In its weekly report for 19-25 November, ReCAAP ISC informed of three incidents of armed robbery against ship in Asia. One was CAT 3 and two were CAT 4 incidents. Two of them occurred to ships while underway in the Singapore Strait, which has been at the center of maritime security warnings in recent months.
The first incident involved the bulk carrier Marshall Islands-flagged ‘Faye’, approximately 4.4 nm south southeast of Tanjung Bulat, Malaysia, in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the Singapore Strait, on 23 November.
While underway, five perpetrators armed with two long knives were sighted in the engine room. The crew immediately raised the alarm and the perpetrators escaped.
The crew followed up with search for any missing items and perpetrators onboard.
The master later confirmed that there were no perpetrators onboard. He reported the incident to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS). The ship resumed her voyage to Incheon, South Korea and crew was safe.
The second incident involved the Singaporean-flagged product tanker ‘Maersk Borneo’. While at berth at Belawan Port, Indonesia, the duty watch keeper noticed one perpetrator trying to board the tanker using ropes with hook.
The perpetrator escaped when the duty watch discovered his presence. The lower platform of the accommodation ladder was reported stolen. No damage to the ship and the crew was not injured.
The third incident involved the Malaysian-flagged tugboat ‘Harbour Libra’ while sailing approximately 2.2 nm northwest of Pulau Nongsa, Indonesia, in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the Singapore Strait, on 24 November.
While sailing, two perpetrators were sighted onboard the barge loaded with containers. The perpetrators escaped after the crew onboard the barge raised the alarm and chased them away.
Some twist locks and ropes were stolen. The master reported the incident to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS). The crew was not injured and the ship resumed her voyage to Port Sibu, Sarawak.
The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia.
In its recent report for the first nine months of 2019, the ReCAAP ISC expressed concerns about the increase in the number of incidents reported onboard ships while underway in the Singapore Strait.