Six vessels attacked in Malacca and Singapore Straits
On 21 Aug and 22 Aug 2015, six vessels while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore reported to the Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) via VHF about five unauthorized boardings and an attempted one.
21 August 2015
1. At about 0230 hrs, Advantage Summer was underway when five perpetrators attempted to board the vessel at the stern from a speedboat. The crew was alerted, the perpetrators aborted the attempt and fled. The master reported incident to the VTIS via VHF. 2. Slightly more than an hour later, at about 0340 hrs, Navig8 Stealth SV was underway when four perpetrators armed with knives were sighted in the engine room. The master raised the alarm and the perpetrators fled. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
3. Less than an hour later, at about 0430 hrs, Maersk Lebu was underway when four perpetrators were again sighted in the engine room. The master raised the alarm and the perpetrators escaped in a waiting small boat. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
4. At about 2329 hrs, Peace Bright was underway when four perpetrators were sighted onboard the vessel. The alarm was raised and the perpetrators escaped in a waiting boat. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
22 August 2015
5. At about 0525 hrs, Atout was underway when the crew sighted four perpetrators without weapons onboard the vessel. The alarm was raised and they escaped. There was no loss of property and the crew was safe.
6. About an hour later, Elbtank Denmark was underway when the crew sighted four perpetrators armed with knives onboard the vessel. The perpetrators stole the crew’s personal effects and escaped in a small boat. The crew was safe.
Considering the close interval of time and proximity of these incidents, the perpetrators could possibly be from the same group. From the description of the incidents, the perpetrators operated in about 4-5 persons, armed with knives and were opportunistic in nature without targeting specific vessels. They aborted boarding when crew was alerted, and escaped empty-handed when the alarm was raised without harming the crew. Of concern was their persistence in ‘hovering’ in the vicinity seeking out their next target.
Crude oil tanker Advantage Summer, IMO 9419890, dwt 156527, built 2010, flag Malta.
Product tanker Navig8 Stealth SV, IMO 9396725, dwt 50760, built 2008, flag Marshall Islands.
Container ship Maersk Lebu, IMO 9526930, dwt 94267, capacity 7450 TEU, built 2011, flag HK.
Bulk carrier Peace Bright, IMO 9663362, dwt 76000, built 2013, flag Panama.
Container ship Atout, IMO 9074133, dwt 72873, built 1994, flag Marshall Islands.
Product tanker Elbtank Denmark, IMO 9234680, dwt 37383, built 2002, flag Liberia.