Danish shipper A.P. Moller Maersk has hired out soldiers and a warship from Tanzania to protect its fleet in pirate-ridden waters off the coast of Africa, and now other shippers are expected to follow suit.Doesn't this make sense for those that can afford it? Should several companies get together and set up private escorted convoys for the Indian Ocean since professional naval forces are already stretched too thin operating off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden?
Maersk hired the warship through former special forces soldiers working for firm Guardian GBS security in December 2008. The ship was charged with protecting the Brigit Maersk tanker from pirates. It is unknown how much the shipping company paid for the service.
‘The waters east of Africa are a grey zone because developing countries don’t have resources to fight pirates. It’s a temporary solution that a shipper has hired a warship from another country, but there’s no alternative,’ said Jan Fritz Hansen, vice-president of the Danish Shipowners’ Association.
Steffen Jacobsen, technical director at Maersk Tankers, said the company checked first to make sure the move was legal.
‘That’s why we chose it as an alternative solution to a very critical situation,’ he said.
Monday, January 04, 2010
The Copenhagen Post reports that Maersk hires war ship to protect tanker :