The Nigerian Navy has intercepted 130 vessels for crimes perpetrated in the maritime sector and other activities from January 2018 to February 2019.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, who disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday when he received the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, said the arrests were made following the recent enhancement of the navy’s surveillance capability.
Ibas also said that the Navy has 150 persons in custody in connection with maritime crimes.
Earlier in his address, Bello observed that one of the major challenges in the maritime sector was insecurity.
“We have received various complaints from the shipping companies, which have been forced to provide their own security to escort their vessels to the ports, especially the eastern ports. In spite of their efforts, between 2017 and 2018, there were 88 attacks in the Niger Delta,” he said.
Source: Maritime Security Review
THE number of maritime crimes such as piracy and robbery has decreased in the Straits of Malacca, which was once deemed a war risk zone, thanks to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
Its deputy director Rear Admiral Datuk Mohd Aliyas Hamdan said in 2004, there were more than 300 maritime crime cases but in 2009, it was zero.
“Since then, the number of such crimes is at an average of two per year. It is crucial that we overcome the problem of maritime crimes in the area to prevent it from becoming a war risk zone.
“The label would increase the insurance premium of ships passing by the Straits of Malacca which was considered a war risk zone in 2004,” he said recently.
Earlier, he launched the Redback XII Operation at the KD Sri Pinang vessel in Gelugor, Penang.
Redback Operation is an international co-operation with the ABF to fight cross-border crime since 2013.
Also present were ABF South East Asia Regional Director Commander Chris Waters.
The ceremony was also witnessed by MMEA state director Kapt Hamizan Harun and ABF First Secretary (Malaysia & Brunei) Insp Uriah Turner.
In relation to Redback XII Operation, Mohd Aliyas said the operation in Penang would be divided into three phases.
“The first phase involves information gathering by the Penang maritime team of detectives and visits to the hot spot area.
“The second phase is the enforcement, and the third phase comprises the preparation of the report,” he said.
Source: Maritime Security Review
The South Korean Navy’s anti-piracy Cheonghae unit has rescued two foreign yachts in waters off the Somali coast after they went adrift due to fuel shortages, naval officials here said Thursday.
The unit’s 4,400-ton Choi Young destroyer on Wednesday provided fuel to the U.S. and Belgium-registered yachts that were en route to Djibouti on a trip around the world after departing from Sri Lanka, the Navy said.
The captain of the Belgian yacht called for help through a communication link to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which informed a group of warships operating nearby of the yachts in distress.
The naval unit, with more than 300 personnel, has been operating in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 to ensure the safety of South Korean and foreign vessels in waters off the conflict-laden African country.
Source: Maritime Security Review
Insurance premium is set to increase as sea robbers now attack ships at berth at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and the Federal Liter Terminal (FLT) at Onne Port, Rivers State.
Any robbery strike, riots, and civil commotion that could hamper the delivery of goods usually spike insurance premium in the country. A public notice circulated by vessel captains in the area and made available to journalists by Capt James Falabi over the weekend revealed that there has been an upsurge in ship burgling and criminal activities in the last couple of weeks.
Criminals were reported to be gaining access to vessels through fast speed boats and sometimes with canoes fitted with outboard engines and cart away drums of paints, crew coveralls with which they disguise to rob elsewhere and other valuable ship items, including sensitive information materials.
President of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) Alhaji Aminu Umar said the attack is not new, saying that the situation has been ongoing for three years.
According to Alhaji Umar, every ship going towards south of Escravos usually goes with their own security, or else they get attacked. In the public notice forwarded to our correspondent, the Nigerian Navy were reported to have arrested few of such situation whilst others escaped.
According to the notice “Vessel management are expected to post adequate watch keepers at night and maintain proper lookout, not discountenancing good and live communication means. Whilst in port, all visitors must be logged by the watch keeper, ID cards confirmed, visitor is tagged and bridge informed before entry is granted.
“If the vessel is sailing, have adequately trained security personnel onboard if you cannot afford the luxury of escort boat. Create a safe haven or citadel onboard and educate your crew on proper use of this facility in the event of emergency.
“Train your personnel on prompt reporting of any noticeable security breaches. Maritime security is a serious business, just one incident could have devastating impact on your one year profile.”
The NISA President on his part said that ships that do not have security is the one that got attacked at berth. “It is unfortunate but that is the situation we found ourselves.” He questioned the implementation of the ISPS Code by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as some jetties still remained porous.
“In terms of implementation of ISPS, the fact is that our ships are not safe, so we have to take security anytime we are going to any of the ports outside the south of the Escravos, I don’t know what they (NIMASA) are implementing.
“There are many terminals that are ninety percent compliant, but there are many terminals that without security, your vessel gets attacked, they use row boats to come onboard if you are at the jetty, so I don’t know about the implementation of their ISPS Code, security situation at most of the jetties is not something that is there,” he said.
Source: HELLENIC SHIPPING NEWS
Against a backdrop of 76 cases of armed robbery and piracy against ships in Asia, the government has issued a security advisory for shipowners, managers and others to exercise caution while treading on international waters, including Sulu-Celebes Seas. A total of 76 incidents, including four of piracy and 72 of robbery, occurred in 2018, according to the advisory, which quoted a report on ‘Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia’ by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
The Directorate General of Shipping in the maritime security advisory last week asked shipowners and masters of the ships, among other stakeholders, to “be extra cautious and follow the practices and take necessary precautionary measures” to avert any such incident. “As per the ReCAAP report, the threat of abduction of the crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas has not been eliminated and remains a severe threat in the area. Until December 2018, a total of 66 crew have been abducted in this region, of which 49 have been released/ rescued, 7 killed and 10 still in captivity,” the advisory said.
