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Friday, June 19, 2015

South China Sea Pirates: Escape Under the Radar?

UPDATE below.

The South China Morning Post headline reads Pirates who hijacked Malaysian tanker escape in lifeboat giving warships the slip | South China Morning Post
Xinhua photo
Pirates who commandeered a Malaysian-flagged tanker in the South China Sea have escaped from the vessel in a lifeboat, giving warships the slip under cover of night, the country’s naval commander said.

State-run Bernama news agency quoted Malaysian coast guard officials as saying all 22 of the MT Orkim Harmony’s crew were safe, though one was slightly injured.

“(The pirates) escaped from the tanker last night using a rescue boat,” Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Jaafar said.
I guess the warships' radar was unable to detect a moving lifeboat.

Makes me wonder how that sort of boat would be useful is assisting a rescue at sea. Or perhaps the radar was -um- not operating properly.

Not a good situation since, as the article goes on to note:
Attacks on slow-moving, smaller coastal tankers like the MT Orkim Harmony are occurring roughly once every two weeks, the IMB said recently, with pirates usually siphoning off cargoes to other vessels before later releasing the tankers and crews.
UPDATE: Suspected pirates captured:
Kuala Lumpur: Eight suspected Indonesians pirates believed to have hijacked a Malaysian oil tanker with 22 crew members last week in the South China Sea were on Friday detained in waters near the Tho Chu Island in Vietnam.

"They were found near Tho Chu Island at about 6.30am. They were on a life raft and claimed they were from a fishing boat that sank," Royal Navy Malaysian chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said.

Aziz said his men were confirming if those arrested were the hijackers of MT Orkim Harmony oil tanker.

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