ReCAAP ISC and Information Fusion Centre (IFC) have jointly published a Tug Boats and Barges Guide (TaB) against piracy and sea robbey.
The purpose of this guide is to capture tips, guidelines, reporting procedures and contact details for tug boat owners, operators and crew in avoiding hijacking and robbery onboard tug boats and barges.
The guide contains inputs and experience of tug boat owners, operators and masters whose vessels had been robbed or hijacked; and modus operandi of the robbers and hijackers.
In planning a passage, the guide highlights the responsibilities of the ship owner, ship master and crew at the various phases: the pre-sailing, sailing and post incident reporting/follow-up phases.
In past four years (2008-2011), it was observed that more tug boats and barges had been targets of robbery and hijacking in certain locations of Asia. The inherent characteristics and activities of tug boats towing barges had made these vessels relatively more vulnerable, particularly the low freeboard, slow speed of a tug boat which on an average moving between 8-10 knots, small number of crew onboard a tug boat, and unmanned barges with cargoes and logistic items onboard.