Quoting the report, it said as there is still a threat of abduction of the crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off eastern Sabah, an alert has already been issued to all ships to re-route from the area, where possible. “Alternatively, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area, and report immediately to the Operation Centres of the Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command of Malaysia,” it said.
The advisory said though the 2018 report published by the International Maritime Bureau-Piracy Reporting Centre does not indicate the number of Indian seafarers affected by these security incidents, the report indicates that one Indian registered vessel, as well as eight vessels that were controlled and managed in India as a part of the statistics, were affected by these incidents. The advisory mentions that a total of three attacks have been reported near the Nigerian Coast (South of Brass) in 2019.
It said about seven armed pirates have been reported in this area so far this year using a small craft and skiff with outboard engines with a purpose to attack vessels in the vicinity. “The pirates are often well-armed, violent and have attacked, hijacked and robbed vessels/kidnapped crew in their waters, with attacks having been reported up to 170 nm (nautical miles) from the coast,” it added.
Earlier, the government has set up an inter-ministerial group under the Ministry of Shipping to deal with the hostage situation arising out of hijacking at sea of merchant’s vessels with Indian crew. The government had also approved the contingency plan for dealing with piracy and hijacking of merchant ships and constituted a Committee of Secretaries on Anti-Piracy and Hijacking at sea under the chairmanship of the cabinet secretary.
Source: HELLENIC SHIPPING NEWS
Source: Gray Page
February 27th marks 15 years after the bombing of the ‘SuperFerry 14’, the deadliest terrorist attack in Philippines, which killed a total of 116 people. The blast occurred on 27 February 2004 in Manila Bay, claiming the title of the world’s deadliest terrorist attack at sea until today.
At 11 pm on 27 February 2004, the 10,192-ton ferry departed from Manila for Cagayan de Oro City, carrying 899 passengers and crew onboard.
An hour after departure, just off either El Fraile or Corregidor Island, an explosion onboard started a fire that engulfed the ship. Captain Ceferino Manzo issued the order for abandonment at about 1:30 a.m.
As the fire spread across the vessel, most of the survivors jumped into the sea or boarded rescue boats. The vessel eventually sank.
A total of 116 people, including 114 passengers and two crew members, lost their lives in the blast.
The recovery of bodies lasted for months, with only four bodies recovered by Coast Guard divers from the half-submerged ferry in the first week, despite it having been towed to shallower waters near Mariveles town, west of Manila. About another 12 bodies were recovered in the following days.
Eventually, 63 bodies were recovered while another 53 remained unaccounted for, presumed dead.
According to officials, the missing were probably trapped inside the blazing ferry and drowned.
The blast was initially considered as an accident, caused by a gas explosion, although several terrorist groups rushed to claim responsibility shortly after. Among these terrorist groups was the Jihadist militant group Abu Sayyaf, but the President of Philippines at that time, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said that the group’s claims of bombing the Superferry 14 did ‘not hold water’.
However, testimonies by survivors -including Capt. Manzo – after the tragedy, as well as inspection by the divers later, all showed evidence of a bomb blast. As such, five months after the sinking, the scenario of a terrorist attack came officially on the surface: The President announced on 11 October 2004, that the explosion had been caused by a bomb.
According to officials, a man named Redondo Cain Dellosa confessed to planting a bomb onboard for the al- Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group. He held a ticket on the ferry for bunk 51B, where the bomb was placed, and disembarked before the ship’s departure. The explosives were stored inside an emptied-out TV set.
Redondo Cain Dellosa was a member of the Rajah Sulaiman Movement, an organization in the Philippines, founded by Ahmed Santos in 1991. Its membership consisted of Filipino Christians who had converted to Islam.
Along with Dellosa’s confession, six more suspects were arrested in connection with the bombing, but the masterminds, Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sulaiman, were still at large.
It was believed that Abu Sayyaf bombed Superferry 14 because the company that owned it, WG&A, did not comply with a letter demanding $1 million in protection money in 2003. Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sulaiman died from gun shots, in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Actions taken since then
The incident occurred only a few months before the entry into force of the International Ship and Port Security code (ISPS). The ISPS came into force on 1st July 2004, under SOLAS chapter XI-2, as a response to the September 11th attacks, and forming the basis of a comprehensive mandatory security regime for international shipping.
Under the ISPS Code, SOLAS contracting governments, port authorities and shipping companies are required to designate appropriate security officers and personnel, on each ship, port facility and shipping company.
These security officers, designated Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs), Ship Security Officers (SSOs) and Company Security Officers (CSOs), are responsible for assessing, as well as preparing and implementing effective security plans that are able to manage any potential security threat.
Supporters of the ISPS-code could say that the code has been successful since there have been no serious maritime terrorist attacks since its implementation.
Date:26th February 2019
REF Warning 002/FEB/2019 On 26th February 2019 at approximately 0830UTC an SY was approached in position 1256N 04817E by 1 skiff and closed to within 1NM, ladder sighted.
21.02.2019: 0016 UTC
Posn : 02:59.5N – 005:56.6E
Around 80nm SW Off Bayelsa, Nigeria.
Around four to six armed pirates in a speed boat chased and fired upon a container vessel underway. Alarm raised and non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. Due to evasive manoeuvres, the boarding was evaded. Nigerian Navy notified. Vessel and crew reported safe.