Shortly after sunset on Monday 21st September 2015, 11 men armed with handguns and M16 assault rifles pulled into the idyllic Holiday Oceanview Marina, located on Samal Island. Moments later, they disappeared into the darkness with four captives.
Of the four abducted, two were Canadians (John Ridsdel and Robert Hall), one a Filipino lady (Teresita Flor) and the other was the Norwegian marina manager (Kjartan Sekkingstad). Samal lies in the South of the Philippines and is only a short boat trip from Mindanao. Mindanao has been plagued by violence from armed Communist groups and Muslim extremists. For close to two decades, the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf (translated from Arabic "bearer of the sword") has sought a seperate Islamic state for the country's Muslim minority. The terrorist organisation boasts of ties to the al-Qaeda network and has recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. The group has kidnapped dozens of people and then go on to demand ransoms worth millions of dollars. The Joint War Committee Hull War, Piracy, Terrorism and Related Perils Listed Areas states as follows in relation to this area. Indonesia / Malaysia / Philippines Borneo, but only the north east coast between the ports of Kudat and Tarakan inclusive The port of Jakarta Sulu Archipelago including Jolo, as defined below. Sulu Archipelago. The area enclosed between: a) on the western side, a straight line between Tanjung Bidadari (5°49′·6N, 118°21′·0E) to position 3°32′·0N, 118°57′·0E b) on the south eastern side, a straight line from there to position 5°50′·0N, 122°31′·0E, and thence northwards to position 7°06′·6N, 122°31′·0E c) on the northern side, a straight line from there to Batorampon Point Light (7°06′·6N, 121°53′·8E) d) and on the north western side, a straight line from there back to Tanjung Bidadari. For a full list of the JWC listed areas visit http://www.lmalloyds.com/Web/market_places/marine/JWC/Joint_War.aspx Once there, scroll down to Bulletins and Circulars then click on the most recent JWLA Circular. Should you have any queries relating to any of the areas stated within this list, then please do not hesitate to contact us. We understand that additional security measures have been put in place at the marina in Samal, but we would recommend that those persons currently located within the Philippines keep a vigilant eye for potential troubles. At this point no organisation has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The thoughts of all the team at Topsail Insurance are with the hostages and their families and we very much hope that the captives are released swiftly.