What you need to know about piracy

Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995 according to the latest report from the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) published in June 2016. However, seafarers may still be concerned about some piracy hotspots.

Piracy: the facts

IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year.

In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and a further 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon. Sixty-four crew were taken hostage onboard, down from 250 in the same period last year.

For more information on piracy facts, please contact the International Chamber of Commerce, 33-34 Avenue du President Wilson, 75116 Paris, France. Telephone +33 (0)149 53 28 28 or Email [email protected] or visit www.iccwbo.org.

Piracy hotspots

The IMB monitors global incidents of piracy, hijacking and attempted piracy and hijacking incidents. In recent years, there have been increased activitiy in Africa and Indonesia.

The top incident hotspots are:

Indonesia, Malaysia, Malacca Straits, Somalia, Gulf of Aden, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and South China Sea.

Copy with piracy and violence at sea

There are many best practice guides for Masters and crew to plan for transiting risk areas. Alertness and vigilance are of paramount importance. Managing fatigue and keeping watch are also very important. You should make sure that there is a clear plan before the ship enters a risk zone. Watchkeeping should be increased. You should take part in training and drills. You should understand what to do if you are boarded by pirates or high jackers.

Understanding the effects of piracy

If you have been a victim of attack, highjacking or piracy you must seek help and advice. Mission port chaplains will be able to sign post you to the right support and care. Other organisations are also set up to give you help and advice about piracy incidents.