The chemical tanker Southern Falcon was attacked by pirates in Celebes Sea on 160 nautical miles east off Tarakan island, Indonesia. The vessel was bound to Gresik under ballast and was approached by small speed boat with heavy armed men, who tried to board the vessel. Fortunately the crew thwarted the attack and resumed voyage to East Java. All the seamen on board of the vessel are safe and without injuries. The high free board helped them and seriously disturbed the pirates from boarding the tanker. The accident was reported to local authorities, navy and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency, who started investigation and tried to trace the pirates.
According to the witness evidences from the crew of the chemical tanker Southern Falcon, the attackers were heavy armed militants of Abu Sayaf terrorist group, who has control over the Celebes Sea region. It is not clear if the pirates opened fire against the vessel, but fortunately there were no injured people during the accident.
The chemical tanker Southern Falcon (IMO: 9414993) has overall length of 115.00 m, moulded beam of 18.00 m and maximum draft of 7.50 m. The deadweight of the vessel is 9,051 DWT and the gross tonnage is 5,551 GRT. The ship was built in 2005 by Shitanoe Shipbuilding in Usuki, Japan. The owner and operator of the chemical tanker is Sansho Kaiun.