Armed perpetrators boarded a bulk carrier that was underway in the Singapore Strait on October 19, according to the regional piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC.
At about 0100 hours, the vessel Nord Steel was underway in the strait when the duty oiler sighted five perpetrators armed with gun and jungle knife on deck.
The perpetrators threatened the duty oiler and tied his hands. They stole engine spares, including piston rings, oil rings, valve seats, valve spindles, crankpin bearing shell, and escaped through the steering room.
The duty oiler subsequently informed the master who raised the general alarm and reported the incident to Singapore VTIS.
The boarding was the third such incident that occurred on ships underway in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait over a period of 20 days.
Namely, in late September, the bulk carrier Transpacific was boarded in the Singapore Strait by five perpetrators armed with knives. The alarm was raised and the crew searched the accommodation area but the perpetrators already escaped. The crew was safe and nothing was stolen.
Another incident occurred in the evening hours of October 18, when five perpetrators were sighted at the engine room aboard the VLCC Hirado. The master raised the alarm and the perpetrators escaped. The master conducted a search of the ship. Nothing was stolen and there was no further sighting of the perpetrators on board the ship. The crew was safe and the ship continued her passage to the next port of call at Yingkou, China.
Due to these incidents, ReCAAP ISC advised all ships to exercise enhanced vigilance, adopt extra precautionary measures and report all incidents immediately to the nearest coastal state. Furthermore, the organization recommended the law enforcement agencies of the littoral states to step up surveillance, increase patrols and respond promptly to incidents reported by ships.