Pirates Attack Two Vessels in Asia
Two pirate attacks have been reported to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre this month.
On Friday, a general cargo ship was boarded by two pirates while at Sandakan Port Berth No. 4 in Malaysia. The alarm was raised and crew mustered. Seeing the crew alertness, the robbers escaped, taking with them some stolen property.
Last Wednesday, a product tanker was boarded while under way around 62 nautical miles north of Pulau Uwi in Indonesia. Around 15-25 pirates armed with pistols boarded and hijacked the vessel, taking the crew hostage. They damaged onboard equipment and stole crew personal belongings. The pirates also transferred the ship’s cargo into another vessel and escaped. All crew are safe and the tanker is sailing to a safe port.
The effects of a third, earlier incident in Asia are still being felt. The Philippine Coast Guard is reportedly concerned about the potential for an oil spill from a hijacked Indonesian tanker that has been left aground in Barangay Cabuaya in Mati, Davao Oriental since February.
MT Rehoboth still has fuel that might leak into the sea, and local authorities say the vessel should be towed away before an oil spill occurs. The vessel has been looted, and the Coast Guard is meeting with stakeholders to decide the fate of the vessel which was hijacked near Paraitan Lembeh Island in North Sulawesi on January 29.
The vessel was hijacked by pirates armed with guns and machetes. Two crew members were thrown overboard and were then rescued by fishermen.