Singapore warship escorts supramax bulker after piracy incident

Latest illegal boarding takes to eight number of ships targeted in Singapore Strait since January 2020.

The Singapore navy was recently called upon to escort a supramax bulker into Singapore after it was subjected to a suspected piracy incident.

The 57,932-dwt Western Seattle (built 2014) was boarded by four perpetrators while in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.

The incident took place about 3.5 nautical miles east of Pulau Karimun Kecil, Indonesia just after midnight on 28 February 2020, but has gone largely unreported by the media.

Details have just been reported by the Singapore-based Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP)

“The crew informed the master who raised the alarm and mustered all crew in the wheelhouse,” ReCAAP said in its latest weekly report.

“There was no confrontation between the ship’s crew and the perpetrators and nothing was said to have been stolen.”

The master of the Philippines-flagged vessel is said to have reported the incident to Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System.

“The Republic of Singapore Navy escorted the ship into Singapore and upon arrival, the Singapore Police Coast Guard boarded the ship to conduct a search. No perpetrator was found,” ReCAAP said.

With this latest incident in the Singapore Strait, there have now been a total of eight incidents reported in the area since January 2020, all in the eastbound lane of the TSS.

Last month New Vision Shipping’s 58,000-dwt bulk carrier New Spirit (built 2010) and Shipping Corp of India’s 105,000-dwt tanker Swarna Jayanti (built 2010) were both targeted by robbers on 9 February 2020.

ReCAAP has cautioned that all vessels transiting the Singapore Strait exercise “the utmost vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures” and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal authority.

Source: Trade Winds