MSC Containership, Bulk Carrier Attacked Off Indonesia

MSC Vancouver was formerly known as the COSCO Vancouver. Photo: Port of Hamburg
MSC Vancouver was previously known as the COSCO Vancouver. Photo: Port of Hamburg

A MSC containership and a bulk carrier have been attacked in two separate but possibly related incidents in Southeast Asia waters off the coast of Indonesia, according to information from the regional ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre.

The two incidents are reported to have occurred within just hours of each other in the eastbound lane of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

According to ReCAAP, at about 0100 hours on March 21 four men boarded the Marshall Islands-registered bulk carrier MV Capetan Gioris while underway approximately 3.8 nautical miles off Tanjung Sengkuang, Batam. Nothing was missing onboard and the crew was safe.

Later that morning, at approximately 0545 hours, the Luxembourg-registered containership MV MSC Vancouver was boarded by seven men armed with knives and tools while underway about 9 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Karimum Besar. The robbers stole the second engineer’s gold chain and watch before abandoning the vessel.

In both cases, the Masters reported the incidents to the Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) who notified the Singapore Police Coast Guard, Republic of Singapore Navy and Indonesian authorities, and initiated navigational broadcasts to alert mariners about the incidents.

Due to the close proximity and timing of the incidents, ReCAAP says that there is a high probability that the robbers will continue to pry in this area over the next few days and urges vessels in the area to take extra precautionary measures.