Private security companies called in to combat Somali piracy

Further to my morning trawl.
Another interesting snippet of information.

[h3]Time to bring in the ex-Marines?[/h3]
By Lloyds List Comment
Friday 18 September 2009

WORD that the Iranian tanker operator NITC has been routinely deploying ex-Royal Marine guards on its very large crude carriers passing through the Gulf of Aden raises the question as to whether the use of force is now the most viable remedy to the epidemic of piracy.
Judging from the comments made by NITC’s chairman and managing director, Mohammad Souri, the move has been effective. Since October last year, NITC’s VLCCs have been attacked a dozen times, and have managed to fend off the attacks successfully.
Mr Souri, speaking at the International Union of Marine Maritime Insurers this week, was careful to say that using the ex-soldiers was part of a larger web of risk management measures that the company had taken. But he was particularly keen on using mercenaries.
“British ex-navy [personnel] are giving these services that are not expensive and we have used them for some time,†he said, adding that: “Piracy at sea is a threat to local economies and, while it requires international attention… it requires local security solutions.â€
This page has supported the industry stance, as enunciated by BIMCO and a wide range of shipping organisations, that military intervention, based on a coordination of interested national powers, is to the good. Industry organisations have concluded that private security guards can help, but stress that such decisions are made at the discretion of the shipowner and armed guards are not recommended.
Nevertheless the use of armed guards remains a grey area for many shipowners.
IUMI’s ocean hull chairman told Lloyd’s List that the group doesn’t encourage armed guards because it could encourage escalation.
The use of armed guards can lead to disaster, as the slaughter wrought by mercenaries working for security provider Blackwater in Iraq amply in 2007. This horrible scenario aside, hand-wringing over escalation of violence is a duff point.
The situation in the Gulf of Aden and elsewhere is escalating without widespread armed resistance, and in spite of coordinated government action. Government officials and security forces recognize that the amount of effort to make waters truly safe may be beyond the individual political wills of the nations that have contributed.
Shipowners who want to protect the humanity and treasure comprising their businesses will begin using armed guards if efforts like NITC’s continue to be successful. In the absence of a political solution, armed resistance will look to be the next-best fallback.

Former RM's on Iranian tankers, the wheel has turned full circle.:)

Antonbei, thanks for the post.

The word is " Claim " - the companies CLAIM they are operating in the area.
Very few companies are in reality conducting any real - " Bodies onboard " operations.
A shipping company contacted company X and asked for advice on how to prepare their crew against piracy. Company X replied to the shipping company, now they are involved in anti-piracy operations in GOA:rolleyes:

Of course the company X is busy advertising " Vacancies " in anti-piracy Ops in GOA, after you have taken and paid for their SSO course;):rolleyes:

In reality, company X will have as fat chance of getting any contracts in the area as Mickey Mouse winning the heavy weight title in UFC!:D

Thank the post...
i'am not in to maritime,but if it helps sea malta,and a lot other company's are sailing under maltese flag's.thinking of the good relationship between malta and britain.
And in Malta everyone knows about the expertise the Marines have....maybe of use to someone.
Excellent news, and my hats off to the government of Spain in recognizing the fact that security for it’s fishing vessels requires more than just bad language or hoses and deck chairs. The right to defend yourself in international waters is something I support. When up against pirates armed with RPG’s, AK 47’s and PKM’s, it is totally reasonable for a vessel to contract the services of armed men to defend against that. I also support posting military details on these vessels, if that vessel’s government has the resources to do that. In this case, Spain has turned to the security contracting industry to help, and we will do just that.
The alternative is to do nothing, and that is just unacceptable in my book. -Matt
Spanish tuna boats to hire mercenaries
September 17, 2009
by Alan Harten
The Spanish government has announced that it will allow its tuna fleet of fishing vessels operating near Somalia to hire mercenaries, or as they put it “Private Security†services, to defend the fishing fleet as it goes about its business in the notoriously pirate infested waters of the Indian Ocean.

According to the Spanish Ministry of Defense these security guards will be heavily armed with extremely high-powered rifles. The fishermen originally wanted Spanish marines stationed on the boats as many other countries such as France have already done.
But this will be a breach of the law in Spain which has never allowed its armed forces to protect any kind of privately owned property that would include ships at sea.
Nearly all of the Spanish registered fishing boats that operate in the Indian Ocean come from the Basque region. Like many other countries Spain has seen its ships attacked since 2007 by Somali pirates and has several naval vessels operating as part of the European Union in defense of all European vessels plying these dangerous waters.
There has been one actual hijacking of a Spanish tuna fishing vessel and one failed attempt in the last year. It is unclear if this exception of allowing mercenaries onto the ships will include any assistance of a financial kind from the Spanish government
Guys, I agree with you on this subject. The ISSG situation continues to develop; they are still advertising their capability whilst people are still getting burned. The bottom line for this is the same as ever; no genuinely committed company operating in this area has time to advertise and shout "we are the world's best Pirate Hunters", they just get on with it! Companies advertising bases in Yemen or Oman are usually BullS#*t, as the money and commitment to operate in these regions with vessels are huge and the threat is high. Djibouti is becoming way too expensive and companies are leaving because of it. This sector is still full of smoke and mirrors and most companies who say they are operating, as the previous entries have said, are not. Best routes to confirm legitimate operations are to contact either the shipping companies, the local Brit Embassy in the country (as the companies have to register) or the larger insurance brokers like Millers, JLT or Solicitors like Holman, Fenwick and Willan, who only use credible companies. Triton is in the sector, I won't harp on about what they do; if anyone wants to know, I will provide specifics on request. We don't advertise or gob off about what, where or when - too bloody busy!
Aye, Jonah.
I was offered a job on the Spanish Tuna vessels, but due to the fact I'm back out in Iraq I had to turn it down, it sounds a decent gig by all accounts....

The comments aimed at Will MacManus are borderline, as I know they've done quite a few trips through the GOA, and I know a few guys who worked for him too, I was also on his short list but Iraq came up first, more steady and secure.....unlike the majority of the Maritime Gigs, I've been promised work on a regular basis, but it never materialised.......There are plenty of company's out there who are misleading their clients and their employees ;)
Yeah I lay low for a while and just popped in on the odd occasion, but good to see you're still around as well though....
If anyone can speak basic Spanish then get your CVs to [] they are recruiting for maritime. Specify maritime as they work in all sectors of security. CV must be in Spanish
Next week ....
Some nice working guys CPW members are going to get deploy to the Indian Ocean .... to then GOOD LUCK GUYS and enjoe the Sea ...
Myself and other nice guy ex royal marine too
See you guys in the Airport ....
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