Robbers stole four mooring ropes at knifepoint from the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines-registered bulk carrier, Hong Kong Star on 15 Aug 10 at or about 0345 hrs (local time), while underway at position 22° 15.15′ N, 091° 41.73′ E, Chittagong port anchorage ‘A’.
The four robbers armed with knives boarded the bulk carrier from a single engine driven wooden boat. The robbers escaped with four mooring ropes. The crew was not injured.
The Master reported the incident to the Chittagong Port Authority, CPA, about 1 hourr 45 minutes after the incident. The CPA immediately relayed the information to Bangladesh Coast Guard who despatched a patrol boat to the location of the incident.
Due to the time lag, the robbers had escaped when the patrol boat arrived at the location. When asked about the delay in reporting the incident, the Master explained that the incident occurred while Hong Kong Star was preparing for anchoring, and it was only after the change of shift that the duty watchman who took over discovered that the mooring ropes were missing.
Past Incident Since January 2010, this is the 13th incident reported in the Chittagong anchorage. The last incident occurred on 2 Aug 10 at Chittagong outer anchorage ‘C’ involving container vessel PFS Keshava. During the incident, the robbers armed with long knives stole four pieces of mooring ropes and escaped. However, the stolen items were recovered by the Bangladesh Coast Guard. The incident demonstrated information sharing and inter-agency coordination among the Bangladesh Coast Guard, the CPA and the police.
The ReCAAP ISC commends the Bangladesh Coast Guard for their responsiveness by dispatching a patrol boat to the location of the incident involving Hong Kong Star. This again demonstrated information sharing and good inter-governmental and interagency coordination among the Bangladesh Coast Guard, the CPA and the Department of Shipping which is also the ReCAAP Focal Point (Bangladesh). Ship masters operating in the vicinity are advised to maintain vigilance and take necessary precautionary measures. Early detection of a possible boarding is the most effective deterrent and reduces risk to the crew. The ReCAAP ISC advises ship Masters to report all actual incidents and attempted incidents to the nearest coastal State and flag State immediately so that the law enforcement agencies are able to render assistance to the victim ship, recover the stolen items and arrest the perpetrators.