Piracy Situation Risk Assessment, August 2014, Issue 28

Highlights of the Past Month:

•Last month has seen less pirate activity in Indian Ocean region but increasing number of serious incidents on South- China Sea. The main sources reported at least 4 suspicious events in the Red Sea area, 2 serious incidents near Nigeria, 1 hijacking near Ghana and possible 1 robbery attempt near Togo. There were at least 14 robberies or attempts reported in South China Sea region.

•There has been an increasing number of suspicious approaches in Bab Al Mandeb area in July. Although no attacks have been taken place the activity seems out of normal pattern, possibly probing approaches to test the presence of armed security guards.

The southwest monsoon with heavy winds and rough sea has impeded the operations of small boats throughout July.

• The criminal situation in Nigerian and nearby waters remains a problem. The recent actions by Nigerian authorities to repel non-Nigerian security companies operating in their waters is likely providing more operational freedom for pirates. The incident of attacking a police guarded oil rig, with the likely intent to seize the gunboat with heavy armament , is an alarming sign also. Criminals with military grade boats and serious weaponry will not be easy to repel by lightly armed security teams.

•Criminals operating in Southeast Asian waters seem to become more armed and are likely to cause injuries more easily in case of noncompliance by the boarded vessel crews. This is a wild assumption but largely corresponding to the normal human behaviour. There have been also two reported hijacks with serious cargo (gas oil) theft that is becoming already common in this area.
• On 29 July the fall of a large maritme security company became public as they announced the cecation of operations. The experts estimate that this is could be a rising trend. In the light of constatly droping prices due hard competition the companies with high fixed costs are truly in danger to sustain themselves.This trend is potentially dangerous for shipping as agreed service may get cancelled without warning. The red flags for vessel owners should be the guards attitude on their vessels, mainly the infotrmation are they payd as agreed etc. In case the salaries have been in hold for several moths the good guess is that the company is in trouble.

Full report


Leave a reply