Iridium Developing Satellite Communications Solutions for Maritime Piracy Situations

Thursday, March 03, 2011

As you know, maritime piracy has been in the news lately. As of Feb. 28, the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center ( reported that pirates were holding 33 merchant vessels and 711 crewmembers pending ransoms. In 2011 alone, these gangs captured 13 ships and 243 hostages - an average of more than one ship per week. The seafarers are being used as human shields to forestall rescue attempts by military teams, and are being subjected to increasing levels of severe mistreatment by their captors – including torture and even execution. Despite the presence of scores of warships from multiple navies, the area of operations is too vast for them to prevent attacks, and a military response after the seizure only puts the hostages in greater danger.

One tactic that has proven effective has been for the crew, when attacked, to disable the ship’s propulsion plant and barricade themselves inside a pre-prepared “citadel”– a hardened safe room - that pirates cannot break into. There, the crew can wait for rescue from naval patrols without exposing themselves to danger in a crossfire between their captors and rescuers. 

A key element in this strategy is a reliable communication link the crew can use from inside the citadel to inform patrolling naval forces that they are under attack. This is more difficult than you might think, since the pirates onboard can quickly disconnect the ship’s primary satellite and radio antennas. There needs to be a separate dedicated, secure satellite phone line to the citadel with a concealed installation above decks. To that end, Iridium, the global provider of mobile satellite communication services, is working with its service partners to develop and deploy satellite phone solutions specifically designed for this unique application. I thought you might find this aspect of the story interesting, and I hope you will keep it in mind as you cover the subject.

Source: Marine NewsWire

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

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

Maritime Security

Trucks Carrying Turkish Exports Blocked at Russian Border

Around 1,250 trucks carrying Turkish exports have been blocked from entering Russia and are stranded at border posts awaiting clearance, a senior shipping industry

Thyssenkrupp Bids for Australian Sub Contract

German industrial group Thyssenkrupp has submitted an offer to the Australian government for a contract to build stealth submarines potentially worth tens of billions of euros,

North Korea Submarine-Launch Missile a Flop Show

North Korea apparently failed to launch a ballistic missile from a submarine in a sign that Pyongyang has yet to master the technology, Yonhap news agency quoted a government official as saying.


Panama Canal Wait Times Back to Normal

Waiting times for ships at the Panama Canal have returned to normal after poor weather and a spike in traffic caused delays for several weeks, the waterway's operator said on Monday.

Passengers Transferred from Stranded Ferry

Passengers were transferred from Indonesia-registered Sea Prince after the ferry struck a floating object after leaving the Nongsapura ferry terminal in Batam late on November 29.

VT Halter Launches Barge for Bouchard

VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT Halter Marine), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems) and Bouchard Transportation Co. announced that Barge B. No.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Repair 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: 0.0689 sec (15 req/sec)