Local authorities are reporting 6 pirate attacks in just two days eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre says that the attacks, spanning Friday and Saturday, were all reported Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System via VHF and included five boardings and one attempted boarding.
As a precaution the Singapore Port Operation Control Center (POCC) immediately notified the authorities of the littoral States and initiated navigational broadcast to warn mariners to maintain anti-piracy watch.
ReCAAP says that due to the proximity and timing of the attacks, it is believed that the perpetrators could be from the same criminal group.
“From the description of the incidents, the perpetrators operated in about 4-5 persons, armed with knives and were opportunistic in nature without targeting specific vessels,” ReCAAP said in an update. “They aborted boarding when crew was alerted, and escaped empty-handed when the alarm was raised without harming the crew. Of concern was their persistence in ‘hovering’ in the vicinity seeking out their next target.”
A map and details of the attacks are below:
- At about 0230 hrs on 21 Aug, Advantage Summer was underway when five perpetrators attempted to board the vessel at the stern from a speedboat. The crew was alerted, the perpetrators aborted the attempt and fled. The master reported incident to the VTIS via VHF.
- Slightly more than an hour later, at about 0340 hrs, Navig8 Stealth SV was underway when four perpetrators armed with knives were sighted in the engine room. The master raised the alarm and the perpetrators fled. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
- Less than an hour later, at about 0430 hrs, Maersk Lebu was underway when four perpetrators were again sighted in the engine room. The master raised the alarm and the perpetrators escaped in a waiting small boat. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
- At about 2329 hrs on 21 Aug, Peace Bright was underway when four perpetrators were sighted onboard the vessel. The alarm was raised and the perpetrators escaped in a waiting boat. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
- At about 0525 hrs on 22 Aug, Atout was underway when the crew sighted four perpetrators without weapons onboard the vessel. The alarm was raised and they escaped. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
- About an hour later, Elbtank Denmark was underway when the crew sighted four perpetrators armed with knives onboard the vessel. The perpetrators stole the crew’s personal effects and escaped in a small boat. The crew was safe.