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Shipping warned over wooden boats used for Singapore Strait sea robberies

Photo: IFC Wooden boat used in a sea robbery in the Singapore Strait
Wooden boat used in a sea robbery in the Singapore Strait
The Information Fusion Centre (IFC) has released a photo of a boat used in sea robberies against merchant vessels plying the busy Singapore Straits.

In its mid-year report Singapore-based IFC said that the number of incidents in the Singapore Strait in the first half of 2023 was 37 up from 27  the previous year, and 20 in 2021 (see infographic below).

“This can be attributed to slow regional economic recovery, poor fishing yields impacting livelihood of fishermen and increased financial obligations during festive periods. Majority of the incidents occurred in the Phillip Channel,” IFC said.

It expects the number of incidents in the second half of the year to remain high with the Singapore Strait a key area of concern. The key waterway accounted for more than half the 68 incidents reported by IFC in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent in the first half of 2023.

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The IFC also released photographic evidence of a vessel (picture above this story) used in sea robbery in the westbound lane of the traffic separation scheme in the Singapore Strait.

“Please advise your ship masters to watch out for similar types of wooden boats that are operating in the area, which typically feature a flat-bottomed hull with a narrow open deck,” it said.