Today the U.S. Navy released this photo of the M/V Faina and her crew, currently taken hostage by Somali Pirates. Richard Meade of Lloyds List writes;
The news that Somali pirates are currently holding well over 200 seafarers hostage and the lifeblood of our apparently collapsing global economy is now under near daily attack by armed militants did not even manage to make the ‘and finally’ sections.
A case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, according to the shipping industry associations that have laid out a desperate plea for international action.
They are right of course. If civil aircraft were being hijacked on a daily basis, the response of governments currently ignoring the surge in maritime attacks would be very different indeed. Continue Reading…
The numbers are stunning as is the IMB’s live map of attacks. There are solutions but time and expense can not be avoided. Ship owners outside of the cruise industry lack logos, memorable trademarks or business models tied to global consumer acceptance. This combined with a regulatory system that allows individual ships to be set up as separate legal entities, insured against loss, flying the flag of one country, inspected by another, crewed by even more… allows shipowners to hide behind managers and crewing agents. