Posted on November 01, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network (CRN), provided support to its 100th case this week. According to CRN, piracy, along with death at sea and abandonment, accounted for over 59% of those cases, with piracy being the leading cause for seeking support for over 26% of those supported
Sailors’ Society’s CEO Stuart Rivers had this to say on the subject, “Piracy, and the fear of piracy, is a massive issue for seafarers. Survivors of piracy and kidnappings are exposed to violence and terror, which can have a devastating impact on them and their families for years to come. That such a high number of those seeking support from our Crisis Response Network have been affected by the trauma of piracy is sadly not surprising.”
The high level of piracy cases treated by CRN is an unfortunate statistic, but it is to be expected when taking 2018’s increased pirate activity into account. According to the International Maritime Bureau, a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery were reported in the first nine months of 2018, a significant increase when comparing to 2017, were only 121 such incidents were reported.
The number of kidnappings has also increased in 2018. 112 incidents were reported in the first three quarters of 2018, up from 80 when comparing to the same time period in 2017.
This week alone, we‘ve seen 15 seafarers kidnapped in two separate incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. At the same time ESSCOM has raised the threat level in the Philippines, indicating increased risk of kidnappings in the area.
With kidnappings becoming an ever increasing occurrence in the industry, the support that CRN provides cannot be understated.