Events over recent weeks of hijackings and piracy off the coast of Somalia have once again prompted shipowners to raise the question of whether more naval vessels should be sent to the region.
In mid-March a new hijacking happened after several years without notable pirate activity, which had been diminished by a combination of navy forces in the area and a new practice among shipowners, now sailing faster and further from the coast, and additionally recruiting security guards on board as well as installing barbed wire and water canons on the rail.
Later on, fears came true as other vessels experienced hijackings. In early April, Reuters reported the hijacking of an Indian vessel where the 11 crew members were held hostage.
“The latest registered piracy activity proves that Somali based piracy was never completely defeated. That was also one of the reasons for EU to extend the mandate of Operation ATALANTA until December 2018. We think it is important that the current situation is monitored closely and addressed timely, so we don’t see a recurrence of the piracy activity we saw years back,” says Secretary General for the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA), Patrick Verhoeven, in a comment to ShippingWatch.
Via Shipping Watch, full article here.