Bangkok: Ships travelling in pirate-infested Southeast Asian waters should install panic buttons onboard, a Thai rear admiral has proposed.
Senior members of the Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean navies met this week in Phuket for the 27th Malacca Strait Patrol Joint Coordinating Committee.
Rear Admiral Chaiyanun Nuntawit from Royal Thai Navy Intelligence urged shipowners to install panic buttons that would send out an alarm with the position of the ship under attac to help authorities better pinpoint attacks and react faster.
“The ocean is so large, so it sometimes means time and money are wasted getting to the scene,” he said.
Latest figures from the International Maritime Bureau show ships are being hijacked in Southeast Asian waters on average once a fortnight for the past 12 months, making the region by far the world’s hotspot for piracy. Small coastal tankers are most at threat. Southeast Asia accounted for more than half of all attacks since the beginning of 2015.