IN June, five incidents of intruders onboard occurred to ships while underway off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island, Indonesia. The incidents occurred on 2 June, 5 June, 26 June (two incidents) and 30 June, and in close proximity to each other in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait.
In two of the five incidents, the perpetrators were armed with knives. There was no confrontation with the crew in both incidents. The perpetrators were sighted in the engine room in three of the five incidents. Engine spares were stolen in two of these incidents. Nothing was stolen in the other three incidents. In all the five incidents, the perpetrators escaped upon being sighted and did not harm the crew.
The ReCAAP ISC said it is “concerned” with the continued occurrence of incidents in the Singapore Strait, particularly off Tanjung Pergam, Bintan Island, Indonesia. With the five incidents reported in June 2021, a total of 20 incidents occurred in the Singapore Strait during January-June 2021. Of these, 16 incidents occurred off Tanjung Pergam.
The ReCAAP ISC urges littoral states to increase patrols and enforcement in their respective waters, particularly in the waters off Tanjung Pergam and to “strengthen co-ordination among the littoral states in information sharing on the latest situation, and the criminal groups involved, in order to make arrests of the perpetrators”.
“As the perpetrators of these incidents are not arrested, there is a possibility of further incidents in the Singapore Strait,” the ReCAAP ISC said in a statement.
“All ships are advised to exercise enhanced vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal state.
“Ship masters and crew are advised to keep abreast of the latest situation (at www.recaap.org) and tune-in to advisories and navigational broadcasts announced by the littoral states.”