Singapore-Flagged Ship Had 26 Crew Members On Board
Singapore-based vessel, Barents Sea, was seized on Sunday (3 Feb) by Cameroonian private militiamen armed with AK-47 sub-machine guns, reported The Straits Times.
The incident happened at the Sonara refinery in Limbe, Cameroon.
The Barents Sea is registered under Singapore-based ship management company Eastern Pacific Shipping. 26 crew members are believed to be on board.
26 crew members from different nations
The crew members being held hostage hail from China, India, Philippines, Turkey and Ukraine.
The act of seizing vessels to hold their owners ransom is an outright violation of International and Cameroonian law.
East Pacific Shipping has strongly urged the Cameroonian government to engage its security forces to safely and immediately release the vessel.
Pirates last hijacked a S’pore ship in 2014
Pirate hijacking Singaporean ships aren’t a common occurrence. The last time a major incident happened was 5 years ago.
On 25 Jul 2014, African Outlaws hijacked Singapore-owned oil tanker Hai Soon 6 off the coast of Western Africa, reported AsiaOne.
Mr Yeo Eu Loone was the only Singaporean amongst 20 of his shipmates, to be taken hostage.
Invaders were targeting $2 million worth of oil the tanker was carrying. The Hai Soon 6 had no weapons or armed security personnel on board to defend themselves.
After nine days of captivity, countless beatings, and eight weeks at sea as the Hai Soon 6 returned to Singapore, Mr Yeo finally made it home on Sep 25.
May there be a successful rescue ASAP
We hope for the successful rescue of the 26 crew members on Barents Sea.
Thankfully, there are no reports of physical injuries thus far. We hope that the crew members will be released promptly and safely.
Further updates will be given once more information is released.
Featured image from Marine Traffic.