Published: 31 January 2019

Alistair Moir

Whilst at the Jingtang anchorage, Northern China, a gang of thieves boarded a ship belonging to one of our Members and stole around 50MT of diesel oil.  Equipped with pumping equipment and the necessary tools so that they could open the manhole covers leading to the diesel oil tanks, the gang brought a barge alongside the ship.  We understand that even with a freeboard of more than 6 metres and in absolute darkness, they managed to climb onto the deck of the ship to steal the diesel oil.  Their activities went unnoticed for some time until the duty officer on watch spotted them and alerted other members of the crew.  As soon as the alarm was raised, the gang very quickly disembarked and made off with what diesel oil they had managed to pump from the ship into the tanks of their barge.

This is a warning to all crew members that, whilst at anchor, they should monitor the activities of small barges, both visually and by radar.  They should also carry out regular checks of the decks and be vigilant and alert, particularly during the hours of darkness, to the possibility of unwanted individuals boarding the vessel with criminal activity in mind.