Hijacked ship rescued
Southeast Asia pirates caught on board hijacked tanker.
Hijacked ship rescued.
ReCAAP reports that the MT Sun Birdie, presumed hijacked when its owners lost contact with it on January 28th, has been successfully rescued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
According to a report issued by ReCAAP, the owners lost contact with the ship, carrying 700 metric tonnes of Marine Fuel Oil, on January 28th at around 2200 LT. Suspecting the ship may have been hijacked, MMEA and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) deployed units to search for it. The MMEA discovered the ship on January 29th at around 2253 LT, approximately 17.6nm NE of Tanjung Penewar, Malaysia. The MMEA boarded the ship, detaining the ship’s crew and seven pirates. Two further pirates jumped overboard and were rescued by a passing ship, the Challenger Premier, around 12.7nm East of Tanjung Penewar. They are to be handed over to MMEA for investigation.
All the forces involved in this operation deserve praise for the quick response. Whether this incident marks a turning point in the fortunes of the hijacking gangs operating in the region remains to be seen. The speedy reporting of the incident by the ship’s owners combined with the rapid deployment of the MMEA and RMN has concluded in the successful arrest of the perpetrators and may go some way to dissuading other more opportunistic criminals from attempting the same.