A capesize bulk carrier, Kumiai Shagang, was attacked by pirates or militants on November 20 in the Sulu Sea, near the Philippines when it was en route from Port Hedland to Qingdao, an attack that is significant for its jump in size of ship eyed by attackers in the region that have mainly focused on smaller ships such as barges, tugs and OSVs.
The ship is owned by Japan’s Southern Pacific Holding and managed by Kumiai Senpaku.
According to ReCAAP, the regional piracy watchdog, the crew on the ship took anti-piracy measures and successfully prevented boarding by the perpetrators.
Since March this year, there have been 11 incidents in the area. Most of the incidents are claimed by the terrorist group of the Philippines, Abu Sayyaf. 44 crew have been abducted this year and 11 crew among them are still held captive.
ReCAAP has reiterated its advisory to all ships to reroute from the area, where possible. Otherwise, ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the area and report any incident immediately.