PIRACY | Hijacked tug crew rescued

The crew of the hijacked tug Atlantic 3 have been rescued after being abandoned in a life raft off the Spratly Islands.

The Vietnamese navy rescued the nine crew members of the Malaysian-registered tug off the coast of Vietnam.

Vietnamese authorities detected the crew after responding to the distress signal sent out from the life raft’s position indicating beacon.

The crew was reported to be in a state of fatigue, but overall well, and heading towards Vietnam.

Details of the rescue were provided by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre in Singapore.

ReCAAP said the Atlantic 3 was now assessed to be heading easterly and that authorities in the Philippines and Brunei had been alerted.

The tug and barge were reported hijacked on 27 April after the owners lost contact with the vessels in position 1° 12.38’N, 104° 45.92’E, about 11 nm east of Bintan, Indonesia.

This was the third tug towing a barge to have been reported missing in the same region since the start of 2010, ReCAAP said.

The first incident involved the tug Asta on the 6 February, while the second, involving the tug PU 2007, took place on 19 April.



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