On 29 September 2023, a vessel was boarded by thieves whilst at anchor in Callao, Peru. The perpetrators tied up the duty crew and shore watchmen on routine rounds and held them at knifepoint, before escaping with the ship’s stores, reports the IMB PRC.
According to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center (IMB PRC), this incident is the thirteenth piracy and armed robbery report received from the Callao Anchorage so far in 2023, and the third in September alone. In comparison, 12 incidents were reported from Callao during the whole of 2022. The recent reports from this port also indicate that crew are frequently taken hostage, assaulted and threatened, making this location quite a high risk for crew.
Even if the IMB PRC incident records for Peru's Callao Anchorage showed a welcome decline in 2022, this year’s worrying trend serves as a reminder to ship’s crew to keep a careful watch and anti-piracy measures in place while in this port.
When alongside at port or anchorage, or during STS/bunkering operations, equipment such as fenders, anchor chains, and hawse pipes should be physically blocked as they can provide a point of access for perpetrators. Regular security rounds should be conducted, and particular attention paid to suspicious small boats passing close to the ship or loitering in the vicinity. Since the perpetrators often board ships during the hours of darkness, it may be useful to increase the deck watch at night and leave lights on. A well-lit ship is less vulnerable to attacks.
Remember that the Maritime Global Security website at http://www.maritimeglobalsecurity.com offers industry-issued best practices and guidance to mariners by geographic region. Additional advice is also available from Gard’s website “Piracy and armed robbery at sea”.