ReCAAP ISC Issues Incident Alert on Incidents involving ships

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ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre on Friday issued an Incident Alert on “Incidents involving ships while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait (Part II).”

Summary

Since ReCAAP ISC had issued Incident Alert 05/2019 on 23 October 2019 on ‘Incidents involving ships while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait’, another four incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) of the Singapore Strait.

Three actual incidents occurred in the eastern sector of the Strait within a period of five days during 23-27 November and one attempted incident occurred in the western sector on 25 October. The four victim ships were two bulk carriers (actual incidents), one chemical tanker (attempted incident) and one tug boat & barge (actual incident).

(Another attempted incident against a chemical tanker was reported on 5 November in the westbound lane of TSS in the western sector of the Strait when the tanker was on the way to the eastbound lane.)

With the occurrence of seven incidents from September to November 2019 in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait (in both western and eastern sectors), ReCAAP ISC advices all ships to exercise enhanced vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal State. ReCAAP ISC recommends to the law enforcement agencies of the littoral States to step up surveillance, increase patrols and enhance cooperation and coordination among them in order to respond promptly to incidents.

Detail of Incidents

On 23 October 2019, ReCAAP ISC issued Incident Alert 05/2019 on ‘Incidents involving ships while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait’ to raise awareness of the maritime community on three incidents which had occurred in September and in October in the locations of close proximity to each other in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the western sector of the Singapore Strait.

Since then, another four incidents were reported in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait in October and in November. Of the four incidents, three occurred on board ships underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the eastern sector of the Singapore Strait; and one occurred on board ship underway in the eastbound lane of TSS in the western sector. The three incidents in the eastern sector occurred within a five-day period from 23 to 27 Nov 2019. The map below shows the approximate location of the four new incidents (in red) as well as the three incidents reported in the previous Incident Alert 05/2019 (in blue).

Observations

  1. The modus operandi of the perpetrators in the four incidents reported in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait in October and November are summarized in table below.

<Reference: Incident Alert 05/2019 dated 23 Oct 2019>

The modus operandi of the perpetrators in the three incidents in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait reported in the Incident Alert 05/2019:

  1. The observations on the latest four incidents are detailed as below.

a. Time of incident. All four incidents occurred during hours of darkness between 0300 hrs and 0522 hrs.

b. Type of ships. Two incidents involved bulk carriers, one involved a chemical tanker (attempted incident) and one involved a barge towed by a tug boat, while transiting the eastbound lane of the TSS of the Singapore Strait.

c. Number of perpetrators. Two of the four incidents involved five perpetrators, one involved four perpetrators and one involved two perpetrators. The two incidents involving five perpetrators occurred on board bulk carriers. It is to be noted that the three incidents reported in the previous Incident Alert 05/2019 (two bulk carriers and one VLCC) also involved five perpetrators.

d. Type of weapons carried. Two of the four incidents reported that the perpetrators were armed with knives and two had no information if the perpetrators were armed. Notably, both incidents involving perpetrators armed with knives occurred on board bulk carriers.

e. Treatment of crew. Three of the four incidents reported that the crew did not suffer any injuries or there was no confrontation between perpetrators and crew. In the incident involving Kmax Evdokia on 27 Nov 19, the perpetrators grabbed the duty oiler and pointed a knife at him. It is to be noted that, in one of the three incidents reported in the previous Incident Alert 05/2019, the perpetrators armed with gun and jungle knife threatened the duty oiler and tied his hands (incident on bulk carrier Nord Steel on 19 Oct).

f. Items stolen. Two of the three actual incidents reported that nothing was stolen from the ships. One incident reported that twist locks and ropes were stolen.

Sea News, December 2