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April 11, 2018
Piracy attacks on sea shipping increased in first quarter
The International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB) announced that it recorded 66 piracy incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.
According to the IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. A further 12 attempted incident reports were also received in the first three months of 2018. A hundred crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels.
The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 29 incidents in 2018 Q1. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one was in this region.
One incident was reported off Somalia where a product tanker was fired upon and chased by two skiffs. At the end of March, a 160,000 DWT tanker reported being fired upon in the Gulf of Aden, while transiting within the Maritime Security Transit Corridor. The distance from land, sighting of ladders and firing upon ships continues to illustrate that the Somali pirates retain the capability and intent to attack merchant shipping in the wider Indian Ocean.
Indonesia recorded nine low level attacks where anchored vessels were targeted. Five bulk carriers reported actual or attempted attacks at Muara Berau anchorage in Samarinda, whilst waiting to load coal cargoes.
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