There has been a steady increase in attacks on vessels travelling through the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait since October last year, with four confirmed incidents reported to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) in January.
ReCAAP on Monday warned that ships travelling through the strait should remain cautious and vigilant.
Of the four incidents reported in January, two occurred on board barges towed by tug boats, while the other two were on board bigger vessels (bulk carrier and tanker). One of the barges was hit twice in one day.
With reported incidents increasing, the centre has advised shippers and crew to report all incidents, suspicious activities and presence of suspicious small boats in the vicinity to the nearest coastal state and flag state.
- Bjorn Vorster