Singapore Strait’s eastbound lane witnessed an armed pirate hit on three ships between November 8 and 9. The incidents occurred within approximately six hours.
The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said, no crew members were injured in any of the incidents as there wasn’t any confrontation between the crew and the pirates and while nothing was taken from the third ship, a life-buoy was stolen from one and ship equipment from the other.
On Monday ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) reported that none of the perpetrators have been arrested yet and so there is a chance that the pirate might strike again. The number of such attacks in the Singapore Strait has risen to 31, with more suspected. These are the same number of attacks that happened last year.
At 9:25 pm on Sunday, the first incident occurred while tanker Zeno journeyed to East Johor, Malaysia near Tanjung Bulat. In this incident, three perpetrators were spotted only in the engine room, and some shipping equipment including a portable breathing apparatus and a sounding rod was stolen.
During the second incident, which occurred on Monday at 2:20 am on bulk carrier Lefkada, two perpetrators were spotted in this incident, again only near the engine room. The carrier was traveling near Tanjung Ramunia in East Johor, Malaysia. The perpetrators could not be found, despite the alarm being raised and a search being conducted on the ship. The oil spill equipment locker was opened and the only thing stolen was a life-buoy.
Only an hour later, at 3:08 am another pirate was seen near the bulk carrier Atlantic Diana’s steering gear compartment that was traveling near Tanjung Pergam in Pulau Bintan, Indonesia. While nothing was reported stolen the intruders managed to escape once again despite the crew searching the ship.
“All ships are advised to exercise utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State,” said ReCAAP while warning about the possibility of further incidents.
To apprehend these perpetrators, the littoral states advised their enforcement and patrols to increase information sharing and coordinate their latest situation more frequently in their respective waters.