Sulu Sea News

15 Mar 2019

Maritime Security Meet in Asia

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Emerging maritime challenges were at the forefront of discussions at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security in Da Nang, Viet Nam, (14-15 March).Participants had the opportunity to exchange views on regional maritime issues, review progress of their maritime security work plan, and discuss proposed activities over the coming year.International Maritime Organization (IMO) took the opportunity to update ARF members on IMO's work inā€¦

05 Nov 2017

USS Coronado Departs Singapore

Photo: United States Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) departed Singapore Nov. 4 after completing a 14-month rotational deployment to Southeast Asia. During the deployment, the ship and crew operated with navies of 16 partner nations, participated in 11 multilateral and bilateral exercises, and made 10 strategic port visits across the region. "The rotational deployment of USS Coronado demonstrated the relevance of LCS as a platform tailor made for the dynamic and congested sea lanes, straits and archipelagos of South and Southeast Asiaā€¦

04 May 2017

Maritime Piracy on the Rise -Report

In March fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers in the first quarter of 2017, slightly more than the same period last year, according to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy report. The global report highlights persisting violence in piracy hotspots off Nigeria and around the Southern Philippines ā€“ where two crew members were killed in February. Indonesia also reported frequent incidents, mostly low-level thefts from anchored vessels. In total, 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017.

20 Jan 2017

Shippers Avoid New "pirate hotspot" west of Philippines

file Image: Pirates off the coast of Somalia are intercepted and disarmed. (Credit: EUNAVFOR)

Piracy has surged in Sulu, Celebes Seas; waters part of route carrying iron ore to Asia. A surge in piracy to the west of the Philippines is forcing shipowners to divert vessels through other waters, stoking their costs and extending the time it takes to transport goods such as Australian iron ore to key Asian destinations. There have been 16 attacks since last March on ships in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, through which about $40 billion worth of cargo passes each year, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

11 Jan 2017

Maritime Piracy Drops But Kidnappings Rise

Graphics:  ICC International Maritime Bureau

Sea piracy plunged to its lowest levels in 18 years in 2016, but kidnappings of crew members for ransom is escalating off west Africa and in the Sulu Seas near the Philippinessayd International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The global maritime watchdog said  in its annual report that more crew were kidnapped at sea in 2016 than in any of the previous 10 years, despite global piracy reaching its lowest levels since 1998. 191 piracy incidents were recorded worldwide, down from 246 in 2015 and the lowest level since 1998.

10 Jan 2017

Sulu Sea Kidnappings a Threat to Shipping - IMB

File Image: Suspected pirates off Somalia are intercepted by authorities (CREDIT: IMB)

The Sulu Sea between eastern Malaysia and the Philippines has become dangerous for merchant shipping due to rising threat of kidnappings, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said on Tuesday. The Sulu archipelago is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaeda linked group notorious for kidnappings and, increasingly, piracy. The IMB report was released just hours after armed men attacked a fishing boat, killing eight fishermen, in what appeared to be a pirate attack off the southern Philippines.

14 Dec 2016

Dryad Expands VSM Service to Sulu Sea

Logo

With vessels and crew having become a recent target by the militant jihadist group Abu Sayyaf in the Sulu Sea, it has now become an area of high risk for mariners. Dryad is therefore expanding its Vessel Safety Monitoring (VSM) service to the Sulu Sea. Managed from our 24-hour Operations Centre by experienced mariners and intelligence analysts, this service continuously tracks clientsā€™ vessels and delivers the most up to date intelligence picture to Masters and shore teams on the latest emerging threats in the area.

29 Nov 2016

Indonesia Maritime Threat Assessment

Pic: Protection Vessels International

Militant group Abu Sayyaf (ASG) has conducted frequent kidnap for ransom attacks in the Sulu and Celebes Seas since March 2016, says a report by Protection Vessels International Ltd. Islamic State-affiliated ASG has successfully extracted millions of dollars' worth of ransom payments for individual releases and has decapitated several hostages when ransom demands have not been met. In November, ASG shifted towards targeting commercial vessels and successfully abducted six crew members from a bulk carrier.

31 Oct 2016

Indonesia to resume coal shipments to Philippines amid piracy concerns

Indonesia will resume some shipments of coal to the Philippines, a government official said on Sunday, after a months-long halt due to concerns about piracy in seas between the two archipelagos. Indonesia earlier this year slapped a moratorium on coal shipments to its neighbour after a string of hijackings by militants based in the southern Philippines, in which several Indonesian sailors were taken hostage. Only ships with a capacity of over 500 tonnes will be allowed to resume sailing while smaller vessels and tugboats are still banned. "For safety and security reasons ... all ships must sail in the recommended corridors and avoid conflict areas or waters (around) the southern Philippines and east Malaysia," Transportation Ministry official Tonny Budiono said.

