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  • Tshegofatso Johanna Ramachela

Undercurrents of Risk: The Forgotten Waters of the Malacca and Singapore Straits

In the shadowy corridors of #SoutheastAsia's bustling ports, a series of daring #maritime #robberies unfolded between April 3rd and 12th, casting a stark light on the persisting vulnerabilities in regional maritime security. This spree of incidents, involving the targeting of vessels under different flags in Indonesian and Malaysian waters, underscores an alarming pattern of maritime piracy that continues to threaten the safety of crews and the security of maritime commerce.


3 APRIL 2024 KUALA TANJUNG 


Piracy in Malacca Strait
KUALA TANJUNG

A Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier, the Shakespeare Bay, was attacked while at anchor in the Kuala Tanjung Port of Indonesia. After boarding the birthed ship, three perpetrators armed with knives entered the engine room and managed to take the duty crew hostage. Once they had stolen the ship’s engine and spare parts, the perpetrators released the duty crew and escaped. 





6 APRIL 2024 TANJUNG RAMUNIA 

Piracy in TANJUNG RAMUNIA
TANJUNG RAMUNIA

A Malaysian-flagged tug, the Danum 53/Linau 135 was the target of robbers. Whilst underway in Malaysia’s territorial waters, the master of the tug boat towing barge noticed a sampan alongside the barge. In this incident, three perpetrators were seen leaving the barge with copper coils and fibre boards. Fortunately, the crew was not injured and all were accounted for. 




12 APRIL 2024 BALIKPAPAN ANCHORAGE 


Piracy in BALIKPAPAN ANCHORAGE 
BALIKPAPAN ANCHORAGE 

The Laotian-flagged tanker Solar Roma was attacked whilst at anchor in Balikpapan Anchorage, Indonesia. When the vessel was in the port area, four perpetrators boarded the vessel using the anchor chain. The perpetrators gained access to the forecastle and escaped with the ship’s stores and properties. The crew was mustered, a search of the vessel was initiated and the incident was reported to the Balikpapan port control. 



Summary

These recent piracy incidents in Southeast Asia highlight a critical need for heightened maritime security measures and regional cooperation to safeguard vessels and crews. As piracy tactics evolve, the international maritime community must strengthen surveillance and response strategies to protect the vital shipping lanes of the Malacca and Singapore Straits and beyond.



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