Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) issued an alert on 25 December 2019
The alert concerned an incident on board the tanker Stena Immortal. The vessel sailing in the eastbound lane of the Strait was boarded by six unarmed perpetrators who were sighted in the engineroom.
This follows news that on 23 December, two piracy related incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait on the same day.
Bamzi, a Panama-flagged Aframax tanker and dry bulk carrier Trust Star were boarded by pirates. In both incidents, the crew were tied up by the perpetrators but the alarm was triggered on both occasions. Both vessels were headed to China. Bamzi was en-route to Qingdao and Trust Star was headed for Huanghua. Because the two incidents took place two hours apart ReCAAP said it was considering whether the same group of perpetrators were involved in both cases.
This brings 2019’s reported incidents up to 25 December in the Singapore Strait to 30. Of these, 15 occurred to ships while underway in the westbound lane of the Singapore Strait and 15 incidents in the eastbound lane of the Strait.
ReCAAP ISC said it was ‘seriously concerned’ with the increase of incidents in the Singapore Strait.
ReCAAP advised all ships to exercise utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal state.