AdvanFort President Addresses Ransom and Piracy

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
AdvanFort President and COO William H. Watson (Photo: AdvanFort)

"The revelation this week that the owner of an Algerian cargo ship whose crew was held by Somali pirates paid them $2.6 million in ransom is yet another indication that the rewards these denizens reap for their illegal, life-threatening work remain a serious stumbling block to ending maritime organized crime," AdvanFort Company President and COO William H. Watson said.

“Those ship owners and operators who have still not hired a highly-reputable private maritime security company (PMSC) continue to risk paying what amounts to an illegal tax in support of further organized maritime extortion,” Watson noted in a statement. “It is a cost that ends up being borne by all of us.”

Watson noted that the MV Blida, carrying 17 Algerians, six Ukrainians, two Filipinos, one Jordanian and one Indonesian, was overtaken by a gang of heavily- armed pirates on its way from Oman to Tanzania, with almost all the hostages freed after a bag full of cash was dropped from a plane to the captors.

“The fact that Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, the Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, has just issued a warning that Somali pirates still remain determined to get out to sea and attack easy targets should be a wake-up call for those still asleep at the helm of security for their companies,” Watson added.

“Tarrant’s observation that piracy’s threat in the Gulf of Aden and elsewhere is not over, but is merely contained for now, means that the costs associated with world-wide shipping remain burdened by a transnational security threat that carries with it an unnecessary tax that unfairly buffets the maritime industry and those consumers whose life depends on the free flow of commerce.”

“The silver lining in all those clouds on the horizon is the fact that those vessels protected by first-rate PMSCs remain outside the pirates’ greedy reach,” Watson said.

Rear Admiral Tarrant’s warning was issued after the EU Naval Force warship ESPS Rayo located a skiff with six men on board that was 320 nautical miles off the Somali coast. That the small, open-top boat was so far out to sea caused the Rayo to send a team to investigate.

As a result Tarrant said that he was “very concerned that seafarers and nations will lower their guard and support for counter piracy operations in the belief that the piracy threat is over. It is not; it is merely contained. We should remember that at its height in January 2011, 32 ships were pirated by Somali pirates and 736 hostages were held. It is crucial that we remain vigilant or the number of attacks will once again rise.”

Although the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean are now protected by a coalition of world navies, in 2011 pirates staged 439 violent attacks and held hostage 802 crewmembers. Although the ransom paid by the Saudi owner of the MV Blida was $2.6 million, the average paid to pirates that year was $4.97 million.

According to a recent report, the some $170 million in ransom payments to piracy made during 2011 was a more than 50 percent increase from the total of $110 million they received in 2010. During the period 2007-2011, it noted, the ransoms paid “have increased sevenfold,” with average ransoms increasing from about $600,000 in 2007 to some $5 million in 2011.

In February 2011, $13.5 million in ransom was paid to secure the release of a supertanker, the MV Irene, which carried 2 million barrels of Kuwaiti oil, estimated to be worth $200 million and destined for the United States.

www.advanfort.com
 

Maritime Reporter July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

China's Navy Drills in South China Sea

China said it conducted air and sea drills in the South China Sea on Tuesday as it stakes an increasingly assertive claim to virtually the whole sea despite rival claims by neighbours.

CMMI’s Maritime Potpourri Focuses on Raising the Bar

The growing popularity of “Maritime Potpourri” Conference organized by the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) was evident yet again on 25th July, 2015

Wrecked 'Russian Submarine' Found in Swedish Waters

A wrecked mini-submarine was found last week in waters off of Sweden’s eastern coast.   Authorities believe it is a Russian model, primarily because of Cyrillic letters on the hull.

News

Diesel Spill in Houston Ship Channel

A small section of the Upper Houston Ship Channel was closed Tuesday morning after a report of 1,000 gallons of diesel entered Greens Bayou from a cement facility, the U.

Carnival’s Costa Brand Orders Two LNG Cruise Ships

Costa’s two new cruise ships will be the largest ever built based on guest capacity; Costa will join sister brand AIDA Cruises in building the first-ever cruise

Barcelona Yacht Repairer Adds New Shiplift

Yacht service, refit, repair and maintenance yard Marina Barcelona 92 (MB’92) has awarded a contract to Pearlson Shiplift Corporation (PSC) for the design and supply

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2269 sec (4 req/sec)