Two ships in the Singapore Strait were attacked by pirates within the span of an hour on early Feb 9 morning. These bring the total number of incidents reported in the Singapore Strait to six since the start of this year.

The incidents on Sunday morning both took place in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait. Some engine spares were stolen in one incident, while the perpetrators left empty handed in the other.

At around 2.20 am, bulk carrier New Spirit was passing nearby Nongsa Point, Indonesia, when six attackers armed with knives entered the engine room. They fled when they saw the ship’s crew. The incident was reported to the Singapore authorities and the vessel headed to Singapore where the Police Coast Guard boarded the ship to conduct a further search. No perpetrators were found and nothing was reported stolen.

In the second incident, the tanker Swarna Jayanti was also passing nearby Nongsa Point at about 2.52 am, when the crew spotted an intruder in the engine room. The ship master raised the alarm, gathered the crew and conducted a search for the intruder. While no one on the crew was injured, some valves were stolen from the engine room.

Piracy has been a hot issue recently, with a total of 31 incidents reported in the Singapore Strait last year. 

Credit: Straits Times

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