Singapore: A seafarer has died after being shot in the forehead when a tanker was hijacked off the coast of Malaysia on December 7.
Seven perpetrators with guns boarded the Vietnam-registered VP Asphalt 2 at around 0530 hrs (local time), while it was underway around 20 nm southeast of Pulau Aur, Malaysia, in the South China Sea.
The hijackers stole the crew’s belongings and checked the cargo tanks before disembarking the vessel at around 0645 hrs, according reports from ReCAAP.
The ship’s master discovered Tran Duc Dat, the ship’s third engineer, lying unconscious on his bed with gunshot injuries to his forehead, after the pirates had left the vessel.
The Vietnamese seafarer was evacuated via a helicopter to a hospital in Singapore at 1021 hrs but was pronounced dead by the hospital just over an hour later.
Tran Duc Dat’s death is the first incident in Asia that involved the death of a crew member since 2009, according to ReCAAP data.
ReCAAP has advised masters and crew to avoid resisting or retaliating against armed perpetrators who board vessels. It has instructed vessels to remain vigilant, especially during hours of darkness, and to report incidents as early as possible.
The asphalt/bitumen carrier VP Asphalt 2 (3,095 DWT, built 2013) was carrying 2,300 tonnes of liquid asphalt from Singapore to Go Dau port, southern Vietnam. There were 16 crew members onboard at the time of the attack.
VP Asphalt 2 is owned by Vietnam’s VP Petrochemical Transport. [8/12/14]