- Ensuring the safety management system is implemented and continuously functions throughout management and the fleet.
- Ensuring the safe operation of each vessel.
- Providing a link between the Company and those on board.
- Monitoring the safety and pollution-prevention aspects of the operation of each vessel and ensuring that adequate resources and shore-based support are applied, as required.
Earlier this month a court in Mumbai, India, sentenced a group of 15 pirates to 6 months in prison, plus time served.
In January 2011 25 Somali nationals attempted to board a merchant ship 1,400 nautical miles off the coast of their nation. The crew of the ship sent an emergency distress signal to the Indian Navy and Coast Guard, which responded quickly. The ensuing firefight killed 10 of the 25 pirates. The remaining 15 have been incarcerated in India for the last six-and-a-half years.
“The offenders have been given a lesson that in India there is rule of law and that the offenders are brought to justice,” said special public prosecutor Ranjeet Sangle. “From 2011, since the pirates were arrested, the entire piracy operation in the western waters of India has come down . . . now, I believe that it will go down to zero.”
Unfortunately for merchant ships, the prospect of seven years in prison isn’t much of a deterrent, especially given the large potential payoff pirates receive when they are successful.
But the firefight, resulting capture, and eventual conviction of these pirates should send a very important message to those who sail through high risk waters (HRWs):
A trained and armed presence on or near your ship can protect you and your crew from dangerous pirates.
Over the last several years pirates in HRWs have kidnapped crew to hold them for ransom, stolen highly valuable cargo, and even ended the lives of those on board the ships they attack.
But since 2009 Meridian.us has guarded hundreds of voyages, and has successfully defended ships from pirate attacks and suspicious approaches—all without needing to fire a shot.
Somali pirates have hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia for the first time since 2012, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The Aris 13, which was manned by eight Sri Lankan sailors, was overtaken on Monday by the band of more than two dozen Somalis in two skiffs.
The company connected to the ship is being close-lipped about how they are dealing with the situation.
From the AP:
An address listed for Flair Shipping in Dubai’s high-rise neighborhood of Jumeirah Lake Towers was for a company called Flair Oil Trading DMCC. A woman who answered the door Tuesday told an AP reporter the firm wasn’t connected to the ship and directed him to another office.
When no one answered the door at that office, the AP reporter returned to find Karagiannis entering the office of Flair Oil Trading DMCC.
“We will not be releasing any information,” Karagiannis said before shutting the door.
Since being hijacked, the ship has been anchored off the coast of Alula, Somalia, where the contents and crew of the tanker will likely be ransomed.
Because of the five year hiatus in piracy off the Somali coast one of the issues law enforcement may run into is how well the response infrastructure has held up.
Negotiators, shoreside security, and money drops have been on a half-decade long vacation and we will see which tactics, techniques, and procedures are used to mitigate the crisis.
Through our nearly 8-year history, Meridian.us has successfully guarded hundreds of voyages, using our risk mitigation and deescalation techniques to prevent 100% of our serviced ships from being boarded.
Through our vessel security service, Meridian.us will provides an armed security team aboard your vessel while transiting High Risk Waters (HRW). In full compliance with ITAR, equipment will be loaded onto your vessel in a port that is outside of HRW. The Meridian personnel will meet the vessel at a time and place of the vessel’s choosing in order to transit HRW.
While onboard the Meridian Personnel will ensure that the ship is secure and in compliance with Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4). Our personnel have been trained in implementing BMP4 and will work towards ensuring that BMP4 is properly implemented, allowing the crew to continue with their jobs. Meridian personnel advise the master of areas of High Risk and recent pirate activity. In addition, our personnel are available for anti-piracy crew training and will conduct crew drills prior to transiting HRW. Once onboard, our team provides 24-hour security, keeping crew costs low and unburdened with additional watch.
With the reemergence of piracy off the coast of Somalia and the continued threat in several other High Risk Waters, it is more important than ever to make sure your crew and cargo are kept secure.
Contact Meridian.us today to discuss how we can help you navigate through a variety of risks.