Proven Expertise

Weekly Maritime Security Report 04 July 2018

West Africa 

Nigeria: Assailant boards anchored ship in Lagos

3 July

An unidentified assailant boarded an anchored merchant vessel at 0129 hrs local time at Lagos anchorage. Crew on board sighted the intruder, raised the alarm and informed patrol boats. The assailant left the ship. There were no reports of items stolen or damage to the ship.

PGI Analysis: There are regular reports of thefts, robberies and unauthorised boardings from anchored ships at Lagos port complex, particularly at night-time. Assailants are frequently armed, underscoring the need for vigilance at all times.

Nigeria: Merchant vessel reports pirate attack off Bonny island

1 July

A merchant vessel reported being under attack by pirates at 1140 hrs local time around 20 nm southwest of Bonny Island. No additional details on the incident were reported.

PGI Analysis: Niger Delta-based pirate groups often launched armed attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Guinea in kidnap-for-ransom attacks. Pirates typically target vessels 10-150 nm off the coast of Nigeria, particularly near Bonny Island.

Select Maritime News

Italy: Government refuses another migrant rescue ship

30 June

A rescue boat that saved 59 migrants off the coast of Libya was refused entry at Italian ports. Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, has said that there will not be exceptions to his policy of refusing to allow humanitarian boats to dock in Italy. The migrants on board were reported to be Palestinian, Syrian and Guinean nationals.

Japan: Tokyo protests Beijing drilling vessel in East China Sea

29 June

The Japanese government has criticised Beijing for allowing a gas drilling vessel to operate in disputed waters in the East China Sea. Japan and China had agreed to jointly develop gas fields in the disputed waters in 2008, though talks have since broken down. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated at a news conference that the Japanese government would continue to urge China to return to talks. Relations between the two countries have improved after a low point in 2012, when Japan nationalised a group of disputed East China Sea islets.

Libya: Navy intercepts 115 migrants off Sorman

2 July

A navy patrol intercepted 115 migrants in a rubber dinghy travelling off the coast of Sorman, local media reported. The incident comes two days after some 100 migrants drowned near Tripoli after their vessel capsized. Libya remains an important point of departure for migrants trying to reach European shores despite EU-backed measures against irregular migration and trafficking.

Libya: Coastguard says 100 migrants drown near Tripoli

29 June

Over 100 migrants likely drowned off the coast of Tripoli after their overloaded vessel capsized, the Libyan coastguard reported. The coastguard reportedly rescued 16 survivors. In separate rescue operations, officials said that more than 300 migrants had been brought back to the shore to the east of Tripoli.

Malaysia: Defence minister says Middle Rocks will not be used for military purposes

28 June

Malaysian Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has said the government will not use the Middle Rocks territory in the Singapore Strait for military purposes. The statement comes after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced in May plans to build an artificial extension to the Middle Rocks territory in order to develop it "into a small island", though the defence minister confirmed a decision on the development has yet to be taken. Middle Rocks were awarded to Malaysia by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2008 following a dispute with Singapore over the nearby island of Pedra Branca.

Philippines: Suspected ASG militants kidnap daughter of businessman in Tawi-Tawi

27 June

Suspected Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) militants kidnapped the daughter of a businessman in Tawi-Tawi. ASG militants kidnapped the girl from the coastal village Sitio Palau Pinang. Media reports said the father of the girl exchanged fire with the kidnappers, injuring one assailant. ASG militants regularly carry out kidnappings in areas around the Sulu archipelago.

South Korea: Seoul, Pyongyang reopen maritime communications

1 July

South and North Korea have reopened a maritime communication channel, with vessels from the two countries making radio contact for the first time in a decade, a South Korean defence ministry statement stated. The move comes after the leaders of the two Koreas agreed on 27 April to take steps to gradually defuse military tensions.

The Bahamas: Explosion on tour boat kills one person off Barraterre

30 June

An explosion on a tourist tour boat killed at least one tourist and injured ten others in the Bahamas. The engine explosion took place off Barraterre island in the Exuma Cays. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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