Highest Number Of Incidents Against Ships Reported In A Month In Singapore Strait: ReCAAP ISC

During 25 – 26 October 20, three incidents of armed robbery against ships occurred on board ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. The incidents occurred within intervals of two hours and in close proximity to each other. With these three incidents, a total of six incidents were reported on board ships in the eastbound lane of the TSS during 11-26 October 2020 so far.

It is the highest number of incidents reported in one month compared to the previous months of 2020 (January-September). In all six incidents, there was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew. One lifebuoy and some welding rods were stolen in one incident, and nothing was stolen in the other five incidents.

highest number of incidents against ships in singapore strait
Image Credits: recaap.org

With the six incidents in October, a total of 28 incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2020. Of these, 24 incidents occurred in the eastbound lane of the TSS, one incident in the westbound lane of the TSS, two incidents in the precautionary area, and one incident just outside (south) of the TSS.

The ReCAAP ISC had issued five Incident Alerts in 2019 and three Incident Alerts in 2020 on the incidents that occurred in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait. In 2019, a total of 31 incidents were reported in the Singapore Strait; of which 17 incidents occurred in the eastbound lane, and 14 incidents in the westbound lane.

The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the increase of incidents in the Singapore Strait. As the perpetrators of these incidents are not arrested, there is a possibility of further incidents in the Singapore Strait. All ships are advised to exercise utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures, and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State.

Shipmaster and crew are advised to keep abreast of the latest situation (at recaap.org) and tune-in to advisories and navigational broadcasts announced by the littoral States. The ReCAAP ISC urges 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 arrests of the perpetrators.

Details of Incidents

Between 11 Oct 20 and 26 Oct 20, the ReCAAP Focal Point (Singapore) reported to the ReCAAP ISC six incidents that occurred to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. The details of the six incidents are described as follows:

  1. On 11 Oct at about 0026 hrs, bulk carrier, Ganj was en route from Singapore to China and underway at about 7.2 nm northwest of Tanjung Tondang, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia when the master reported to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) on the sighting of three perpetrators at the stern of the ship. The perpetrators escaped upon being sighted. 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 nothing was stolen from the ship. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) and Singapore Police Coast Guard were informed, and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated to alert mariners.
  2. On 13 Oct at about 2330 hrs, petroleum/chemical tanker, FSL New York was underway at about 6.9 nm northwest of Tanjung Tondang, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia when three perpetrators were sighted in the engine room of the ship. The crew was alerted and a search was conducted onboard the ship, but with no sighting of the perpetrators. The master reported the incident to Singapore Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) and that the perpetrators had escaped undetected. The crew was not injured and nothing was stolen. The Malaysian and Indonesian authorities were notified.
  3. On 14 Oct at about 0040 hrs, bulk carrier, Ian M was en route from Singapore to China, and underway at about 5.9 nm north of Tanjung Pergam, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia when the master reported to Singapore VTIS on the sighting of three perpetrators in the engine room of the ship. The alarm was raised and the crew conducted a search onboard the ship, but with no sighting of the perpetrators. The crew was safe, and one lifebuoy and some welding rods were reportedly stolen. The RSN’s MSTF, Singapore Police Coast Guard, and the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated.
  4. On 25 Oct at about 2309 hrs, bulk carrier, Sea journey was en route to Ciwadan, Indonesia and underway at about 3.1 nm from Nongsa Point, Pulau Batam, Indonesia when the master reported to VTIS East that one unauthorized perpetrator was sighted in the vicinity of the entrance of the engine room. The alarm was raised and the master carried out a search onboard the ship, but with no sighting of the perpetrator. The crew was safe, and nothing was stolen. The RSN’s MSTF, Singapore Police Coast Guard, and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated.
  5. On 26 Oct at about 0046 hrs, bulk carrier, A Racer was en route to China and underway at about 2.3 nm north of Pulau Nongsa, Indonesia when the bulk carrier was alerted by VTIS East about an unknown craft alongside the bulk carrier. The master reported that five unauthorized perpetrators have sighted onboard the ship.
  6. The alarm was raised and a search was carried out onboard, but with no sighting of the perpetrators. The crew was safe and nothing was stolen. The RSN’s MSTF, Singapore Police Coast Guard, and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated.
  7. On 26 Oct at about 0130 hrs, bulk carrier EL Matador was underway at about 3.2 nm from Nongsa Point, Pulau Batam, Indonesia when the bulk carrier was alerted by VTIS East about an unknown craft alongside the bulk carrier. The master reported the sighting of three perpetrators in the engine room. The alarm was raised and four perpetrators were seen escaping from the ship. As the master was not sure if all the perpetrators had left the ship, he diverted the ship to Batam anchorage for boarding by the Indonesian Navy. A security search was conducted onboard the ship by the Indonesian Navy, with no further sighting of the perpetrators. The crew was safe, nothing was stolen and the ship resumed its voyage.

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Press Release | ReCAAP

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