Weekly Maritime Security Report

Maritime Security Report 

highlights key industry-specific incidents

covered by PGI’s team of risk analysts during the past week:

Cameroon: Gunmen kidnap three fishermen off Idenao

9 February

Assailants armed with assault rifles boarded a China-flagged fishing vessel 10 nm southwest of Idenao and kidnapped three crew members. Cameroonian authorities are investigating the incident.

Nigeria: Merchant vessel reports pirate attack off the coast of Bonny Island

9 February

An underway merchant vessel reported a suspected pirate attack at 0930 hrs local time off the coast of Bonny Island. The vessel reportedly evaded the attack and was reported safe. There were no immediate reports on casualties or the identity of the attackers.

PGI Analysis: Niger Delta-based pirate groups regularly conduct kidnap for ransom attacks off the coast of Bonny Island. Such attacks typically target commercial vessels, such as tankers, as their crew are perceived to obtain higher ransom payments and reports of attacks against fishermen in the region are rare.

Select Maritime News

Bangladesh: Armed robbers attempt to board vessel at Chittagong Anchorage

12 February

Five robbers armed with knives attempted to board a bulk carrier anchored at Chittagong Anchorage at 0320 hrs local time. Crew noticed the robbers, who were using ropes and hooks to board the vessel, and informed the master and prepared fire hoses, prompting the assailants to abandon the attempt. Petty thieves regularly target vessels at Chittagong Anchorage, particularly overnight.

India: Explosion at Cochin shipyard kills five

13 February

At least five workers were killed by an explosion at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) rig which was under repair at the Cochin Shipyard on 13 February. Officials said the blast took place in a ballast tank in the forward part of the oil drilling ship which had been dry-docked at the yard for almost two months. Some 12 workers were also injured. Officials have said that the yard has an effective fire control mechanism and that there were firemen on board the ship while it was being repaired.

India: Robbers attempt to board vessel at Kolkata

10 February

Duty crew on board an anchored bulk carrier sighted one robber attempting to board the vessel via the anchor chain and two others waiting in a small wooden boat at Diamond Harbour Anchorage off Kolkata at 0100 hrs local time. The duty crew shouted at the robber, prompting the assailants to abort the attempt.

Indonesia: Navy seizes 1 tonne of crystal meth from fishing boat

7 February

The Indonesian navy announced that it had intercepted a fishing boat carrying 1 tonne of crystal meth off the coast of Batam island. The navy intercepted the MV Sunrise Glory in the Phillip Channel. Authorities arrested the four Taiwanese crew members on board. The police said the drugs were intended to be shipped from Singapore to Batam island, before being sent to Jakarta by air.

Lebanon: Hezbollah media threatens attack on oil and gas facilities

8 February

The Central Military Media Hezbollah channel issued a short video that threatened Israeli oil and gas facilities in a dispute over gas Block 9, situated in disputed maritime territories. The video featured a clip of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah refuting the Israeli claim to the block and depicts ballistic missiles firing. Tensions have escalated over the maritime border since December 2017, when Lebanon approved a bid by a consortium for several blocks, including Block 9, which borders Israeli waters.

Philippines: Duterte bans all foreign research ships

5 February

President Rodrigo Duterte announced at a cabinet meeting that all foreign research vessels would be banned from operating off the Philippines’ coastline, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque. The move comes after Duterte voiced his support for China to research the Benham Rise region, which Manila renamed the Philippine Rise in 2017. China has shown significant interest in the area, prompting concerns over Philippine sovereignty.

Singapore: Beijing, ASEAN to hold first joint maritime exercise in late 2018

6 February

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold joint maritime exercises with China for the first time in late 2018, according to a statement by Chinese Minister of National Defence Chang Wanquan in Singapore. The ASEAN and Chinese defence officials called for stronger relations, after both sides have worked to increase interactions and boost defence exchanges since 2013, when Beijing suggested forming an ASEAN-China “community of common destiny”. There have been heightened tensions between China and some ASEAN nations over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

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