The tanker vessel, that was loaded with Marine Fuel Oil, lost all forms of contact with owners on the 28th of January at approximately 2200 LT. The MMEA received immediate information regarding the ship’s last determined position and appointed vessels, along with the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), to carry out a search and rescue operation.
On January 29th at approximately 2253 LT, MT Sun Birdie was located by the MMEA around 18nm NE of Tanjung Penewar, Malaysia. The MMEA detained the crew members of the ship and took in seven pirates for questioning. Two other pirates tried to make a run for it and jumped overboard, but they were rescued by the passing Challenger Premier ship and are now to be handed over to the MMEA.
The Sun Birdie’s quick rescue put on display the fact that although piracy in the region is still an ongoing major concern, timely reporting of an incident, properly combined with a precise and coordinated response, can and in most cases will produce a “happy ending” for all concerned parties. Excluding the pirates, of course.
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