Safety Measures Protect Ship from Piracy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jamaica-flagged M/V Miltiades came under attack and successfully deterred suspected pirates Jan. 17, while transiting approximately 130 nautical miles southwest of Al Mukalla, Yemen.

The pirate skiff fired on the M/V with AK-47 rifles. The Miltiades embarked security team fired red flares and the ship took recommended evasive maneuvers to cause the skiff to break off the attack. No injuries or damages were reported aboard Miltiades.

Early detection of suspected attacks is the first line of defense against piracy, but other practices include using flares, out running attackers or using heavy wheel movements, use of non-lethal devices, such as netting, water hoses, electric fencing, wire and long-range acoustic devices. These practices have proven effective at deterring piracy.

"We continue to highlight the importance of preparation by the merchant mariners and the maritime industry," said Commodore Tim Lowe, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces. "The efforts of the coalition naval forces deployed to the region are deterring and disrupting pirate attacks. However, when vessels have practiced self protection measures, the risk of being pirated has been greatly reduced."

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), operating out of Bahrain, continues to urge mariners to employ defensive measures when transiting the Horn of Africa, Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

CMF patrols more than 2.5 million square miles of international waters to conduct both integrated and coordinated operations with a common purpose: to increase the security and prosperity of the region by working together for a better future. CMF is working to defeat terrorism, prevent piracy, reduce illegal trafficking of people and drugs, and promote the maritime environment as a safe place for mariners with legitimate business.

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