South East Asia has seen a spike in piracy over the past year, with attacks 38% more frequent across the first nine months of the year

Boatowners cruising in South East Asia should be on their guard against the threat of piracy, with maritime crime on the rise in the area.

This is according to the latest report from marine security specialist Dryad Maritime, which claims that there have been 194 such incidents in the first nine months of 2015, compared with 140 in the same period last year.

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Criminal gangs aim to siphon fuel, and steal engine parts and high-value machinery from larger ships, but the threat to smaller vessels shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly in the Singapore Strait.

Ian Millen, chief operating officer at Dryad Maritime, called on the local authorities to step up their counter-piracy efforts:

“There is a pressing need for a joined-up security effort in the Singapore Strait and other areas,” he said.

“Without a high visual presence from security agencies, criminal gangs will continue to operate freely with little fear of capture or prosecution.”

However, there was some good news in the report, with Dryad Maritime reporting that the threat from Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean is falling.