The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) is deeply concerned about the situation of abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and eastern Sabah region. Since March 2016, there have been 11 incidents with nine actual incidents and two attempted incidents occurred in the area. Most of the incidents are claimed by the terrorist group of the Philippines Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). 44 crew were abducted and 11 crew among them are still in captive.

Since October 2016, the perpetrators have begun to target ships of larger tonnage (Dong Bang Giant 2, Royal 16, Southern Falcon and Kumiai Shagang). Nonetheless, the latest attempted incidents of Southern Falcon and Kumiai Shagang show the vigilance of the crew and effective activation of anti-piracy measures had successfully prevented boarding by the perpetrators

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This map  by ReCAAP ISC depicts the  location of the consolidated incidents occurred from March to November 2016 in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and eastern Sabah region.

The ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory to all ships to re-route from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area and report immediately to the following Centres:

  1. Operation Centre in the Philippine Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao for monitoring and immediate responses in any evetualities. (Sat phones: +63 929686 4129/+63 916626 0689, VHF: Channel 16 with callsign “ENVY”, Email: hcgdswm@yahoo.com)
  1. Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) when transiting nearer to eastern Sabah. (Tel: +60 89863181/016, Fax: +60 89863182,VHF: Channel 16 with call-sign “ESSCOM”, Email: bilikgerakanesscom@jpm.gov.my)

Shipping industry is advised to adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the “Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia”.

Source: ReCAAP ISC