While the tug boat towing barge was underway to Maishakali, the Second Officer spotted a small boat approaching the barge. The master instructed the crew to continue their watch and to attempt to make contact with the local naval force and coast guard. The communication was without success.
The small boat continued its voyage behind the barge until at about 0430 hrs, it eventually moved away from barge. The master then instructed the crew to move alongside the barge and the crew went on board to conduct a search. They found some items missing from the barge, including an emergency pennant wire, emergency chaffing chain and manhole covers.
The crew was not injured and continued their voyage towards Maishakali. A search on board the barge was conducted later.
The ReCAAP ISC urges ship master and crew to report all incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the nearest coastal State and flag State, exercise vigilance and adopt relevant preventive measures taking reference from the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia. Ship masters and crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance while transiting the Sulu-Celebes Sea.