Statistics

  • In all three incidents, there was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew.
  • Some engine spares were stolen in one incident, and nothing was stolen in the other two incidents.

Attacks against ships in the Singapore Strait have been a key area of concern for global maritime security lately.

With these three incidents, a total of 12 incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2020.

Of these, 11 incidents occurring in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait and one incident in the precautionary area in the Singapore Strait.

The ReCAAP ISC had issued five Incident Alerts in 2019 and two Incident Alerts in 2020 on incidents occurred to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait.

Singapore Strait was in the spotlight of Asian piracy for 2019, with a total of 31 incidents. Of these, 17 incidents occurred to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait, and 14 incidents in the westbound lane.

 

The incidents

-Incident 1

On 16 Apr 20 at about 0100 hrs, bulk carrier, Palais was en route from Singapore to China and underway at about 3.2 nm north of Nongsa Point, Pulau Batam, Indonesia when the master of the bulk carrier reported to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) East on the sighting of three perpetrators at the stern of the ship.

The master raised the alarm and a search on board the ship was conducted to locate the perpetrators, but with no sighting of them. There was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew.

The master reported that the crew was safe and some engine spare parts were stolen. The Singapore Police Coast Guard and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) were informed; and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated to alert mariners.

-Incident 2

On 22 Apr 20 at about 2309 hrs, the bulk carrier Horizon II was en route from Singapore to Vietnam and underway at about 2.9 nm north of Nongsa Point, Pulau Batam, Indonesia when two perpetrators were sighted at the stern deck of the ship.

One of the perpetrators was armed with a knife. The general alarm was raised and the crew mustered at the bridge.

The master reported the incident to Singapore VTIS. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated. The RSN’s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF), Singapore Police Coast Guard and the Indonesian authorities were notified.

The master deviated Horizon II back to the port of Singapore and requested assistance from the authorities to conduct search on board for the perpetrators.

Upon arrival in Singapore, the Singapore Police Coast Guard officers boarded Horizon II and conducted a search. There was no sighting of the perpetrators on board. The crew was not injured and nothing was stolen.

-Incident 3

On 30 Apr 20 at about 0515 hrs, tanker, Chem Ranger departed the port of Singapore for Ulsan, Republic of Korea and underway at about 6.2 nm northwest of Tanjung Tondong, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia when three perpetrators were sighted in the engine room.

The general alarm was raised and crew mustered. The master reported the incident to Singapore VTIS. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated. The RSN’s MSTF, Singapore Police Coast Guard and the Indonesian authorities were notified.

The master deviated Chem Ranger back to the port of Singapore and requested assistance from the authorities to conduct search on board for the perpetrators.

Upon arrival in Singapore, the Singapore Police Coast Guard officers boarded Chem Ranger and conducted a search. There was no sighting of the perpetrators on board. The crew was not injured and nothing was stolen.

 

Recommendations

The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait.

As such, it recommends:

  • All ships to exercise utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State.
  • Ship master and crew to keep abreast of the latest situation (at www.recaap.org) and tune-in to advisories and navigational broadcasts announced by the authorities.
  • The littoral States to increase patrols and enforcement in their respective waters, strengthen coordination among them and promote information sharing on incidents and criminal groups involved in order to make more arrests.