By Jite Eriabie
Five pirates armed with knives boarded an oil tanker, identified as GP T2, on Monday, October 30 while it was underway in the Singapore Strait, at approximately 6.5 nm North East of Terumbu Betata, Batam Island, Indonesia.
The perpetrators tied up the duty oiler in the engine room, took away some engine spare parts and escaped in a small boat. The small boat was seen moving towards the southerly direction, according to the information provided by the piracy watchdog ReCAAP.
“The master raised the alarm and conducted a security search on board the ship. No other perpetrators were found. The crew was not injured and the ship is proceeding towards the next port of call in China,” ReCAAP’s Information Sharing Centre (ICS) informed.
The Aframax tanker, built in 1997, is part of Gulf Petrochem FZC’s fleet. Based on the ship’s latest AIS data, it is underway using engine bound for Nansha, China.
This is the seventh incident reported to have occurred in the Singapore Strait (SS) since January 2017, a considerable rise when compared to only two incidents during January-October 2016.
Of the seven incidents five were actual incidents and two were attempted incidents. Of these, six incidents occurred in the eastbound lane of the TSS of the SS, and one incident occurred in the westbound lane of the TSS.
“The ReCAAP ISC is concerned with an increase of incidents in the SS, and advises all ships to exercise enhanced vigilance while underway in the SS and report all incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately,” ReCAAP cautioned.
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