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A total of seven incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait within 2021 so far.

In its weekly report for 30 Mar-5 Apr 2021, two incidents of armed robbery against ships in Asia. Both were CAT 4 incidents where the perpetrators were not armed and the crew not harmed.

One of the incidents occurred to a container ship while anchored at Jakarta Anchorage, Indonesia. The other incident occurred to a tug/supply vessel at approximately 4 nm south of Tanjung Piai, Malaysia while underway in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait.

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The worldwide transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to stressful and difficult situations worldwide, ranging from ceasing usual daily routines to loss of lives and tremendous influences on the economy of all countries. One of the most seriously affected fields is the shipping and maritime industry. Some major issues that arose will be mentioned briefly and analysed explicitly in this article.

Unfortunately, this global outbreak has imposed pressing challenges for both the import and export trade, gradually not only from Chinese ports but to most of the ports around the world. Some countries decided to proceed with the closure of certain ports, to avoid possible further spread of the virus. Moreover, due to the urgent nature of the circumstances, several countries established a ban regarding specific vessels’ entry, especially those originating from China. Additionally, several disputes arose between charters and owners, concerning vessels’ hire period, laytime, and discussions of clauses. Another serious problem was that many companies experienced bankruptcy and thus a significant number of people were left unemployed.

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At least 27 people lost their lives, as a small launch carrying more than 100 passengers capsized after a collision with a cargo vessel in Bangladesh’s Shitalakkhya river, on April 4.

According to local media, five bodies were recovered on the day of the incident, with the rescuers retrieving 22 bodies a day later as a salvage vessel pulled out the launch.

Commenting on the salvage operation, officials informed that it has ended. The Navy, Coast Guard, fire service and police, all participated in the operation.

The passenger vessel, ML Sabit Al Hasan, sank after colliding with the cargo ship, SKL-3, at the mouth of the Syedpur Koyla Ghat on the Shitalakkhya River in Munshiganj.

The launch was heading to Munshiganj, while initial information reports that the cargo vessel fled the scene after the collision.

Now, a committee has been established to investigate the incident, which will submit its findings in the next five days.

The launch had about 150 passengers, with information saying that 50-60 of them were able to swim in the two banks, but three of them had to be rushed to the hospital.

In a similar incident, two fishermen lost their lives, while 15 were still missing on April 4, after their boat capsized following a collision with a bulk carrier in the Java Sea

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On 5 April, the offshore support vessel “MPV EVEREST” suffered an engine room fire. At the time of the incident, Australia’s chartered resupply vessel was deep south in Indian ocean.

In fact, the ice-strengthened ship was travelling home after resupplying Davis and Mawson research stations in east Antarctica, carrying 109 expeditioners and crew onboard.