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False Sense of Security! July 13, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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I recently read a request that came across my desk from a shipping company that demanded we only provide a two man security team for a vessel transiting the Gulf of Aden.  The ship was over 180 meters in length, had a crew of over 20 and was a “low and slow.”  After pondering over this request for a minute I thought of the message this dangerous type of situation sends.  Frankly, the industry is exposing itself to far greater risk by cutting down on the requisite number of men that can effectively defend a “sustained attack.” By most accounts anyone reading the live piracy report posted on the IMB’s website has seen attacks lasting as long as an hour, with pirates chasing vessels in multiple skiffs.  A four man team provides barely enough coverage, and I’d caution companies who are engaged by security specialists that purport two or three men, with a couple of ineffective weapons such as a shotgun and an old bolt action rifle will be enough of a deterrent to thwart an attack.  We have actually seen pictures of three man teams with one vintage rifle from the 1800’s and 11 bullets total tasked to defend a ship.

Think of it this way, if a potential client approached you as a ship owner with a request for just the captain and chief engineer to operate a vessel you owned, would you expose yourself to that type of risk for the sake of making money?

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