The first incident involved the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier ‘Tomini Dynasty’ on 23 August. While anchored at Belawan Anchorage, Indonesia, the duty crew noticed a small boat near the anchor chain and told the boat to move away as they were about to heave the anchor. As the duty crew was about to raise the alarm, two armed perpetrators who already boarded the ship held the duty crew at knife point and tied him up. When the ship was ready to heave up the anchor, the remaining crew proceeded to the forecastle. Upon seeing the crew approaching, the perpetrators snatched the duty crew’s walkie-talkie and escaped through the hawse pipe after opening the security cover. The incident was reported to the local port control. The Indonesian Marine Police boarded the ship to investigate when she reached the berthing area.

The second incident involved the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker ‘Front Leopard’. While anchored 16 nm east of Bandar Penawar, Johor, Malaysia, the perpetrators boarded the ship unnoticed via the anchor chain. They stole the ship equipment from the forward store and escaped. The incident was reported to the regional authorities.

The third incident involved the Greek-flagged VLCC ‘Hirado’. While sailing 4.1 nm north northeast of Pulau Cula, Indonesia, in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait, five perpetrators were sighted at the engine room. The master raised the alarm and the perpetrators escaped. The master conducted a search of the ship. Nothing was stolen and there was no further sighting of the perpetrators on board the ship. The master reported the incident to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) via VHF. There was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew. The crew was safe and the ship continued her passage to the next port of call at Yingkou, China.

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.