Tanker missing off Singapore
No contact with ship since October 2nd.
Reports came in late yesterday that the tanker, MT Sunrise 689, has gone missing off Singapore.
The ship was transiting from Singapore to Vietnam on October 2nd when contact was lost with her shortly after she began her journey. She was carrying over 5,000 tons of oil and a crew of 18 at the time of her disappearance and piracy has not been ruled out. Media reports state that the owners, Haiphong Fisheries Shipbuilding Joint Stock Co., lost contact with the ship around an hour after she left port.
This year has seen a sharp increase in the number of hijacked tankers in the region and, if confirmed as piracy, the Sunrise 689 would be the 13th tanker successfully hijacked. A search mission is currently underway. There are concerns that the time frame is slightly off for a pirate attack; generally, pirates destroy or damage communications and navigation equipment as they leave a ship, but invariably the blackout only lasts a few hours before the ship reaches port or can contact its owners. While it’s common for ships hijacked off the West coast of Africa to remain in pirate hands for several days, pirates in Southeast Asia normally only remain on board for a few hours before escaping with their stolen cargo. The fact that nothing has been heard from the Sunrise 689 since October 2nd is a cause for concern, particularly given how heavily-trafficked these waters are.
We will update readers as and when we receive new reports.