Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Monday, June 25, 2007

A piracy analysis

An analysis of modern piracy found here:
The reality of today is that many localities cannot control their adjacent waters with serious implications for the marine industry.

In most cases the methodology employed for boarding is generally similar and the robbers will be equipped with modern aids such as GPS, mobile and satellite telephones and they will mount their attack in fast boats propelled by large outboard motors. Often they will approach from behind in the blind arc of the ship's radar and board the ship with speed and agility. In the case of straightforward robbery, within 30 minutes they can be away to continue their crimes elsewhere.
The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is an important factor in the fight against piracy and whatever the critics of the code say, if nothing else it has increased general awareness, it has instilled a sense of reality into ship operators and their crews and it has formalised procedures to raise the alarm and for authorities to respond.

Of particular relevance to operators is prevention and although an unpopular contingency - an increase in ship manning numbers does provide some measure of insurance.

At the present time it is somewhat absurd that ships are operating with proper, flag-state-approved ship security plans that in many cases could not be effectively implemented for any length of time due to low manning levels.

It is also evident that many flag states seem not to take proper account of ISPS code needs when stipulating minimum safe manning - perhaps the IMO in its wisdom should rename the certificate the 'Minimum Safe and Secure Manning Certificate' in recognition of this situation.
Not that I disagree with Mr. Kennedy's analysis, but I do wonder where the line is between increased manning adding "insurance" value and where it just adds additional hostages?

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