Owner unable to contact Singapore-registered tanker that was boarded by 'unidentified persons': MPA
SINGAPORE: Hai Soon Group, the owner of a Singapore-registered oil tanker that was boarded by "unidentified persons" off Ivory Coast earlier this week, is still unable to establish communications with the vessel, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said on Thursday (Apr 13).
The Success 9 oil tanker was boarded about 300 nautical miles (556km) off the Abidjan Coast at about 10pm (Singapore time) on Monday night. One of the 20 crew members is a Singaporean.
"The Ivory Coast authorities have deployed their air and sea assets to the vicinity of the last known position of the vessel," MPA said on Thursday.
According to Refinitiv ship-tracking data on Tuesday, the tanker has been operating in the West African zone for the past 60 days.
Its last shipping fixture record showed it was carrying diesel, according to Vortexa data.
MPA said earlier this week that it was working with the ship's owner, Liberia's Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and the Information Fusion Centre at the Changi Command and Control Centre to monitor the situation and render necessary assistance.
An Ivorian security source involved in the matter said a patrol boat had been sent out to rescue the tanker, but was unable to locate it because its beacon had been turned off, Reuters reported.
"We think it's an act of piracy because the modus operandi is the same," the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. "We have sought external help from Spain and from Europe."
CNA has contacted Hai Soon Group for more information.
The boarding of Success 9 comes after a similar incident in the region on Mar 26 in which the Liberia-flagged oil tanker Monjasa Reformer was reportedly boarded by five armed people, according to a report by the Maritime Domain Awareness Trade - Gulf of Guinea, a joint maritime monitoring initiative by France and the United Kingdom.