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Piracy and passenger ship safety high on agenda of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee

MSC- 90th session, 16 to 25 May 2012 Piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean will be high on the agenda when IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets at the Organization's London Headquarters for its 90th session from 16 to 25 May 2012.A High-Level Segment will be held on the opening day (16 May), intended to provide an opportunity for a full policy debate among Member Governments on how the international community should deal with issues related to the deployment of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships and the carriage of arms on board.The MSC has also received a number of submissions under the agenda item on "passenger ship safety", which was added to the agenda in the wake of the Costa Concordia incident in January. The busy agenda further includes the adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and consideration of other items submitted by the IMO Sub-Committees.Piracy and armed robbery against shipsThe high-level policy debate on arms on board ships, scheduled to take place on the first day of the MSC session, is ...

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Development of Regional Cooperation in the Fight Against Piracy in Djibouti

EU NAVFOR Force Commander The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) French flag ship FS Marne visited Djibouti between Saturday 21 April and Friday 27 April. Whilst there the Task Force Commander, Rear Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and his staff met with representatives and authorities of the maritime world and various stakeholders in the fight against piracy.Located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden and near the coast of Somalia, Djibouti is an important, strategic port in the fight against piracy. Its waters are a choke point for many merchant ships, and a regular harbor for warships sailing down the Red Sea and heading towards the Indian Ocean to fight against piracy. Djibouti is in particular a major logistical fulcrum for Operation Atalanta.In the presence of H.E. Mr Nicola Delcroix - Head of the EU delegation, and H.E. Mr Rene Forceville - Ambassador of France in Djibouti, on 23 April Rear Admiral Dupuis welcomed on board representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, defense and transport, Djiboutian port authorities, non-governmental organizations such as the World Food Programme, together with the ambassadors of countries participating in the fight against piracy. EU NAVFOR Force Commander also met Vice Admiral Franken, U.S. joint commander ...

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Pirates hijack supply ship off Nigerian coast

Later release 17 crew members An international watchdog says pirates hijacked a supply ship off Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta and held it for several hours before releasing the vessel's crew.The International Maritime Bureau said the attack happened Tuesday off the delta. The bureau said in a short statement that the pirates boarded the tug boat and held 17 crew members hostage before releasing them.The nationalities of those held was not immediately known.The attack is just the latest to target Nigeria and West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, where piracy has escalated from low-level armed robberies to hijackings and cargo thefts. Some believe militants once involved in fighting in the Nigeria oil delta now take part in the piracySource: AP

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Somali pirates have seriously harmed world economy

Iranian admiral says The commander of the Iranian Navy said on Tuesday that Somali pirates have inflicted an estimated damage of more than $7 billon on the world economy, highlighting the importance of Iran's campaign against piracy in international waters.Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari made the remarks in a speech to the 20th conference of the country's maritime organizations on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf."The damage caused by Somali pirates to the maritime industry has been 1,090 hostages, and the financial damage has been estimated to be about 7 to 12 billion dollars," he said.Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international shipping since the second phase of the Somali Civil War in the early 21st century. Since 2005, many international organizations, including the International Maritime Organization and the World Food Program, have expressed concern over the rise in acts of piracy. Piracy has impeded the delivery of shipments and increased shipping expenses, costing an estimated 10 billion a year in global trade.Sayyari also said that the United States provoked civil war in Somalia, adding, "Internal conflict, illegal fishing in Somali waters, and dumping nuclear waste by certain countries have caused unemployment and insecurity on the ...

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Cuts force Royal Navy to drop Somalia piracy patrol

Four frigates scrapped in defence review leave navy unable The UK has had to scale back its commitment to counter-piracy because the Royal Navy no longer has enough warships to dedicate one to Somalia all year round.While the US, France, Italy, Denmark and other nations still send frigates to thwart criminals who cause havoc with international trade, the Guardian has learned that Britain has quietly withdrawn its ships from these patrols, even though David Cameron has made Somalia's piracy problem a foreign policy priority.Piracy cost the world economy $7bn (4.3bn) last year. Figures show the pirates raised almost $160m from hostage ransoms, but 24 of their captives died.British businessman David Tebbutt was one of their victims, and his wife, Judith, was held for six months before being released in March.Because of defence cuts, the UK can deploy only two frigates for contingency operations east of the Suez canal. They have to cover a massive area of ocean stretching from the Gulf to the Falklands. Neither can be committed to piracy full-time, though HMS Westminster "dips in" when it can, sources say.The navy's fuel and supply ship, the Fort Victoria, has been supporting the 16-strong counter-piracy fleet since last year, though ...

