ReCAAP Information Sharing Center has reported that three ships were attacked yesterday by pirates within three hours near Singapore.
The three vessels were underway in the eastbound lane of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
The first reported attack was about 02:21 local time from 93,153 gt bulk carrier Densa Shark. The vessel was sailing 1,1 nautical miles south-southwest of Pulau Takong Kecil, when the incident occurred. Ship’s crew reported for three perpetrators sighted in the engine room, armed with knives. The crew immediately raised the alarm and conducted a search, but perpetrators were not found onboard. It was reported that nothing was missing from the ship.
In two and a half hours, at about 05:03 local time, second vessel was attacked. Norwegian flagged LNG tanker Clipper Posh was underway at 3,9 nautical miles of Pulau Takong Kecil, when it was boarded by five armed men. The perpetrators were sighted in the engine room as well. The ship’s crew raised the alarm and conducted a search, but nothing was found missing and the men were not found.
Half an hour after the second incident, at 05:25 local time it was reported that Panama-registered tanker, Pro Triumph was in danger. The vessel was sailing approximately 6.9 nautical miles southwest of Pulau Takong Kecil, when five perpetrators were sighted again in the engine room. Two of ship’s engineers were tied. It was reported that some generator spares parts were stolen. The alarm was raised but again there was no trace of the perpetrators.
In the ReCAAP release was noted:
“In all three incidents, the perpetrators were sighted in the engine room, an indication that the vessel’s engine spare items were targeted. Considering the close interval of time and proximity of these incidents (between 4 nm and 10 nm), although not substantiated at this juncture, the perpetrators could possibly be from the same group.”
The Information Sharing Center urged that ships should pay greater attention to shipboard security as access/authorized boarding has been breached.
ReCAAP commented that ships with low freeboard are the prime targets by pirates, also those navigating at slower speeds when negotiating a turn in the area.
According to the organisation, the key actions towards preventing boarding are enhanced vigilance, early detection of perpetrators and activation of the alarm as soon as possible.
The ReCAAP ISC also recommends all vessels operating in this area to exercise enhanced vigilance and take extra precautionary measures while underway, and the relevant littoral States to step up surveillance and patrols.
Piracy accident reports show that Southeast Asia has become the world’s most piracy prone area over the last two years.