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October 2nd 2019

Anchorage Incidents: Chittagong

A focus on incident trends 
June 8th 2015
A focus on incident trends
Each month, we dig into our data for a different port or anchorage to look for any patterns. This month we focused on Chittagong port and Anchorage


It is worth remembering that 30% of maritime crime is not reported. Bearing that in mind, in this anchorage over 29 incidents were reported. They all occurred within 20 miles of coast, launched from skiffs or fishing vessels. All the successful attacks targeted ships’ stores or removable deck equipment. 


For the majority of boardings, rope with a grappling hook or a portable ladder were used to access the vessels. Where reported, all robbers were armed with long knives but no use of firearms was evident.


Sixteen (16) of the incidents occured in the South Anchorage, six (6) in the West and three (3) in the north. Five (5) incidents had no reported position.


All of the incidents occur from late afternoon to early morning, 17.00 to 03.00, but fifteen (15) of the incidents are in the three hours from 23.00 to 02.00.


This is the element on which we focus the most and encourage clear reporting. Seafarers should be able to go to work anywhere in the world without fear or impediment.

Of the reported incidents, levels of violence involved:

1 Extreme Violence

3 Violence

14 Threat of Violence

11 No violence

Vigilance Pays

Five (5) successful boardings where defeated by excellent crew vigilance, but

six (6) attacks were launched while the crew were occupied in anchoring, discharge/loading and STS (Ship to Ship) pumping operations.

In one (1) incident there was a reported suspicion of collusion between robbers and locally recruited watchmen. However to balance that, in one major incident three shoremen were tied up and threatened during the course of the robbery.

Vessel types

The reporting is patchy; ten (10) attacks were on oil/chemical tankers, six (6) attacks on bulk vessels, five (5) attacks on container vessels, with a single attack on a Car Carrier and an Ocean Tug.

Potential Learning:

Extra vigilance is needed when crews are distracted by anchoring procedures, discharging and loading of vessel and STS pumping routines.

The attacks invariably involved robbers carrying long knives and several incidents were reported of stones being thrown from skiff/fishing vessel alongside at crew on the deck. Certainly improved padlocks and passive security modifications for storage lockers where ships stores are stowed is a worthwhile investment.

Click here to view the data and discuss it with your fellow CSOs.