SAFETYATSEA REPORTS n its weekly report for 20-26 October, ReCAAP ISC informed of three incidents against ships in Asia, all on board ships while they were underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. With these three incidents, a total of 28 incidents have been reported in the SS since January 2020.
All three were classified as CAT 4 incidents, where the perpetrators are not armed and the crew not harmed, and all were reported north of Nongsa, Pulau Batam, Indonesia, in the night from 25 to 26 October.
The weekly report follows release of a relevant incident alert to shipping on Monday, to advise ships to exercise utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents to the nearest coastal States; and urge the littoral States to increase patrols, enforcement and strengthen coordination among them and share information on the incidents in order to make arrests of the perpetrators.
The first incident involves the Cyprus-flagged bulk carrier El Matador.
While underway, the bulk carrier was alerted by VTIS East about an unknown craft alongside the bulk carrier.
The master reported the sighting of three perpetrators in the engine room. The alarm was raised and four perpetrators were seen escaping from the ship.
As the master was not sure if all the perpetrators had left the ship, he diverted the ship to Batam anchorage for boarding by the Indonesian Navy.
A security search was conducted on board the ship by the Indonesian Navy, with no further sighting of the perpetrators.
The crew was safe, nothing was stolen and the ship resumed its voyage. The Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF), Singapore Police Coast Guard and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated.
The second incident involves the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier A Racer.
While underway and en route to China, the bulk carrier was alerted by VTIS East about an unknown craft alongside the bulk carrier.
The master reported that five unauthorized perpetrators were sighted on board the ship. The alarm was raised and a search was carried out on board, but with no sighting of the perpetrators.
The crew was safe and nothing was stolen. The RSN’s MSTF, Singapore Police Coast Guard, and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated.
The third incident involves the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Seajourney.
While underway and en route to Ciwadan, Indonesia, the master reported to VTIS East that one unauthorized perpetrator was sighted in the vicinity of the entrance of the engine room.
The alarm was raised and the master carried out a search on board the ship, but with no sighting of the perpetrator.
The crew was safe, and nothing was stolen. The RSN’s MSTF, Singapore Police Coast Guard, and the Indonesian authorities were notified. A safety navigational broadcast was initiated.
Incident outside Asia
During 20-26 October, one incident outside Asia was also reported to the ReCAAP ISC by ReCAAP Focal Point (Singapore). The actual incident occurred on 19 Oct on board the container ship Maersk Rubicon, while anchored at Pointe Noire anchorage, Republic of the Congo.
While at anchor, the duty officer saw a perpetrator boarding the ship at forecastle.
The duty officer sounded the alarm and mustered the crew. The Port Control was notified via VHF Ch. 16 and the ship’s Company Security Officer (CSO) was informed.
A Coast Guard patrol boat was deployed to investigate and confirmed that there were no signs of any perpetrators on board or nearby the ship.
A search on board the ship was conducted and two mooring ropes were found missing. The crew was not injured.