IMB’s annual piracy report shows 245 incidents were recorded worldwide in 2014 – a 44 percent drop since Somali piracy peaked in 2011. Somali pirates were responsible for 11 attacks, all of which were thwarted. However, IMB warns shipmasters to follow the industry’s best management practices, as the threat of Somali piracy has not been eliminated.
Worldwide, 21 vessels were hijacked last year, 183 were boarded, and 13 fired upon. Pirates killed four crew members, injured 13 and kidnapped nine from their vessels.
“The global increase in hijackings is due to a rise in attacks against coastal tankers in South East Asia,” said Pottengal Mukundan, director of IMB whose Piracy Reporting Centre has monitored world piracy since 1991. “Gangs of armed thieves have attacked small tankers in the region for their cargoes, many looking specifically for marine diesel and gas oil to steal and then sell.”
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