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Eagle Bulk And Trident Identified In Shooting Video

Debate on rules for the use of force calls for further investigation Eagle Bulk Shipping and Trident Group have been identified in a video of armed guards shooting at a pirate skiff that has raised a heated debate on rules for the use of force and calls for further investigation.The video shows a private maritime security company's operatives firing what they call warning shots, but there appears to be no gradual or layered approach to protecting the ship, as advocated in the International Maritime Organization's Best Management Practices. The guards continue to fire for some minutes as the vessel moved away from the pirates and the threat to the vessel became less urgent.Eagle Bulk declined to confirm that the vessel in the video was under its control. However, in a statement issued to Lloyd's List it said: "Piracy is a scourge which threatens the life and safety of seafarers. Out of respect for the safety of our crews, we do not discuss any aspect of our operations, safety or security procedures."Lloyd's List has been told by several sources that the vessel in the video is owned by Eagle Bulk and shortly before the end of the clip the Eagle Bulk ...

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Ships slow down in pirate waters to save fuel

A single day at lower speeds can save $50,000 in fuel Violent confrontations between Somali pirates and merchant ships' armed guards could become more common as some shipping companies have reduced ship speeds through the highest-risk area to save on fuel, maritime experts have warned.The shipping companies have switched to relying on guards, rather than speed, for protection because a single day at lower speeds can save $50,000 in fuel at current prices - enough to pay the guards for the whole journey.The speed reductions contravene published advice that ships should use their maximum speed in the highest-risk areas. Pirates have never managed to board a vessel travelling at 18 knots or more and container ships and other faster vessels have traditionally crossed the high risk area up to 1,500 miles off Somalia's coast at up to 24 knots.Ron Widdows, chief executive of Germany's Rickmers Holding, a major shipowner, said several maritime security companies had suggested his company employ their guards and slow ships down. Rickmers' current security company opposed reducing speeds because pirates were more likely to attack slow ships, Mr Widdows added.But many container shipping lines were "haemorrhaging cash" as high fuel costs, a glut of capacity and ...

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NATO: yachts remain easy targets for pirates

Let your Yacht take the ferry Let your Yacht take the ferry - when considering a passage through the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea and western Indian Ocean, north of 10 degrees south and west of 78 degrees east.Somali pirates operating in this area are looking for merchant ships, yet the past has shown that pirates will attack large and even smaller yachts passing their way. Larger yachts with more people onboard or a group of yachts could be seen as a valuable and easy target for the pirates.The risk is higher than everSuccessful disruptions by naval forces over the past few months, complemented by merchant ships masters' adherence and implementation of advice in Best Management Practices, have significantly reduced the pirates' ability to capture merchant vessels. However pirates still constitute a considerable threat. Being less successful in hijackings of merchant ships they will continue to develop new operational tactics, which could include yachts.A sum-up of facts- the number of attacks remains as high as ever,- pirates are less successful in hijackings of merchant ships,- a yacht or a group of yachts are an easy target,- the pirates have shown both willingness and ability to attack even smaller yachts.This should ...

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GAC forms new partnerships to counter piracy

GAC Protective Solutions working with Unifire and Intelligent Engineering to offer latest non-lethal GAC Protective Solutions, Powered by AKE, has entered into two new strategic partnerships with the innovators of anti-piracy technologies to help protect vessels, cargoes and seafarers: Unifire's SEASERPENT Anti-Pirate Water Cannon System and Intelligent Engineering's (IE) SPS Citadel Access Protection.Unifire's SEASERPENT Water Cannon System is a unique, non-lethal protective measure using high-volume, remote control water cannons to rapidly flood pirate skiffs. By delivering a jet of up to 80 litres of water per second from a range of 80 metres, the flooding of the pirate vessel both prevents boarding and inhibits the use of firearms. The system can be controlled from the bridge or citadel.With crew safety paramount for vessel owners and operators, Intelligent Engineering's SPS Citadel Access Protection uses Sandwich Plate System (SPS) to reinforce ship citadels to ensure that even the most determined hijacker cannot gain access. SPS is a composite material that delivers high strength, superb impact resistance and enhanced rigidity as a robust alternative to conventional stiffened steel structures. SPS Citadel Access Protection panels significantly enhance crew security, are simple to install on new build or existing vessels and can be deployed within ...

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