Two robbers, one armed with a knife, boarded a bulk carrier at anchor off Samarinda in eastern Indonesia.

The incident took place in the Muara Berau anchorage shortly after midnight on October 18.

According to details given to the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre, one of the bulker’s crew saw the two intruders on the forecastle deck and raised the alarm.

By the time crew members had moved towards the forecastle to investigate the intruders had gone.

The incident was reported to the local authorities.

A search of the vessel showed that some stores had been stolen.

There has been a year-on-year increase in the number of incidents reported at anchorages off Samarinda in the Indonesian state of East Kalimantan.

According to data collected by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), there were 14 cases of intruders boarding or attempting to board ships in the first nine months of 2018.

That compared to just four incidents off Samarinda in the same period the year before.

Perpetrators are sometimes armed with knives and machetes and although there have been cases where crew members have been threatened, violence is rare.

Robbers generally target ships’ stores, cash and personal property. They usually board at night.

Bulk carriers are almost always the targets. There are a cluster of coal ports around Samarinda and delays in loading have left many bulkers riding at anchor for prolonged periods.

Ships anchoring in the area should be careful not to relax their watches and to report all suspicious sightings to the authorities.

Source: Gray Page