Five men tried to board Panama-registered tanker Pacific Harmony early yesterday near the southern Malaysian port of Tanjung Ayam, just to the east of Singapore, according to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
The men fled on hearing the ship's alarm system.
Two hours later, six men with long knives tried to board Malaysia-registered chemical tanker MMM Kingston. They fled in a speedboat after seeing the crew had been alerted.
ReCAAP said the same group was probably involved and advised shipping crews to take precautions since there had been six such cases this year in the area, all during the night while the ships were anchored.
"That area is high risk ... there have been a number of attacks in that area," said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, confirming the two attacks.
Many ships have been laid up in the waters around Singapore, the world's busiest container port and a key refuelling hub, after the slide in global trade following the financial crisis.
Source: Business Times