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The hazards of armed intruders

05 Jul 2019

Seafarers in many parts of the world continue to face the hazards of boardings by intruders and criminals, often carrying weapons. Recent incidents reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) worldwide 24-hour PRC include the following:

  • Armed men boarded two fishing vessels en route from Tambisan to Semporna, Malaysia on 17 June. They kidnapped 10 of the 16 crew members and escaped. Nine of the crew were reported released on 21 June, with one crew member still held.
  • An intruder was spotted on board a bulk carrier anchored around 13 nautical miles off Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia on 31 May. He threatened the duty officers with a knife and escaped empty-handed with his accomplice in a waiting boat.
  • Six people armed with knives boarded a bulk carrier anchored at Macapa, Brazil on 31 May. Duty. The master raised the alarm, made a public address announcement and blew the whistle, and all crew mustered. A search found that ship's stores had been stolen.
  • Armed men in a speedboat chased and fired on a tanker about 99 nautical miles off Brass, Nigeria on 3 May. The alarm was raised, the vessel increased speed and took evasive manoeuvres, and non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. The tanker evaded a boarding and crew were reported safe.


All attacks and suspicious sightings should be reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, tel: +603 2031 0014 (24 hours), email:

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