Threat to Small Tankers in South China Sea

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The ICC Commercial Crime Services' International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is warning small tankers to maintain strict antipiracy measures in the South China Sea following a spate of tanker hijackings in the region, GAC reported in its daily Hot Port News report.

At least six known cases of coastal tankers being hijacked for their cargoes of diesel or gas oil have been reported since April this year, sparking fears of a new trend in pirate attacks in the area. Up until then, the majority of attacks in the region were vessels boarded for petty theft.

The latest hijackings seem to follow a specific modus operandi, where armed pirates seize a small tanker and siphon off its cargo to large bunker barges or other small tankers in a ship-to-ship operation. In some cases navigational equipment is destroyed but the crew are left unhurt. They then release the hijacked vessels.

"These types of incidents are not common in this region which makes the situation even more alarming," the IMB said. It has issued a warning to all ships that these attacks have occurred against small coastal tankers primarily in the South China Sea waters off Bintan and Bintulu islands.

"The pirates appear to be interested in oil products such as diesel oil. One of the hijacked tankers was released quickly possibly because the pirates realized it had the wrong type of cargo," the IMB noted.

On June 14, a tanker was hijacked in the South China Sea. The IMB Piracy Reporting Center passed on the reports to the Malaysian authorities who along with the Republic of Singapore Navy sent patrol boats to the area. Upon sighting the naval boats the pirates left the vessel.

A tanker was hijacked on June 7 off Bintulu Island. According to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the vessel was heading towards the port of Labuan when pirates boarded it. After locking up the 22 crew in a room, they ordered the master and chief officer to stop the vessel. A barge alongside then siphoned-off the cargo of oil.

"Approximately 100 metric tons of diesel was transferred and items belonging to the crew were stolen. The pirates also destroyed the ship's navigational equipment and radar system. They then instructed the master to continue on course to Labuan. The tanker was captured for 10 hours and the crew unhurt," the MMEA reported.

In a previous case with a similar modus operandi, a tanker, laden with a fuel oil cargo, left Singapore on May 27 en route to Indonesia. The owners lost contact with the vessel and informed the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) which immediately notified all authorities and broadcast a warning to all ships to look out for the vessel. On June 1, the vessel safely arrived at Sriracha port in Thailand. Information from the crew indicates that the tanker was hijacked by pirates who damaged the communication equipment and stole its oil cargo by transferring it to large barge.

Maritime security analysts Dryad Maritime believes the hijacking was carried out by organized gangs involved in the marine fuel black market in the region.

The IMB advises all ships, but particularly small tankers, to maintain strict antipiracy measures and vessels are advised to monitor the IMB PRC satellite broadcast warnings via InMARSAT C EGC Safety Net and to report all attacks and suspicious sightings to the IMB-PRC.

Source: GAC
 


Tanker Trends

Hellenic Petroleum Profits Rise on Higher Exports

Hellenic Petroleum, Greece's biggest oil refiner, posted a 20 percent rise in second-quarter core profit on Thursday, with higher exports offseting lower refining margins.

Alfa Laval Launches DuroShell LPG/E Cargo Condenser

With the new Alfa Laval DuroShell plate-and-shell heat exchanger, Alfa Laval aims to strengthen its offering in LPG/E cargo reliquefaction with a construction that

Navy Discovers Malaysian Tanker

Indonesia's navy has found a tanker carrying almost US$400,000 worth of diesel that was taken by its own crew last week due to a commercial dispute, says a report in AFP.

Fuels & Lubes

C-Job Designs Flettner Freighter for Switijnk

The Dutch shipping company family Switijnk has contracted C-Job Naval Architects to develop a Rotor Sail-equipped design to meet their specific loading and sailing profile.

Vitol's Malaysia Terminal Suspends Ops after Spill

VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia following an oil spill, two industry sources said on Friday.

Viking Grace Marks 1,000 LNG Bunkering Milestone

From the very beginning, the M/S Viking Grace – delivered in January 2013 – was an environmental milestone.   The vessel attracted global attention as an environmental

Maritime Security

Indian Warships Visit Port Victoria

In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and

White House: Iranian Ships' Actions in Gulf Increase Risk of Miscalculation

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday.

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines,

News

Coast Guard Foundation Awarded 128 Scholarships

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Keppel to Deliver First North Sea FPSO

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M)'s wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard) is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading

NASA May Send Submarine to Titan

NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine into the depths of the largest ocean of Saturn's biggest moon, Titan in a bid to explore the depths of its largest ocean.

Maritime Safety

Indian Cargo Ship Sinks Off Oman

An Indian cargo ship loaded with vehicles and food supplies destined for Yemen sank on Saturday off the coast of Oman but without loss of life, Oman’s ONA state news agency reported.

Danish Maritime Authority Supports Maritime Cultural Days

The Danish Maritime Authority's buoy tender ’POUL LØWENØRN’ will be alongside in Korsør in connection with the Maritime Cultural Days. The vessel will be open to visitors throughout Saturday,

ABS Makes it Safer to ‘Walk to Work’

ABS announced the publication of The ABS Guide for Certification of Offshore Access Gangways. The new Guide addresses certification for safety systems used for “walk to work” (W2W) crew transfers.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1150 sec (9 req/sec)