Pirates approach catamaran in South China Sea: April 2018

During 3-9 April 2018, an attempted incident of piracy was reported to the ReCAAP ISC, involving the Hong Kong-flagged catamaran ‘Swiss Prestige’, while underway in the South China Sea, on 6 April.

Published 5 years ago, updated 4 years ago

As reported by https://safety4sea.com/pirates-approach-catamaran-in-south-china-sea/

While sailing, a small ship “Hong Lrut” with two persons on board approached the catamaran “Swiss Prestige” at high speed (approximately 15 knots) to within 200 nm and turned parallel to it at 0230 LT in position 17:15.7N – 111:16.3E, South China Sea (between the Paracel Islands and Hainan Province, China).

The catamaran sounded “Mayday” via VHF Channel 16 and increased her speed to 8 knots. The suspected ship moved away from the catamaran but continued on a parallel course.

A cruise liner “Diamond Princess” responded to the Mayday call and moved to the location. “Swiss Prestige” communicated with “Diamond Princess” that Falmouth MRCC had been informed. The suspected ship began to move away and depart from the area shortly afterwards. “Swiss Prestige” cancelled its Mayday call and moved towards Johor, Malaysia.

The ReCAAP ISC urges crews to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia. It also urges for extra vigilance while transiting the Sulu-Celebes Sea and eastern Sabah region.

EOS NOTE: Piracy is not an issue in this area, although territorial disputes in the South China Sea have led to skirmishes between Chinese and Vietnamese fishing vessels. Several Vietnamese fishing vessels have reported armed boardings and rammings in the area since 2015.

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