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Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)  - Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report

Office of Naval Intelligence

Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report

Table of Contents

1.Scope Note


3.Counter-Piracy and Maritime Crime Announcements and Advisories

4.Details: Monthly Incidents by Region

5.Appendix A: Further Contact Information and Resources

6.Appendix B: Terminology and References

1. (U) Scope Note 1.

(U) The Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) message provides info on piracy threats to, and criminal action against, merchant vessels and the shipping industry worldwide in the last 30 days. This report is produced primarily to inform merchant mariners and naval forces.

Warnings and Advisories

1. (U) MARAD Advisory 2016-04 – 22 Nov 2016: U.S.-flag vessels are advised to remain vigilant when transiting the Sulu and Celebes Seas in light of recent boardings and kidnappings that have taken place between Sabah, Malaysia and the southern Philippines. There have been 13 reported kidnappings in this area this year, of which at least nine were reportedly linked to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Previously when crewmember kidnappings took place in this area, only towing and fishing vessels were targeted. However, since October 2016, ASG has reportedly targeted two large commercial vessels and a private yacht. The level of violence has been high during some of these attacks, as was demonstrated on November 7, 2016 when kidnappers boarded a yacht, killed one female crewmember, and kidnapped the remaining crewmember.

For additional information see:

2. (U) ReCAAP ALERT – 21 Nov 2016: The ReCAAP ISC is deeply concerned about the situation of abduction of crew from ships while underway in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and eastern Sabah region. Since March 2016, there have been 11 incidents with nine actual incidents and two attempted incidents occurred in the area.

Most of the incidents are claimed by the terrorist group of the Philippines Abu Sayyaf Group. 44 crew were abducted and 11 crew among them are still in captive.

Since October 2016, the perpetrators have begun to target ships of larger tonnage (DONG BANG GIANT 2, ROYAL 16, SOUTHERN FALCON and KUMIAI SHAGANG). The latest attempted incidents of SOUTHERN FALCON and KUMIAI SHAGANG show the vigilance of the crew and effective activation of anti-piracy measures had successfully prevented boarding by the perpetrators.

The ReCAAP ISC reiterates its advisory 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 and report immediately to the following centers:

A. Operation Centre in the Philippine Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao for monitoring and immediate responses in any eventualities. (Sat phones: +63 929686 4129/+63 916626 0689, VHF: Channel 16 with call-sign "ENVY", Email: (U) B. Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) when transiting nearer to eastern Sabah. (Tel: +60 89863181/016, Fax: +60 89863182,VHF: Channel 16 with call-sign “ESSCOM”, Email: (U) For additional information see:,&dl

3. (U) IMB ADVISORY – 11 Nov 2016: All ships transiting Celebes Sea / Sulu Sea / off Zamboanga and Moro Gulf / off Mindanao Island. On 10 November 2016 at 2031 UTC in position 06:40.45N - 122:29.45E, 10 nm north-northeast of Basilan Island, Philippines. A merchant vessel was attacked and boarded by pirates. Six crew members were kidnapped and one crew injured. This is the second merchant vessel to be attacked and crew kidnapped in this area.

Vessels are advised to maintain strict anti-piracy watch and exercise extreme caution and keep clear of the position given in this report and maintain maximum CPA with any vessel acting suspiciously. All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported. IMB Piracy Reporting Centre 24 hours anti-piracy helpline +603 2031 0014, fax: +603 2078 5769, Email: //

4. (U) UKMTO ADVISORY 007/OCT/2016 (2ND UPDATE): The incident reported on 25 Oct 16 (Advisory 007/Oct/16) and subsequently updated remains the subject of ongoing investigation. Indications are an MV was fired upon with small arms from occupants of 1 skiff whilst underway 5 nm from the southern entrance to the Bab el Mandeb TSS. There is a continuing naval presence in the Bab el Mandeb, an area known for small boat activity. The motive for the incident or those involved are unknown at this time.

Merchant Vessels are advised to remain at a heightened state of vigilance when transiting the SRS/Bab el Mandeb. All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported. Email, Tel: +971 4 309 4268, Fax: +971(0)43094254.

5. (U) IMB PRC GENERAL ADVISORY – 25 Oct 2016: General Advisory for ships transiting Celebes Sea / Sulu Sea / Off Sibutu Island, Tawi Tawi, Philippines. In view of the latest and first kidnapping incident on 20 October 2016 involving a merchant ship off Sibutu Island, Philippines. Ships are advised to avoid this area and should consider using the route west of Kalimantan/west side of Sabah/Sarawak instead. Past recent kidnapping incidents involved tugs and fishing boats only.

On 20 October 2016 at 1347 in position 04:32N - 119:33E, around 8.2 nm southeast of Sibutu Island, Philippines, a ship was attacked and boarded by armed unknown persons. Two crew members were then kidnapped. 24 hour Helpline +603 2031 0014, FAX: +603 2078 5769, Email: IMBKL@ICCCCS.ORG

6. (U) NGA Special Warning 134 – 3 Oct 2016. Commercial vessels in the region of the Red Sea, Bab el Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden should operate under a heightened state of alert as increasing tensions in the region escalate the potential for direct or collateral damage to vessels transiting the region.

These threats may come from a variety of different sources such as missiles, projectiles or waterborne improvised explosive devices. Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for a 1 October attack on a UAE vessel. Vessels in the region should report hostile activities immediately and contact

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