Attacks on small tankers have increased although the total number of pirate incidents in the maritime industry is diminishing, International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed.
According to this year’s third quarter global piracy report of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) IMB, armed thieves are making South East Asian waters increasingly dangerous for small tankers carrying products such as gasoil or marine diesel oil.
IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said: "It’s encouraging to see the huge decrease in maritime piracy and armed robbery over the last few years, thanks mainly to international navies deterring pirates off East Africa, and improved onboard security.
"However, there has been a worrying new rise in attacks against small coastal tankers in South East Asia. We advise small tankers in particular to remain vigilant in these waters and report all attacks and suspicious small craft to the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre."
The South East Asia region accounts for five out of the six worldwide vessel hijacking reports this year.
Up to the third quarter of the year, a total of 178 piracy incidents had been reported worldwide, a decline compared with 352 for the same period of 2011.
Over the first nine months of the year, pirates have killed three crew members, kidnapped five from their vessels and taken 369 seafarers hostage.
Also, 17 vessel hijackings, 124 boardings and ten firing attacks have been reported, in addition to 27 attempted attacks, IMB said.
The report has said that Indonesia recorded 72 incidents between January and September, including 67 armed robberies and five hijackings; however, piracy attacks in Somalia and Nigeria have fallen and the countries reported only ten and 13 incidents respectively.
Image: During the first nine months of this year, pirates have killed three crew members, kidnapped five from their vessels and taken 369 seafarers hostage. Photo: courtesy of Commercial Crime Services.