Product tanker Sun Birdie hijack and release, South China Sea
On 29 Jan the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) received information from the owner of chemical tanker Sun Birdie that the vessel cannot be contacted since 28 Jan at or about 2200 hrs (local time). The last known position of the tanker was at approximately 1 nm south of Tanjung Ayam, Malaysia, Singapore Strait. The owner suspected that the chemical tanker may have possibly been hijacked. Sun Birdie is laden with 700 metric tons of Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) and has a total of 11 crew onboard (comprising eight Myanmar nationals and three Indonesians).
The MMEA and Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) had reportedly deployed vessels to search for Sun Birdie.
On 29 Jan at or about 2253 hrs, the MMEA successfully recovered Sun Birdie at approximately 17.63 nm northeast of Tanjung Penawar, Malaysia. The MMEA detained the ship’s crew and seven perpetrators found onboard Sun Birdie. The MMEA brought the vessel to Penggerang for further investigation. Another two perpetrators jumped overboard and fled. They were picked up by a passing ship, Challenger Premier at approximately 12.73 nm east of Tanjung Penawar.