Pirates have shot a seafarer in the neck after boarding an anchored product tanker, two miles off Teluk Ramunia, Malaysia, on Friday.
According to sources, cash, personal belongings and possibly fuel were stolen by the seven armed Indonesians that boarded the tanker MT Ji Xiang which is registered in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
Local authorities were able to intervene, and in their haste to escape, the pirates left two pistols and a machete on the vessel which was carrying 14 crew comprising seven Myanmars, a China national and six Indonesians.
A maritime patrol boat gave chase but lost them in the waters off a neighbouring country. The seafarer who was shot is now recovering in hospital.
For Lieutenant (Military Retired) Dave Daniel Rachimi, CEO of the maritime security organization, World MarSec Union, help in this sort of situation is often too late, too little and too far away. “With endless heartbreaking results for seafarers, shipowners, and officers at sea, we all know the results of piracy,” he said.
“It is plain to see that the authorities in and around the waters of Singapore do not react or are not equipped to react to any emergent situation in order to secure ships in these dangerous waters. The Union knows, however, that under these dangerous conditions it takes just four savvy armed guards to secure any mission.”
It is time for action, he says. “Since the beginning of this year seven confirmed hijacks have taken place in the South Malaysian waters, among them the tanker MT Ji Xiang, MT Orapin 4 and MT Oriental Glory.
“It is financially practicable to place three armory vessels along the main shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca (north, center, and south) and then give all commercial shipowners the option to secure their ships, without needing to challenge the local authorities with endless begging for weapons and port entry permits with arms that will never come. The model of armed secured and savvy armory vessels in international waters that is being employed in the Red Sea and Fujairah can also be employed in the Straits of Malacca.”