The Straights of Malacca have, once again, been the location of the latest attack by pirates.
Commonly, we see pirates attacking bulk carriers or tankers. Rarely container ships are invaded,due to their size, speed and freeboard ( height above the water). But one of the latest piracy incident that has been reported by the regional ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery) shows that within hours of each other two vessels have been attacked, one of which was a container ship.
The (possibly related) incidents both occurred in the east bound lane of the Straights of Malacca and Singapore.
It was approx 0100hrs on the 21st March when four men board the MV Capetan Gioris whilst it was underway. Nothing was missing on board and the crew remained safe. This incident was reported 3.8 nautical miles off Tanjung Sengkuang, Batam.
At approx 0545 that same morning, containership MSC Vancouver was boarded by seven men armed with knives and tools. The robbers stole the second engineers gold chain and watch before they abandoned the vessel. This robbery occurred 9 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Karimum Besar.
The MSC Vancouver was formally known as the Cosco Vancouver. This container ship is no ‘tinny’ and can hold 7455 twenty foot containers.
The close proximity of these two attacks prompted the ReCAAP centre to issue a warning to all vessels in the area, fearing the pirates would strike again.