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Web alert: ICC IMB publishes 2013 annual report on piracy and armed robbery

15 January 2014

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has published its 2013 annual report on piracy and armed robbery.

The report, covering the period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013, details the number of actual and attempted attacks, as well as the types of weapons used, the geographical spread of attacks and the types and flag states of vessels at which attacks were directed.

Globally during 2013, 300 people were taken hostage and 21 injured. 12 vessels were hijacked, 202 were boarded, 22 were fired upon and a further 28 attempted attacks were reported.

While the statistics show a reduction in incidents off Somalia, with 15 in 2013 as opposed to 75 in 2012 and 237 in 2011, West African piracy accounted for 19% of attacks in 2013. The majority of attacks in West Africa were focused on Nigeria, which accounted for 31 of the area’s 51 attacks. Nigerian pirates killed one crew member and kidnapped 36 people for ransom ashore.

The ICC IMB attributes the reduction in piracy events off Somalia as being due to the combined efforts of navies in the region, the hardening of vessels in accordance with BMP4 and the employment of privately contracted armed security personnel.

Incidents in other areas, including Indonesia, India and Bangladesh are described as “low-level” and “opportunistic”, often focusing on theft. However, events in Indonesia accounted for more than 50% of vessels boarded in 2013 and it is the fourth consecutive year that armed robbery has increased in the region. 

The ICC IMB continues to advise shipowners to exercise vigilance and for masters to avoid complacency.

For further information visit the ICC website.