Seaarland group of companies and Motia Compagnia di Navigazione have acted to ensure the safety of their crews, ships and cargoes until the escalating piracy situation off East Africa and in the Gulf of Aden is brought under control.
Antonio Zacchello, managing director of Seaarland group of companies and Motia, says, “We at Seaarland and Motia feel we have to act to protect our crews from piracy attack. Accordingly, we have instructed our masters and informed all our customers that until further notice our vessels will be routed to avoid the Gulf of Aden and as far offshore as practical if they have to transit the East African coast. We shall also be taking all other specific precautions on board to deter piracy as we see fit during the present crisis. And we urge the navies in the area, and the major developed nations which depend on world trade through the Gulf of Aden, to act firmly and promptly to restore security to the area. Our seafarers deserve better protection.”
Until further notice the management of Seaarland and Motia has ordered that all managed ships, whether owned or fully managed, should proceed via the Cape of Good Hope instead of transiting the Gulf of Aden. If a route close to East Africa is required for the intended voyage the Master will proceed by following the route considered to be the safest to prevent the vessel being attacked by pirates, including a safe passage well to the east of Madagascar.
If the Gulf of Aden piracy situation significantly improves, Seaarland and Motia may reconsider the above position and decide, at their sole discretion, to transit the Gulf of Aden, providing the following minimum requirements are complied with at any given time:
1. Vessels to transit the Gulf of Aden only in a suitable military convoy
2. Seaarland or Motia, in consultation with the Master, at their exclusive authority, may divert the ship via the Cape of Good Hope at any given time should the situation deteriorate and/or if any new event results in a clear increase of risk for the crew, the ship and the cargo on board.
Zacchello says, “We know this will cause extra expense and some delays for us and our charterers, but we work with good long-term partners and they understand the problem and understand that we have to protect our crews and ships, and their cargoes. Until the international community acts to suppress this piracy menace, the safest thing we can do is stay out of the area, and that is what we are going to do, until the situation improves.”
Seaarland - via its offices in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Mumbai and Singapore - and the Venice (Italy) based Motia control a fleet of 65 product tankers, crude tankers and bulk carriers.