Tanker crew member dead after pirate attack

DECEMBER 8, 2014 — The Singapore based ReCAAP Information Sharing Center reports that the Third Engineer of the Vietnamese flag tanker VP Asphalt 2 has died after the vessel was boarded by pirates in a December 7 incident.

"At or about 0530 hrs (local time), a Vietnam-registered tanker, VP Asphalt 2 was underway at approximately 20 nm southeast of Pulau Aur, Malaysia in the South China Sea when seven perpetrators armed with guns boarded the vessel," says ReCAAP in an incident report. "They took control of VP Asphalt 2, stole crew's personal belongings and checked the cargo tanks. It was also reported that the perpetrators seriously injured one of the crew before they left the tanker on the same day at or about 0645 hrs (local time).

"After the perpetrators left the tanker, the master conducted a check on the crew and discovered that the Third Engineer was lying on his bed with injuries to his forehead. The master informed the owner and agent (based in Singapore); and immediately requested for medical assistance. On 7 Dec 14 at or about 1021 hrs (local time), the Third Engineer was evacuated via a helicopter to a hospital in Singapore. Unfortunately, the Third Engineer was pronounced dead in the hospital on the same day at or about 1139 hrs (local time)."

"The death of the Third Engineer of VP Asphalt 2 is the first incident in Asia since 2009 that involved the death of a crew [member]. While the incident is still under investigation, the ReCAAP ISC strongly advises master and crew to avoid resisting or retaliating against armed perpetrators after they had boarded the vessel.

"Vessels are to remain vigilant especially during hours of darkness and to report incident as early as possible."

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