Two ships robbed in Philippine and Indonesian anchorages

In its weekly report for 23-29 October, ReCAAP ISC informed of two actual incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia, one in Batangas, Philippines and another one in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The first incident involved the Maltese-flagged oil tanker ‘Searacer’. While at anchor at Tabangao Customary Anchorage, Batangas, Philippines, the security personnel sighted two perpetrators armed with knives at the forecastle of the ship. The duty officer sounded the ship’s alarm, and the perpetrators escaped in their motor boat. Six scupper plugs, two fire hose nozzles and 15 hydrant caps were stolen, but the crew was unharmed.

The second incident involved the Marshall islands-flagged bulk carrier ‘Super Caroline’. While at anchor at Muara Berau Anchorage, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, two perpetrators armed with machetes boarded the ship through the anchor chain. Two other perpetrators were on standby onboard a motorized boat.

The duty AB, upon seeing the two perpetrators on the forward deck, immediately informed the duty officer who sounded the alarm and mustered the crew. The chief mate and other crew rushed to the scene. The duty officer informed the pilot station through VHF as well as the ship’s agent. Padlocks were damaged and three mooring ropes were stolen. The crew was not injured.

The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.

Meanwhile, special attention in the last hours has been given to information received from Philippine Coast Guard that about 10 Abu Sayyaf members armed with pistols, rifles and grenade launcher are planning to conduct kidnapping activities at an opportune time in Sabah. They are using unmarked coloured blue and white motorbanca, locally known as jungkong, and targeting businessmen or ship’s crew of foreign vessels passing through the area.

As the threat of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off eastern Sabah remains, ReCAAP ISC maintains its advisory issued via the ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 November 2016 to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the Sulu-Celebes Seas and eastern Sabah region, and report immediately to the Centres as shown in map below: