UPDATE 2: Pirates Release Vietnamese Oil Tanker

The Vietnamese oil tanker that went missing last week with 18 crew members onboard while en route from Singapore to central Vietnam, has been released by the pirates,  a manager from Haiphong Sea Product Shipbuilding, owner of the vessel, said.

As reported by the Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) in Singapore, the tanker was freed early on Thursday.

A group of ten armed pirates hijacked the tanker and, once onboard, destroyed the ship’s communication equipment. Two of the crew have been injured, one has a broken leg.

The pirates siphoned part of the tanker’s cargo of more than 5,000 tonnes of gas oil, Nguyen Vu Diep, a manager at the Haiphong Sea Product Shipbuilding is cited by Reuters as saying.

“Officers from Vietnam’s coast guard approached the ship and are escorting it to Phu Quoc island as two crew members have been injured,” said Diep.

The Sunrise 689 disappeared 40 minutes after leaving Singapore port at 6 pm on October 2nd.

According to the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, the ship deviated from its planned route, and last signals were received as it sailed 115 nautical miles northeast of Singapore.

The vessel was scheduled to arrive in Quang Tri province, Vietnam, on Sunday, October 5th.

According to Rear Admiral Ngo Ngoc Thu, Vietnam Coast Guard vice commander, this is the first time a Vietnam cargo ship went missing in Southeast Asia.

World Maritime News Staff

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