ReCAAP warning following incidents against ships in Singapore Strait

On the night of 8 to 9 November, three incidents of armed robbery against ships occurred onboard ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait according to ReCAAP ISC.

The incidents occurred within the interval of six hours and in close proximity to each other. In all three incidents, there was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew. Ship equipment and a lifebuoy were stolen in two of the incidents; and nothing was stolen in the third incident.

ReCAAP ISC warning: Three incidents against ships in Singapore Strait in one night

Including these, a total of 31 incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2020. Of these, 27 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.

This is the fifth alert ReCAAP ISC has issued within 2020, in addition to five alerts in 2019. 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.

ReCAAP ISC is concerned with the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait. As the perpetrators of these incidents have not been 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. Ship masters and crew are advised to keep abreast of the latest situation and tune-in to advisories and navigational broadcasts announced by the littoral States.

"In addition to asking the shipping community to exercise upmost vigilance, we also urge the littoral states concerned to take enforcement actions to apprehend the perpetrators--without which the spate of incidents is likely to continue. All incidents, however ‘moderate,’ should not be ignored because the lack of arrests can embolden criminals to escalate their crimes," said Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director, ReCAAP ISC.

In response to the continuous threat for ships in the region, Singapore's Information Fusion Centre (IFC) shared a summary concerning the sea thefts and attempted actions in the East Bound Lane of Singapore Strait in the timeframe between July to October 2020.

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The incidents

1. On 8 Nov at about 2125 hrs, tanker, Zeno was underway at about 4.4 nm south of Tanjung Bulat, East Johor, Malaysia when three perpetrators were sighted in the engine room. The alarm was immediately raised and a search on board the ship was conducted. At about 2305 hrs, the master updated Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) via VHF that there was no further sighting of the perpetrators onboard. Some ship equipment including a sounding rod, an oil sampling rod, a portable breathing apparatus, portable instruments for measuring ullage and a portable spray painter were stolen from the engine room. The crew was not injured. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) and Singapore Police Coast Guard were informed; and the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated to alert mariners.

2. On 9 Nov at about 0220 hrs, bulk carrier, Lefkada was underway at about 5.4 nm southeast of Tanjung Ramunia, East Johor, Malaysia when two perpetrators were sighted in the vicinity of engine room locker. The alarm was raised, crew mustered and a search on board the ship was conducted. At about 0340 hrs, the master updated Singapore VTIS that there was no further sighting of the perpetrators on board. The oil spill equipment locker was found unlocked and a lifebuoy was stolen. The crew was not injured. The RSN’s MSTF and Singapore Police Coast Guard were informed; and the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated to alert mariners.

3. On 9 Nov at about 0308 hrs, bulk carrier, Atlantic Diana was underway at about 5.7 nm northwest of Tanjung Pergam, Pulau Bintan, Indonesia when one perpetrator was sighted in the vicinity of the steering gear flat. The alarm was raised, crew mustered and a search on board the ship was conducted. At about 0755 hrs, the master updated Singapore VTIS that there was no further sighting of the perpetrators on board. Nothing was stolen and the crew was not injured. The RSN’s MSTF and Singapore Police Coast Guard were informed; and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated to alert mariners.

Source: Safety4Sea

 

 

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