Four crew members were kidnapped from Singapore-flagged tug/supply vessel Ark Tze (IMO 9418767) were kidnapped on October 29th, some 60nm south of the Republic of Congo, West Africa, Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP has reported, without naming the vessel.
A group of 10 perpetrators armed with guns boarded the anchored ship, assaulted the crew and damaged the ship’s radio equipment, before abducting the vessel’s master, chief engineer, chief officer and a member of the deck crew. The abducted crew were taken to Panama-flagged tanker Anuket Amber (IMO 9395733) which had been hijacked earlier that day. A third vessel, BW Frigg, was attacked at the same time as Anuket Amber was attacked, but managed to escape.
It was reported that Ark Tze’s second engineer and oiler sustained minor injuries as a result of a scuffle with the perpetrators. The remaining crew were safe. “The company’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) was activated and the ship with the remaining 11 crew on board has been directed to proceed to the port of Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo,” said ReCAAP.
As informed, the company had arranged for a medical team to board the ship to assess the crew’s health condition and provide assistance and emotional support. The local authorities are said to have established contact with the ship.
“The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore had contacted the relevant authorities and sought the assistance of the Nigerian Navy to keep a lookout for the tanker and the abducted crew,” said ReCAAP.
2008-built, Panama-flagged, 6,952 gt Anuket Amber is owned by Anuket Amber Shipping Co Ltd care of manager Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd of Glasgow, UK. It is entered with Swedish Club (Gothenburg team) on behalf of Anuket Amber Shipping Co Ltd.
2009-built, Singapore-flagged, 2,310 gt Ark Tze is owned by Silver Maritime Pte Ltd care of manager RK8 Offshore Shipmanagement Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is entered with Japan Club (Tokyo Office) on behalf of Silver Maritime Pte Ltd.