First CAT 2 incident in 2019 off Indonesia, crew held hostage

In its weekly report for 21-27 May, ReCAAP ISC reported two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia. The one of them is Category 4, which means the perpetrators were not armed, and the crew not harmed, but the other one was a Category 2, which means a moderately significant incident, with crew held hostage. Both incidents occurred in Indonesia.

The Category 2 incident occurred approximately 4 nm east of Pulau Mapur on 13 May, involving the Chinese-flagged general cargo ship ‘Da Yang Bai Li’.

While underway, four perpetrators armed with long knives boarded the ship. The perpetrators entered the cabins of the master and an A/B and tied them up.

They then stole cash and personal effects of the master and A/B, cut the Inmarsat Telephone line and escaped.

“This is the first Category 2 incident reported in 2019 which involved the crew being held hostage by perpetrators armed with knives.”

The Category 4 incident occurred at Lubuk Gaung anchorage in Dumai on 11 May, involving the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier ‘Princess Paula’.

While at anchor, the 3rd Engineer of the bulk carrier discovered that the spare part room in the main engine room had been broken into. Some engine spares were stolen.

The master raised the alarm and a search was conducted. 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.”


Status of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes seas

Based on the latest report from the Philippine Focal Point, no crew remains in captivity.

From the 66 crew who had been abducted since March 2016:

  • 37 were released,
  • 19 were rescued
  • 10 were killed or died.

The rescue and release of the abducted crew is the result of the intensified military and law enforcement operations of the Philippine authorities, ReCAAP ISC noted.

“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 Nov 16 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 area, and report immediately to the Operation Centres of Philippines and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) of Malaysia.”