Three incidents of robbery against ships in Asia have been reported to the piracy and armed robbery data exchange ReCAAP ISC, including one case involving the Maersk Aegean tanker in Singapore.
Two of the incidents, involving Maersk and the Santa Fiorenza container ship, occurred on board while the vessels were at anchor. In both cases equipment was found to be stolen and the perpetrators gone.
An attempted attack involving the Phu An 268, a general cargo ship, took place while it was travelling off Sandakan, Sabah, East Malaysia.
A ReCAAP ISC statement for the Phu An 268A said: “A skiff with six perpetrators on board approached and followed the ship for about one-and-a-half hours.
“The master and the crew used net and water canon to prevent the perpetrators from getting on board.
“Then the master informed the local authorities. In response, the Malaysian Royal Navy (RMN) vessel responded and proceeded to the area. The perpetrators escaped.”
Maersk confirmed that the Maersk Aegean had been exposed to pilferage while at anchor off Indonesia and that the organisation is now cooperating fully with the authorities in their ongoing investigation.
ReCAAP ISC has urged ship masters and crews to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal state and flag state.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim recently urged the shipping industry to apply diligently IMO guidance and best management practices to avert possible piracy attacks in the wake of the hijack of Aris 13 off Puntland, Somalia.