As pirates continue to capture vessels and kidnap crews, most recently off the coast of Nigeria, “ship owners, ship managers and operators are once again forcibly reminded of the need to take steps to protect the safety of their crew, their cargo and their vessels,” warns a report from Videotel.
As a result, the company, which offers support and guidance to the maritime community, has stepped up its efforts. CEO Nigel Cleave said: “In the last few years alone the number of alternatives available in the arsenal of anti-piracy measures has increased, but all have their benefits and drawbacks and the legal implications of many of these options to the ship owner are considerable. This is why Videotel has completely revised and updated its Piracy and Armed Robbery training program.
“We have seen significant changes in the pattern of piracy behavior which have been reflected in the response from the shipping industry, governments and other organizations,” he continued. Among the measures currently employed to discourage pirates Cleave cited “armed and unarmed guards, as well as citadels and anti-embarkation measures.”
He also pointed out that “recent years have also seen an increase of pirate attacks in West Africa – as well as other locations – and the industry standard guidelines, BMP (Best Management Practices for Protection Against Somalia Based Piracy), need to be adapted for the different circumstances encountered today.”
The announcement said: “Videotel’s updated Piracy and Armed Robbery program is designed to assist shipping companies and their crews to safely transit pirate zones anywhere in the world. It provides a broad understanding of piracy today and how the shipping industry and governments are responding to it, placing emphasis on BMP as the core tool helping ships avoid, deter and delay pirate attacks.
“The program, available in all multimedia formats including Videotel On Demand (VOD), features ships making preparations prior to transiting the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA), interviews with senior shipping industry personnel and representatives from naval/military forces as well as other organizations. Maps showing the concentration of piracy incidents and graphics illustrating how ships can make evasive maneuvers are also included.”