The ReCAAP ISC has twenty member countries in an agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia. They use a secure web-based Information Network System (IFN) to exchange information to all their member countries. In a recent report issued by ReCAAP ISC, six piracy attempts on six different ships within a span of 24 hours, in and around the Straits of Malacca and Singapore has raised concerns. These piracy incidents were reported to the Singapore Vessel and Traffic Information system.
On 21st August, at 0230 hours, Crew from Tanker Advantage Summer reported spotting five pirates attempting to board the vessel on its eastern side, off a speed boat. The pirates fled when an alarm was raised.
Just an hour later, in the vicinity, Tanker Navig 8 Stealth SV, their crew had to cope with four pirates armed with knives, found hiding in their engine room. The pirates fled when the master of the ship raised the alarm. No reported loss to property or harm to the crew. This incident took place at 0340 hours.
Within a gap of yet another hour, at about 0430 hours, in a nearby location, crew from container ship Maersk Lebu, raised alarm upon finding four pirates loitering around the engine room. The pirates fled on a waiting boat when they were spotted. No harm to property or crew was reported.
Surprisingly, in the vicinity, at around 2329 hours, as bulk carrier Peace Bright sailed, its crew spotted four pirates and raised an alarm. The pirates fled in a waiting boat. No loss to property or crew was reported.
On the next day, 22nd August, some more piracy attempts were reported. They took place in the same location as the previous ships.
Container ship Atout was underway when four unarmed pirates boarded it. The alert crew raised an alarm leading the pirates to flee. No damage to property or harm to the crew was reported. This incident took place at 0525 hrs.
Hardly an hour later at around 0625 hrs, Elbtank Denmark, a tanker encountered four knife-armed pirates onboard. The Pirates were successful in stealing some of the crew’s personal property and managed to escape in their small getaway boat. No harm was caused to the crew.
ReCAAP ISC has issued a notice cautioning vessels crossing in and around the Straits of Malacca and Singapore to take extra precautions. They suspect that, given the small span of time and the proximity of the incidents, it could be the same set of pirates targeting ships passing.
Source: ReCAAP ISC