Hijack On The Rise: What has Happened to Singapore’s Maritime Security?

This morning, there was a hijack which is believed to have taken place. The vessel was just outside Singapore, between the mainland and the well-known Horsburgh Lighthouse. At around 1000 hours, the vessel lost communications with the owner. The owner tried for about 2 hours before calling 999. To be fair, it was already not under the PCG’s (Police Coast Guard) jurisdiction since the vessel was outside the area of responsibility.

For unknown reasons, the RSN (Republic of Singapore Navy) was made aware of the hijack. The RSN even knew the entire ship details but was not able to prevent the hijack from taking place. As we were informed, hijacking is not similar to usual Search and Rescue Operations.

The maritime users in this region know that there have been many hijacks recently. We are very concern about our safety as the hijackers are armed.

Open questions to RSN, PCG and MPA (Maritime Port Authority):

1. When a report is received at the first instance, how long does it take to mobilise rescue boats or ships to the site?

2. We are aware that there is a Maritime Security Task Force and they operate a very expansive control and command system. The RSN knew all the details of the hijacked ship but for unknown reasons, they were not able to rescue the ship.

3. Is rescuing a ship in distress less important than clearing red tape?


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