Maritime Incident Report: July 2020

Our monthly Maritime Incident Report: July 2020, covering maritime security and incidents throughout the Indian Ocean, West Africa, South East Asia and South America, for the period 01/07/20-31/07/20.

Indian Ocean Overview


In terms of Piracy, the Indian Ocean region has been inactive during this reporting period. It is highly likely that piracy activity will continue to be sporadic and infrequent. It remains the case that lower risk opportunities in other criminal enterprises such as the smuggling of people, narcotics, weapons and charcoal have likely reduced the appetite and desire for local actors to conduct piracy. However, there is cause for reminder that the threat from piracy is only suppressed, not eliminated.

No Incidents to report during this reporting period.

West Africa Overview

This reporting period has largely remained the same in terms of maritime crime and piracy compared to the previous month. There has been one report of the kidnapping of crew by armed pirates.

Vessels are advised to exercise extreme caution when transiting in and around West Africa.

Date: 02/07/2020
Location: 150nm South of Cotonou, Benin
Details: Armed pirates attacked and boarded a general cargo ship that was drifting and awaiting operational instructions. They kidnapped five crew members, stole ship’s properties, cash and crew personal belongings before escaping in a small boat. Authorities informed, crew mustered, and a search was carried out onboard the ship. The remaining crew are reported safe. On 04.08.2020, the Owners confirmed that the 5 kidnapped crew members were released safely on 31.07.2020.

Date: 02/07/2020
Location: 33nm SSW of Bonny Island, Nigeria
Details: Armed pirates attacked and boarded an FPSO, kidnapped nine crew members and escaped. Remaining crew reported safe.

Date: 17/07/2020
Location: 196nm SW of Bayelsa, Nigeria
Details: Eight pirates armed with machine guns boarded a tanker underway. They held hostage all crew members, stole the tanker’s documents and valuables and kidnapped 13 crew members before escaping. The tanker was left drifting with limited and unqualified crew onboard. A nearby merchant vessel rendered assistance which allowed the tanker to sail to a safe port. Regional authorities notified.

South East Asia Overview

This reporting period has largely remained the same as last month, with four incidents of maritime crime reported. These incidents generally use the same modus operandi whereby persons armed with knives or more rarely guns, board a vessel, either underway or at anchor and steal ship stores or engine spares before making their escape. If they are caught in the act they will generally attempt to escape or more rarely they will confront and subdue the crew before escaping.

Date: 01/07/2020
Location: Singapore Straits
Details: Four robbers armed with knives boarded a reefer vessel. Duty crew spotted the robbers and raised the alarm. All crew mustered. Seeing the crew alertness, the robbers escaped with ship’s spares. Incident reported to VTIS.

Date: 08/07/2020
Location: 23nm SE of Natuna Island, Indonesia
Details: Around five persons in a boat attempted to come alongside and board a LPG Tanker underway. Seeing the approaching boat the vessel made evasive manoeuvres and directed the Aldis lights towards the boat resulting in the persons aborting and moving away.

Date: 11/07/2020
Location: Singapore Straits
Details: Three robbers armed with knives and an axe boarded a bulk carrier underway. The C/E noticed the armed robbers in the steering gear room and immediately informed the Master. Alarm raised, deck lights switched on and crew mustered on the bridge. Incident reported to the CSO and VTS. A search was carried out. It was reported that ship’s spares and stores were stolen.

Date: 26/07/2020
Location: Singapore Straits
Details: Robbers in a wooden boat approached and boarded a barge towed by an underway tug. The crew spotted the boat and raised the alarm. Seeing the crew alertness, the robbers escaped. Incident reported to the coast guard, who later boarded the barge for investigation. On searching the barge, nothing was reported stolen.

South America Overview

This reporting period has seen two incidents of robbery whilst at anchor in Brazil and Haiti.

Date: 28/07/2020
Location: Macapa Anchorage No.2, Brazil
Details: Unnoticed, robbers boarded an anchored bulk carrier. Duty AB on security rounds noticed the forecastle and paint store doors open and raised the alarm. Upon investigation, ship’s stores reported stolen. Incident reported to Port Control.

Date: 29/07/2020
Location: 6nm NW of Port Au Prince, Haiti
Details: Duty AB on routine rounds onboard a bulk carrier drifting while waiting for orders was confronted and taken hostage by two armed robbers. They stole the AB personnel properties and two mooring ropes before escaping in a waiting boat. Alarm raised and crew mustered.

​For More Information

At Priavo we understand the myriad of threats facing owners and operators today and deploy specialist teams for Super Yacht Security. Our operatives are all former members of the British Special Boat Service or ex-Royal Marine Commandos. They are highly trained, armed professionals in Maritime Security and provide both physical and electronic deterrence whilst on board – with experience of over 4,000 successful armed transits. Contact Us for more information.