One crew member was shot and four were kidnapped from Indonesian flagged tug and barge on April 15 in the international waters between Malaysia and the Philippines, according to Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The injured crew member was transported to Malaysia for treatment and is reported to be in a stable condition.
The two vessels involved in the incident, which occurred in the evening hours on Friday, were en route from Cebu, Philippines to Tarakan.
The vessels, identified as the tug boat Henry and the barge Cristi, were carrying a total of ten crew at the time of the incident.
Five remaining crew members aboard the two ships were brought by the Malaysian Maritime Police to Lahad Datu Port, Malaysia.
This is the third pirate attack on an Indonesian tug in the area.
On March 26 the Indonesian tug Brahma 12 and barge Anand 12 were hijacked by pirates in the Philippine waters, while they were on their way from Sungai Puting, South Kalimatan to Batangas, South Philippines.
Brahma 12 was released soon after, however, the vessels’ 10 crew members are still being held by the hijackers, with their whereabouts unknown.
In another incident, four Malaysian crew members were kidnapped from the tug Massive 6 off Pulau Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia, on April 1 by eight armed pirates.
The hijacked tug was returned to its owner, Highline Shipping Sdn. Bhd on April 12, while the taken crew members are reportedly still held captive by the pirates, believed to be Filipino Muslim militants, members of the Abu Sayyaf group.
World Maritime News Staff