Pirate raid foiled as sailor ‘hijacks’ boat
Published: “Gulf Times” - Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 11:56 AM Doha Time
KUALA LUMPUR: An attack by Indonesian pirates on a Malaysian tanker was foiled yesterday when a quick-thinking crewman from the vessel leapt into the robbers’ boat and sped off in it to fetch the police
, officials said.
The tanker, which was carrying diesel
from Malaysia’s Port Klang to Myanmar, was boarded before dawn by 10 pirates off the northern island of Langkawi in the Malacca Strait.
“All the suspects got up on the tanker and they left their boat
beside the tanker ship. Then one of the crew of the tanker ship just stole the boat,” an officer with the Langkawi marine
police base told AFP.
Leaving the pirates stranded on the 4,629-tonne tanker, owned by Malaysian company Netline, the crew member
raced to the marine
police base and raised the alert.
Police arrived at the scene a little after midday and managed to persuade the suspects, all of whom are Indonesians, to give up about three hours later.
“The pirates threatened to blow up the boat during negotiations but the police finally got them to surrender,” Noel Choong, head
of the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy
Reporting Centre, said.
All 19 crew members on board the tanker were safe, although the captain
is believed to have sustained a light head
injury, said a northern region marine police officer.
The Malacca Strait is one of the world’s most important waterways, with 50,000 ships carrying about one-third of the globe’s trade
passing through it each year.
However the strait, 960km (600 miles) long and 1.2km wide at its narrowest point, is notoriously vulnerable to pirate attacks and governments in the region also believe it is tempting for terrorists.
In an effort to stem pirate attacks, the governments of Malaysia
have launched co-ordinated patrols and opened the door to technical assistance from the United States.
Despite this, pirates have continued their efforts, Choong said.
“There have been a number of attacks despite co-ordinated patrols by the three countries,” he said