By Kathryn Stone 2015-06-12 17:22:50
The sister ship of a product tanker hijacked by pirates less than two weeks ago has been reported missing off the coast of Malaysia.
The 7,301 dwt Orkim Harmony fell out of communication around 9:00pm June 11 as it passed approximately 17 nautical miles southwest of Pulau Aur, Malaysia. All subsequent attempts to contact the tanker proved unsuccessful. Both the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Indonesian Navy have deployed patrol boats to search for the tanker.
The Orkim Harmony was reportedly carrying 6,000 metric tons of petrol when it disappeared and was comprised crew members from Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar.
This is the second incident involving product tankers owned by Orkim Ship Management in under two weeks. On June 4 armed pirates hijacked the Orkim Victory within a couple miles of the Harmony’s last known location, stealing over 770 metric tons of Automotive Diesel Oil (ADO).
It is not known whether the Orkim Harmony has fallen victim to pirates, however the area around Singapore and the Straits of Malacca are a known hotspot for pirate activity. In particular, ‘very significant’ incidents including fuel syphoning have been on the rise in Southeast Asia throughout 2015. This year has already seen more severe incidents of piracy than all of 2011-2014 combined for the same period.
Anti-piracy watchdog ReCAAP stressed Friday that “ship masters and crew are advised to exercise enhanced vigilance when transiting the area.”