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Piracy and pestilence haunt seafarers

The spread of the Ebola virus has added another risk to vessels trading in West Africa

Published Tue, Sep 9, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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WHILE Singapore is a well-ordered, peaceful, safe and healthy place, those involved in the shipping industry know all too well that the same cannot be said for many other parts of the world. The shipping industry has always had to cope with regional conflicts and tensions; over the past couple of decades, it has also had to accept that piracy has returned as one of the perils facing the merchant seafarer.

Piracy takes place uncomfortably close to Singapore's shores. In recent months, there has been a worrying rise in the number of hijackings of small tankers to steal their valuable cargoes.

In the latest incident reported by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), six pirates armed with guns boarded a Thailand-registered oil products tanker, V.L. 14, on Aug 28 some 30 nautical miles north of Pulau Tioman.

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