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 July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Iraq to Appeal US Court Decision on Kurdish Oil

The Iraqi oil ministry said on Thursday it would challenge a U.S. court decision that stopped U.S. Marshals from seizing some one million barrels of disputed Kurdish oil docked near Texas.

USCG Shares Safety Tips for Labor Day, Riverfest

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the boating season and is known as one of the busiest recreational boating weekends on the Ohio River. With approximately 2,

Wishful Thinking From Across the Pond

European Shipowners Pursue Softening of the Jones Act   Just last month, the Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) opined

Maritime Security

East and South China Sea Disputes Need Creative Diplomacy

China and the United States appear headed for a damaging confrontation over the extent of China's territorial claims in the South and East China Seas. Now that

Darwin, Australia Scene of KAKADU Exercise Planning

Over 1,200 military personnel from the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions have completed collaborative, tactical warfare planning during the first week of the

USCG Recognizes Meritorious Bulkship Rescue Team

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal, State, County and several members of the maritime community have received a Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation

Insurance

MN 100: Gencorp Insurance Group

16 Main Street East Greenwich, RI 02818 Telephone: 401 336 2182 E-mail: rcarnahan@gencorp-ins.com Website: www.gencorp-ins.com CEO/President: Robert G. Padula Number

Panama Canal: The Billion Dollar Challenge

Panama Canal expansion will cost operators, insurers As the Panama Canal prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, insurers are warning of the increased risks

Pine Galaxy to Arrive SF Bay Wednesday

The disabled mixed-products tanker Pine Galaxy is expected to arrive in San Francisco Wednesday morning. The ship is being towed by commercial tug to San Francisco Bay.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1274 sec (8 req/sec)