14 Oct 2016

Reduction in Maritime Crime across Worldā€™s Traditional ā€˜hot spotsā€™ - Dryad

Maritime Crime Infographic for Q3 2016

The Gulf of Guinea, South East Asia and The Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) have all seen a significant reduction of reported maritime crime throughout July, August and September of this year according to Q3 analysis released today by Dryad Maritime. With the exception of the Sulu Sea, incidents of maritime crime in South East Asia are at their lowest since 2009 and in the Indian Ocean HRA there were no confirmed acts of piracy in Q3, with the last recorded incident of piracy reported on a merchant vessel in 2014.

11 Sep 2016

Philippines, Indonesia Sign Maritime Accord

Photo:  Kementerian Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia

The Philippines and Indonesia have agreed to join forces in combating crime on the high seas, after a surge of kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf bandits in waters between the two countries. Philippines President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo had signed an agreement to ensure maritime security in the region and affirming both countriesā€™ commitment to fight terrorism and illegal drugs. Philippines President gave Indonesian forces the right to pursue pirates into Philippine waters, saying piracy is one of the main problems between the two countries.

29 Jul 2016

Crew Kidnapping Rising in Gulf of Guinea - Dryad

Reporting w.r.t. GOG

In contrast to the substantial numbers of reported incidents across Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean in recent years, maritime crime now appears to have stabilised in these regions according to the latest Q2 maritime crime statistics released by Dryad Maritime today. There have been 34 incidents of maritime crime and piracy reported across Southeast Asia during the second quarter of 2016, taking the total for the first half of the year to 49. This is a 66% reduction for the half yearly total when compared to the first six months of 2015.

24 Jun 2016

Seven Indonesian Sailors Kidnapped in Philippines

Seven Indonesian sailors have been taken hostage in the Sulu Sea in the southern Philippines, Indonesia's foreign minister said on Friday, the latest in a string of abductions in the waters between the two Southeast Asian neighbours. "We got confirmation (yesterday) of an incident of kidnapping involving Indonesian crew of a ship," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters. He said the hijackings were carried out by two different armed groups. Six of the 13 crew on board were freed, Marsudi said, and were on their way back to Indonesia. The kidnappings come after the governments of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia agreed last month to carry out coordinated patrols to secure the region's busy waterways. Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor

21 Apr 2016

Indonesia: Local Piracy could lead to 'new Somalia'

Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines ministers to meet in Jakarta as up to 18 Indonesians, Malaysians held captive in Philippines. Indonesia fears piracy on a busy shipping route along its maritime border with the Philippines could hit levels seen in Somalia unless security is tightened, its chief security minister said on Thursday, following a spate of kidnappings. The route lies on major shipping arteries that analysts say carry $40 billion worth of cargo each year. It is taken by fully laden supertankers from the Indian Ocean that cannot use the crowded Malacca Strait. For the first time, concerns over rising maritime attacks by suspected Islamist militants are disrupting coal trade between the Southeast Asian neighboursā€¦

22 Mar 2016

This Day In Naval History: March 22

1820 - Commodore Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded in a duel with Capt. James Barron at Bladensburg, Md., over criticism Decatur had when Barron lost his ship, USS Chesapeake, to HMS Leopard in 1807. 1915 - "Naval Aviator" replaces the title "Navy Air Pilot" for officers who become qualified as aviators. 1929 - Destroyers USS Robert Smith (DD 324), USS Moody (DD 277), and USS Selfridge (DD 320) protect Americans and their property during the Mexican Cristero uprising. 1943 - USS Gudgeon (SS 211) attacks a Japanese convoy 30 miles north Surabaya, Java, sinking an army cargo ship while surviving the depth charge attack by her escort vessels. Also on this date, USS Tambor (SS 198) damages a Japanese transport in the Sulu Sea, off Negros, Philippines.

