Piracy and armed robbery levels at lowest for more than 20 years

Piracy and armed robbery levels at lowest for more than 20 years

Last year witnessed the fewest incidents of piracy and armed robbery against vessels since 1995 according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a branch of the International Chamber of Commerce.

A total of 180 incidents were reported to the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre in 2017. These were: 136 vessels boarded, 22 attempted attacks, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.

In its annual report on piracy and armed robbery against ships, the IMB said: “Whilst the continued decline in overall numbers is welcome, the effects on crew and their safety continues to be a cause for concern.”

According to the report 91 crew members were taken hostage, 75 were kidnapped, six were injured and three were killed.

A total of 22 container ships were involved in incidents, most of these being robberies or attempted robberies while the vessel was anchored, however there were a few notable exceptions.

The Demeter, managed by Peter Doehle-Schiffahrts, was attacked while underway and had six of its crew kidnapped, although the captured crew was later released safely. Meanwhile two vessels, the Kote Sejarah and the Ever Dynamic, were both chased by skiffs and fired upon. The latter was targeted with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).