As many as 17 Indonesian crew members and two others of South Korea have previously lost contact in the southern part of Ivory Coast waters.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – As many as 17 Indonesian crew members and two others of South Korea have been rescued from the piracy of the B-Ocean tanker in the waters of the southern region of Ivory Coast, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
On Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, received a report from the Defense Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, whose working area also includes Senegal, that the B-Ocean Tanker Ship with the Marshall Islands flag carrying 17 Indonesian crew members and two others of South Korea lost contact in the waters south of Ivory Coast.
Following close coordination with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Defense Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja, the Indonesian Embassy in Seoul, the Indonesian Honorary Consul in Abidjan and shipping company PT Amas in Indondesia, it was informed that the B-Ocean tanker owned by South Korean Doorae Shipping had lost contact since Nov. 24, 2022 due to piracy.
The pirates took all of the B-Ocean ship’s oil stock and damaged almost all of the communication equipment, which made it difficult for the crew to connect with the authorities on land, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its official statement.
Thanks to efforts of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the presence of the Italian Navy, which was at the last point of communication for the B-Ocean tanker with land authorities, on Nov. 26, 2022, the Italian Navy managed to find the ship.
On Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar received information that the port in Abidjan sent a tug boat to tow the B-Ocean ship to the port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and it was estimated that it would take around two days.
Receiving the information, the Indonesian Ambassador to Senegal, Dindin Wahyudin, immediately assigned Protocol and Consular Attaché, Dyah Kuncorowati, and Indonesia’s Honorary Consul in Abidjan, Sylla Darboux, to meet and assist the Indonesian crew members on the B-Ocean ship.
On Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, at 5.49 p.m. local time, the B-Ocean tanker entered the port of Abidjan. However, the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar together with the South Korean Embassy in Abidjan were not given access by the maritime authorities and the Ivory Coast Ministry of Transportation to meet the crew members.
Various reasons and the lack of clarity in the information provided by the local security forces made it difficult to meet the crew members in person, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, adding that various efforts were made to immediately meet the Indonesian crew members.
Ambassador Dindin Wahyudin sent a letter to the Ivory Coast Ministry of Transportation, and communicated intensively with the South Korean Ambassador, the Ivory Coast Ministry of Transportation and the port authority.
Finally, on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at 12.30, the Consular Protocol Attaché at the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar, the Indonesian Honorary Consul in Abidjan and the South Korean Embassy in Abidjan were finally given access to board the ship and meet the crew members.
During a meeting between the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar and the ship captain from South Korea and the chief officer from Indonesia and several Indonesian crew members, it was informed that all personal valuables such as cell phones, laptop computers and watches were also confiscated by the pirates.
Even though physically the crew members were in good health, psychologically they were traumatized and wanted to go home soon.
Reporting by Indonesia Window