A sailor has been “shot to death” and six others abducted in an attack by pirates on a Vietnamese bulk carrier in the Philippines on February 19, 2017, reported the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre.
The vessel, Giang Hai, was travelling from Indonesia to Iloilo Port, Philippines, when an unidentified number of pirates boarded the ship, destroying navigation and communication equipment before escaping.
The crew member shot to death was a sailor, while five others, the Master, Chief Officer, 3rd Officer, a 2nd Engineer and an oiler, were abducted. The Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) originally reported the incident.
The ship is now at Taganak anchorage area, Tawi Tawi, Philippines, undergoing investigation conducted by the Philippine authorities.
ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre stated on the report that this is the second incident involving abduction of crew in 2017, but the first time that a crew member has been shot to death.
“The ReCAAP ISC is deeply concerned about the situation of abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea region. It reiterates its advisory which was issued via the ReCAAP ISC Incident Alert dated 21 November 2016 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.”
All vessels are advised to report to the Philippine authorities and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) prior to entering or passing the Sibutu Passage and Sulu-Celebes Sea. Concerning the reporting centres in the Philippines, NavyLittoral Monitoring Stations(LMS) based in Bongao, Tawi Tawi, is included in addition to the Philippine Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao Operation Centre based in Zamboanga.
The ICC International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) annual piracy report revealed at the start of 2017 that more crew were kidnapped at sea in 2016 than in any of the previous 10 years, despite global piracy reaching its lowest levels since 1998.