Maersk, CMA CGM, Wan Hai and ONE Ships Attacked in Manila
In the first two weeks of August 2021, container ships operated by CMA CGM and Ocean Network Express (ONE) were looted while docked in Manila. The burglars used knives and firearms to intimidate the crew before running off with valuables from the ships.
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCaap) followed up on the incidents and raised concerns over increased piracy in Manila.
It was reported on the 4th of August that three burglars were spotted at the forecastle of the 4,253TEU SEASPAN NEW YORK, which is managed by ONE. One of the attackers attempted but failed to knife an approaching crew member. The suspects, however, succeeded in tying up the crew member and breached into the forecastle, stealing two portable welding machines with cables, 20 reefer cables, three bronze nozzles, and fire hydrant caps. The crew member in question was able to disentangle himself and report the situation to the bridge.
The SEASPAN NEW YORK is currently sailing in South East Asia en route to the port of Subic Bay, Philippines.
In another incident during the same month, a burglar held a crew member aboard the 4,249TEU CMA CGM CAIMEP at gunpoint while he was on watch duty on the forecastle deck. Four other conspirators emerged and forced the crew to lead them to the storeroom. The crooks took 20 buckets of paint from the storeroom while the watcher was restrained.
When the ship's master and second officer were unable to reach the crew member on watch duty, the deck cadet was sent to inquire. While investigating, the cadet came upon one of the intruders who was armed with a knife. The cadet managed to get away from the scene and radioed the bridge to report what he witnessed. The master assembled the crew and searched the ship until he located and freed the crew on duty lookout. In the meantime, the attackers escaped the ship in a boat.
CMA CGM CAIMEP is currently en route to the port of Nansha in China.
Five other container ships, operated by APL (a division of CMA CGM), Maersk Line, and Wan Hai, were also burglarized in June and July 2021.
ReCaaP has expressed concern over an increase of similar thefts in the Manila anchorage. “Shipmasters and crew are strongly encouraged to remain vigilant, keep an eye out for suspicious vessels, and promptly report any occurrences to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, the crew must refrain from confronting the perpetrators,” ReCaaP stated.
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