Piracy Shifts to Western Africa

MarineLink.com
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Photo: EnGarde

As international cooperation brings increasing pressure on more the traditional pirate trade in east Africa, there is mounting evidence that Western Africa, from Guinea-Bissau south to the Congo has become a new hotspot for the pirate trade.

While the movie “Captain Phillips”, a story about Somali pirates hijacking the Captain of the container ship Maersk Alabama, played in theaters around the world, the International Chamber of Commerce, International Maritime Bureau, was quietly issuing a new warning that the number of piracy incidents in West Africa was making that area increasingly dangerous.

On January 18 a Greek shipping firm lost contact with a Liberian flagged 75,000 ton oil tanker called the Kerala off the coast of Angola. It wasn’t until January 26th that the company was able to make contact with the ship and establish they had indeed been hijacked and a large amount of her cargo stolen. Later the oil-dependent Angolan government tried suggesting that the piracy had been faked. Security experts doubt the government story and warn the incident seems to be a clear escalation of the piracy formerly confined largely to the Gulf of Guinea.

Though pirates in Western Africa lack a lawless coast where they can hide hijacked vessels, the threat to crew and cargo moving through the area is still real. One of the telling moments for viewers watching Captain Phillips in theaters was how little protection freighter crews have from pirates. The Maersk Alabama’s only defenses were speed and fire hoses; in the end those weren’t enough.

The expanding threat horizon facing shipping on both coasts of Africa have prompted many shipping firms to consider upgraded defensive capabilities for their ships and crew. Companies that produce body armor and ballistic products are finding new customers among shipping companies operating ships in high-risk areas.

Iwan Luiten, Marketing Manager at EnGarde body armor, reports “More of their customers are companies with ships that routinely pass through high risk areas. Many have at least two emergency sets of body armor, including a helmet, ready for use.” These body armor sets are worn by the bridge watch during transiting high-risk areas and provide protection from small arms fire, flying glass and high speed grenade fragments.

It’s a certainty that as piracy spreads to a new coast in Africa that those who must work in dangerous waters will face a new round of threats from pirates.

engardebodyarmor.com
 

Maritime Today


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

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

Russia, US Blame Each Other for Maritime Incident

Russia and the United States gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday of an incident involving the two countries' navies in the Mediterranean Sea on June 17, each

Red River Closed after Barge Grounding

The Red River was closed Sunday from mile marker 40 to mile marker 42, after a barge reportedly ran aground and was protruding into the channel near mile marker 41, according to the U.

Chemical Tanker Runs Aground off Alaska

A 599-foot Norway flagged chemical tanker Champion Ebony ran aground near Nunivak Island, Alaska on June 24.   U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders

News

Navios Partners Appoints Lampros Theodorou as Director

US-listed owner and operator of container and dry bulk vessels Navios Maritime Partners has appointed Lampros Theodorou to its Board of Directors.   “We are delighted Mr.

New DNV GL Marine Warranty Standards are a Digital First

The energy industry’s only Standard for the warranty approval of marine operations is published  by DNV GL. The Standard is the first to deploy a digital solution

Fundraiser Held for USS Gerald R. Ford Crew

Blackmer, a company in positive displacement and centrifugal pump and reciprocating compressor technologies, has a relationship with the U.S. Military that dates

Marine Equipment

Fundraiser Held for USS Gerald R. Ford Crew

Blackmer, a company in positive displacement and centrifugal pump and reciprocating compressor technologies, has a relationship with the U.S. Military that dates

Boskalis Secures Dike Reinforcement Project

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. announced that the Noorderzijlvest district water board intends to award the contract for the Eemshaven-Delfzijl dike reinforcement

Groningen Seaports First in Line for Damen InvaSave

The first production version of Damen’s InvaSave ballast water treatment system – intended for use at Groningen Seaports – will be on display at the upcoming ‘DelfSail’

Maritime Safety

Russia, US Blame Each Other for Maritime Incident

Russia and the United States gave contradictory accounts on Tuesday of an incident involving the two countries' navies in the Mediterranean Sea on June 17, each

Essberger Fleet Moves to Marlink’s Sealink VSAT Service

The Hamburg headquartered John T. Essberger (JTE) Group will migrate the primary communication systems of its entire fleet to Sealink, Marlink’s global maritime broadband VSAT service.

Silver Ships Delivers Fire/Rescue Boat

Silver Ships, Inc. has recently delivered a 34-foot custom designed and purpose-built all-welded aluminum fire/rescue boat to the Islip Fire District on Long Island, N.

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1007 sec (10 req/sec)