A tug master was injured when four armed men attempted to hijack his tugboat off Malaysia.
The incident occurred some 12 nautical miles northeast of Sabah Coast in the afternoon hours of December 5, 2018, according to ICC’s IMB piracy report.
The four perpetrators in a speedboat approached and fired upon the tug towing an unladen barge resulting in the master being shot in the leg.
“The suspects fired shots at the boat twice, with one bullet hitting the skipper, Didy Saviady, on his left thigh. The crew scrambled and took shelter inside the boat, locking the doors while the suspects boarded the boat,” Datuk Omar Mammah, Sabah police chief, was cited by Malay Mail as saying.
“However, one of the crew, on the third floor of the boat, fired about 10 shots from flare guns at the suspects, causing them to panic and flee by diving into the water and getting to their boat before speeding away,” Omar added.
After the alarm was raised and distress message sent, a Royal Malaysian Police boat responded and took the injured master to hospital.
The remaining crew members sustained no injuries.
Local authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
At the time of the attack, the Magtrans II tugboat was en route to Papua New Guinea with thirteen crew members on board.
World Maritime News Staff