate of attacks off Nigeria and in the wider Gulf of Guinea in the closing days of 2019.

The most serious, on the night of December 29/30, saw gunmen abduct eight seafarers from the 51,390 deadweight-tonne (dwt) tanker, HAPPY LADY, while it lay at anchor off Limboh in Cameroon.

The other attacks were unsuccessful but, in at least two cases, violent.

On December 30, assailants boarded the 22,600-dwt bulker VINALINES MIGHTY 200 nm off Nigeria. They fled empty-handed.

One the same day, pirates fired at the 63,488 dwt bulk carrier DROGBA while it was underway 20 nm off Nigeria’s Okrowi oil terminal.

On December 28, the LNG carrier LOKOJA reported coming under fire from a speedboat 65 nautical miles (nm) off Sao Tome.

The attacks in late December and early January underline the risks faced by ships throughout the Gulf of Guinea.

Ships should exercise extreme caution both at anchor and while underway.

They should avoid slow steaming and watch for the approach of small vessels, especially at night.

Ship operators should also adopt robust vessel hardening measures to deter attackers.

Reported and analysed by Gray Page

01/01/2020 Posn 3.99 - 9.15

Background

Assailants have abducted eight seafarers from a Greek-flagged tanker at anchor off Cameroon.

The 51,390 deadweight-tonne (dwt) HAPPY LADY was in the Limboh Anchorage when it was boarded by six armed intruders around midnight on the night of December 29/30.

Reports say they stole cash and ship’s properties before escaping with their hostages, among them the ship’s captain.

One crew member, who remained on board, was injured by a stray bullet.

Assessment and Analysis

Authorities in Cameroon have become increasingly concerned about abductions from ships.

In August, 2019, the authorities in Douala, the country’s biggest port, announced that armed guards would be placed on ships as soon as they arrived in the port’s outer anchorage.

The security measures came weeks after two attacks on ships in the Douala Anchorage in which 17 seafarers were kidnapped.

Piracy is a major problem in the Gulf of Guinea but until 2019 attacks in Cameroon’s ports and anchorages were relatively rare.

Crews should remain vigilant at anchor and berth in Cameroon.

They should also exercise extreme caution off the coast and in the wider Gulf of Guinea.

All vessels trading in the region should consider ‘hardening measures’ to make illegal boarding less easy.

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page

22/12/2019 LC Posn 0.21 - 9.42

Background

Gunmen killed a ship’s master and kidnapped four Chinese seafarers during an attack in Gabon’s inshore waters.

A Gabon government representative said the gunmen attacked four vessels.

The assaults took place on the night of December 21/22 off Owendo Port in the Bay of Libreville.

The government source said the assailants had attacked from speedboats.

The kidnapped seafarers were seized from two fishing vessels belonging to Sigapeche, a Sino-Gabonese company.

The master who died was a Gabonese national. He had been on-board the 1,886 deadweight tonne (dwt) cargo ship TROPIC DAWN. The circumstances of his death are unclear.

The fourth vessel attacked was the 28,000 dwt bulk carrier AFRICAN KALMIA.

Assessment and Analysis

Details of the incident are unclear but the death of a ship‘s master and the abduction of four Chines seafarers were confirmed by the authorities in Gabon and by the Chinese embassy in the capital, Libreville.

Pirate attacks in Gabon’s inshore waters are rare although as recently as October an offshore supply ship was tracked by a suspicious vessel while underway off Port-Gentil.

Waters in the wider Gulf of Guinea, of which the Gabon coast forms a part, are a ‘high risk area’ for pirate attacks.

The fishing vessels targeted off Owendo Port were understood to be waiting for licenses to fish in Gabon’s waters.

Reported and analysed by Gray Page

16/12/2019 LC Posn 4.23 - 2.60

Background

Pirates have attacked a tanker in the Gulf of Guinea and kidnapped all but one of its crew.

Reports said the tanker was the 19,117 deadweight tonne (dwt), Marshall Island flagged, DUKE. It was underway from Angola to Togo with a cargo of fuel oil.

Twenty seafarers were kidnapped; all are believed to be Indian nationals.

The attack took place in daylight on December 15, some 110 nautical miles (nm) south of the coast of Benin.

Initial reports said there were six attackers. There were no details of how the assailants approached, nor how the attack unfolded.

The sole seafarer left on-board was a cadet from Nigeria.

Assessment and Analysis

Attackers have now kidnapped crew from four ships underway in the Gulf of Guinea in less than two months.

Two weeks before the latest incident, assailants took 19 crew from the 298,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) tanker NAVE CONSTELLATION. The attack took place 77 nautical miles (nm) off the Nigerian coast.

On November 20, seven crew were taken from an anchor-handling vessel PACIFIC WARDEN in Equatorial Guinea’s territorial waters 25 nm northwest of the port of Luba on the island of Bioko.

On November 4, pirates seized four seafarers from the Greek-flagged oil tanker ELKA ARISTOTLE while it was underway off the coast of Togo.

There was also an unsuccessful attack on the 156,853 dwt tanker CASCADE SPIRIT on November 7. On that occasion, the tanker came under fire from a skiff before the attack was broken off.

The Gulf remains a high-risk area for piracy and armed robbery and incidents are increasing in scale and frequency.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) piracy reporting centre recorded some 40 incidents between January and September this year but many other attacks are thought to have gone unreported.

Crews should exercise extreme caution while in the Gulf of Guinea.

They should avoid slow steaming and watch for the approach of small vessels, especially at night.

Evasive action and the use of citadels can be effective in frustrating assaults.

Where possible, vessels trading in Gulf of Guinea should adopt robust vessel hardening measures.

Reported and analysed by Gray Page

11/12/2019 LC Posn -12.01 - -77.19

Background

Robbers boarded the 57,775-deadweight tonne (dwt) bulk carrier LUNITA while it was at anchor off the Peruvian port of Callao.

Three assailants climbed the ship’s anchor chain shortly after midnight on December 7. They crawled through a hawse pipe to gain access to the deck.

Once on-board they tied-up a crewmember and took his radio, watch and flashlight before making their way to the forecastle store.

They escaped in a motorboat when they realised an alarm had been raised.

A search of the bulker found ship’s properties had been stolen.

Assessment and Analysis

This was the fifth report of a vessel being boarded at anchor off Callao in three months.

All the incidents took place between midnight and dawn.

Intruders appear to have been targeting ships’ stores.

In two of the incidents crew members were attacked.

Ships’ crews should post strict watches when entering Callao, both in the Anchorage and at Berth.

All deck lights including flood-lights and cargo-lights (if available) to be working condition and in use.

Watch-keepers radios and other communication systems to be proved and maintained in working order.

Pilot ladders and accommodation ladders should be hoisted and crews should be alert for the approach of small craft

And when at Anchor ensure:

Proper and full navigational watches to be maintained including posting lookouts watching for any approaching vessels especially coming near to and about the ship’s side.

Use of portable cargo lights at the ship’s rail to illuminate over-side shadow areas.

Hawse-pipe covers to be secured in place about the cable (over the pipe opening).

Cable washers to be left running.

 

Reported and analysed by North and Gray Page