27 Jan 2016

SUPSALV & Finding El Faro

Captain Gregg W. Baumann discusses with CBS ā€˜60 Minutesā€™ anchor Scott Pelley  the technology to be deployed in the search for El Faro. The feature El Faro spot aired on CBS on Sunday, January 3, 2016.  If you missed it, view the 60 Minutes video here:http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/lost-in-the-bermuda-triangle  (Courtesy of U.S. Navy/CBS ā€˜60 Minutesā€™)

Last month we were offered an in-depth discussion on marine salvage with Captain Gregg W. Baumann, U.S. Navy, Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving. Captain Baumann and his team have a long history regarding difficult missions accomplished, including most recently the location and filming of the lost TOTE containership El Faro. What is the scope of the responsibility of the Supervisor of Salvage & Diving; Director of Ocean Engineering? The responsibilities of the Supervisor of Salvage & Divingā€¦

04 Jan 2016

This Day In Naval History - January 04

USS Michigan (Photo: U.S. Navy)

1910 - USS Michigan, the first U.S. dreadnought battleship, is commissioned. 1943 - USS Shad (SS 235) sinks German minesweeper M 4242 (ex-French trawler Odet II) in the Bay of Biscay. 1944 - USS Bluefish (SS 222) and USS Rasher (SS 269) attack a Japanese convoy off French Indochina; Bluefish sinks a merchant tanker while Rasher damages another tanker. Also on this date USS Cabrilla (SS 288) sinks a Japanese freighter off Cape Padran, French Indochina while USS Tautog (SS 109) sinks a Japanese freighter off southern Honshu. 1945 - During attacks against the U.S.

22 Jun 2015

CARAT Exercise Series Kick-off in Philippines

CARAT is an annual, bilateral exercise series with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. PughReleased)

Members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps along with their Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counterparts kicked off the 2015 Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series during an opening ceremony in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, June 22. The AFP have participated in CARAT since the exercise series began in 1995 and this year's training reflects more than two decades of increasingly sophisticated training ashore, at sea, and in the air. "CARAT remains a practical way to address shared maritime security prioritiesā€¦

16 Dec 2013

Kerry Announces U.S. Assistance for Maritime Capacity in SE Asia

Secretary of State John Kerry (Source: U.S. Department of State).

On December 16, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an initial commitment of $32.5 million in new regional and bilateral assistance to advance maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia. Including this new funding, our planned region-wide funding support for maritime capacity building exceeds $156 million for the next two years. As an example of our commitment to strengthen maritime capacities in Southeast Asia, the United States intends to provide up to $18 million in new assistance to Vietnam to enhance the capacity of coastal patrol units to deploy rapidly for search and rescueā€¦

21 Mar 2013

Guardian Salvage SUPSALV Masterminded

Salvage Operations Tubbataha Reef: Photo credit NAVSEA

Naval Sea System Command's (NAVSEA) Supervisor of Salvage & Diving (SUPSALV) continues to support the removal of the wreck. Guardian ran aground on the coral reef Jan. 17, while transiting the Sulu Sea. After the initial grounding, strong winds pushed the mine counter-measurees ship parallel to the reef and further aground causing flooding and structural damage which prevented refloating of the vessel or removal of the ship intact. SUPSALV is part of a command task unit established to perform the salvage operations and are providing salvage expertise and equipment to conduct operations.

25 Jan 2013

Reef Grief for USN Ship

USS Guardian: Photo credit USN

The mine counter-measures ship 'USS Guardian' (MCM 5) still sits on the Tubbataha Reef. Operations to safely recover the ship while minimizing environmental effects are being conducted in close cooperation with allied Philippines Coast Guard and Navy. Prior to leaving port in Subic Bay, Guardian canceled a scheduled fuel stop to Puerto Princesa, thus  the  Guardian departed Olongapo City en route to Indonesia and was transiting the Sulu Sea when the grounding occurred at approximately 2:25 a.m. Thursday, 17, January.

21 Jan 2013

USS Guardian Stranding: Navy Commander Regretful

USS Guardian: Photo credit USN

The U.S. 7th Fleet Commander expressed regret over the grounding of 'USS Guardian' on Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea. "As a protector of the sea and a sailor myself, I greatly regret any damage this incident has caused to the Tubbataha Reef," said Vice Adm. Scott Swift. "We know the significance of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and its importance as a World Heritage Site. Swift also announced that Rear Adm. Thomas Carney, Commander of Logistics Group Western Pacific, will take over on Jan. 21 as the on-scene commander to oversee the Guardian recovery operations.

17 Jan 2013

USS Guardian Runs Aground in the Sulu Sea

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- No one was hurt when the mine countermeasures ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) ran aground on Tubbataha Reef at 2:25 a.m. local time, Jan. 17, while transiting the Sulu Sea. The Avenger-class ship had just completed a port call in Subic Bay, Olongapo City and was en route to her next port of call when the grounding occurred. The ship is currently stuck on the reef, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island. The crew is currently working to determine the best method of safely extracting the ship. The cause of the grounding is under investigation. Guardian, forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan, was commissioned Dec. 16, 1989, and has a crew of about 80.   (Source: U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs)

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News