The private security firm who saw a video go viral of one of their shipboard teams defending themselves against an approaching pirate skiff has been identified, according to Bloomberg News.
The video, which emerged in early April on the community-driven video website Liveleak.com, depicts an english-speaking private security team aboard a commercial vessel firing a barrage of “warning shots” at an approaching pirate skiff. Since its release, many have wondered the circumstances surrounding the incident, the vessel it was taken aboard, and the security firm behind the video that has so far gone unidentified.
Well today, Bloomberg News has found just who is behind the video and additional details about the attack, including an interview with the security firms President. According to the report, the video was shot by the team leader of four man private security detail aboard the M/V Avocet while transiting “near the center” of the Arabian Sea on March 25, 2011. Additionally, the security team shown has been identified as part of the Virginia, VA-based security firm, Trident Group, who was hired by the ship owners.
The M/V Avocet is a 53,462 dwt bulker owned by New York-based Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc., described as the largest U.S.-based owner of Handymax dry bulk vessels.
Although the video was largely welcomed by viewers, critics say the video has painted private shipboard security teams and ship owners who hire them in a bad light. The video has also left many wondering about the rules of engagement on the high seas and whether or not the heavy fire shown in the video was warranted.
But President of Trident Group, Thomas Rothrauff, defended the teams actions to Bloomberg, saying his company is “absolutely” satisfied its operating procedures were legal and “full compliance with rules for use of force were in place.” In the report, Rothrauff even noted that at least some of the boats’ occupants were probably killed or injured although there is no way for him to know for sure.
“We’re not in the business of counting injuries,” Rothrauff added.
Rothrauff goes on to say that the particular attack shown in the video was the second attack on the vessel in 72-hours by pirates operating from a nearby mothership. He also says that the pirates in the video were returning fire however it is hard to see in the video.
The report adds that all of Tridents Group’s operations on shot on video and the video is technically owned by the hiring company, which in this case Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.. No word on who is responsible for the release of the video.
The original video of the attack can been seen HERE.