Lewek Ebony, an anchor handling tug and supply (AHTS) vessel owned by EMAS – the Singapore-based offshore and subsea contractor, was chased last night by two skiffs prompting the master of the vessel to report a pirate attack in progress and to light off the firefighting monitors on board the vessel.
What is unusual is the location of where this alleged chase occurred… 200 nautical miles southwest of Indonesia.
In a conversation with the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur today they acknowledged receipt of a similar report, however were not yet calling it an incident as they are awaiting further details on what happened. They note that there has never been an incident of piracy or attack this far offshore Indonesia’s coastal waters.
Being allegedly chased by two skiffs at night which end up breaking off the chase without being fully identified leaves open the possibility that these two vessels were merely fishing boats, but then again, as the crew of the MT Kerala found out recently, what is considered a safe place to be, may not be.
According to time stamps on reports, the crew Lewek Ebony had been monitoring the approaching skiffs for over 12 hours.
Given the lack of a confirmed incident ever occurring in the area, remaining vigilant is likely the best precaution.