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Volume 228: debated on Thursday 8 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) merchant ships and (b) British-owned merchant ships have been victims of piracy or other attacks in the last five years.

Shipowners, flag states and coastal states are encouraged to report incidents of piracy and armed robbery against vessels to the International Maritime Organisation. When we are advised of incidents involving British ships we report them to IMO. However, there is no requirement in international law to report attacks and masters and shipowners can he reluctant to do so. As a result, records are incomplete.Full information in the form requested is not available. The table, however, gives an indication of trends during the past five years on incidents of piracy affecting tankers.

YearAll flagsUK flags
The Government are concerned about the under reporting of attacks. We have produced comprehensive advice in "Merchant Shipping Notice M1517" urging mariners to report any attack or attempted attack to the flag and coastal states concerned.