Caution on Hiring W. Africa Armed Guards

Press Release
Wednesday, February 06, 2013

North P&I Club advises shipowners to be careful about employing piracy protection armed guards in west Africa.

According to the Club's new loss prevention briefing entitled West African Piracy, standard solutions and contracts for hiring armed guards on the other side of Africa, such as BIMCO's Guardcon form, may be inappropriate for the very different situation in the Gulf of Guinea, Bight of Benin and Bight of Bonny.

‘BIMCO Guardcon has been drafted specifically in response to the piracy situation in the Indian Ocean and the circumstances found in west Africa are quite different,' says the Club's Risk Management Executive Colin Gillespie. A major difference is that private armed guards are prevented by law from operating inside territorial waters of coastal states in the region, and authorities are known to enforce these regulations vigorously.

‘Local laws require that armed guards should be from the local security forces,' says Gillespie. ‘This introduces potential safety, security and political issues with the use of such guards, particularly if a vessel needs to operate in the territorial waters of more than one coastal state in the region.'

According to North, employment of local security force armed guards customarily takes place via a local agency, but the Club is aware that some agencies have been employing off-duty armed guards at less cost. This has lead to further problems, such as suspension of legitimate armed guard services by a coast state in the region.

‘Operators should therefore seek to ensure that the agency they use is employing local security forces that are on duty, and as such are an informed and legitimate part of local intelligence and military networks,' says Gillespie. ‘All shipowners should seek expert legal and technical advice before entering into a contract to engage armed guards to protect their vessels in west Africa'.

Recent figures released by the International Maritime Bureau indicated there were 58 incidents in the Gulf of Guinea last year, including 10 hijackings and 207 crew members taken hostage.  Unlike Somali pirate attacks, many of the attacks are against stationary ships and involve sophisticated criminal gangs operating across national boundaries as well as politically motivated militias.
 

 

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

Legal

USCG Warns Mariners of Shoaling in Merrimack River

The Coast Guard is urging mariners to use extreme caution while transiting the Merrimack River entrance due to significant shifting and shoaling between the #2 red and #3 green buoys.

Diana Shipping Signs Loan Facility with Danish Ship Finance

Diana Shipping Inc. a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, today announced that it has completed a drawdown of US$30 million,

Hapag-Lloyd to Offer Direct All Water Feeder Service

Hapag-Lloyd will offer a direct all water feeder service between Cartagena, Colombia and Manzanillo, Panama every 10 days to La Guaira and Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.

Maritime Security

USCG Warns Mariners of Shoaling in Merrimack River

The Coast Guard is urging mariners to use extreme caution while transiting the Merrimack River entrance due to significant shifting and shoaling between the #2 red and #3 green buoys.

Germany Mulls Maritime Ties with Iran

Germany and Iran seeks to develop economic relations in the field of maritime trade and ports for increasing the trade volume between the two countries, reports PressTV.

Maersk Vessel to be Released after Company Pays Debt: Iran

The Iranian Embassy in Denmark has reportedly said that a cargo ship recently impounded the Persian Gulf by Iranian Navy forces will be released if the ship’s

Insurance

Diana Shipping Signs Loan Facility with Danish Ship Finance

Diana Shipping Inc. a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, today announced that it has completed a drawdown of US$30 million,

Maersk: Iran Must Release Ship, Crew

Denmark's Maersk shipping said on Thursday it insisted on the release of a vessel and crew seized by Iran, adding it assumed the incident was related to a 2005 court case over uncollected cargo.

Peel Ports Launches Cargo200 Initiative

The UK’s second largest ports operator, Peel Ports, has today (Wednesday, 29 April) launched a major carbon emission initiative, Cargo200, and is calling on

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics 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: 0.1119 sec (9 req/sec)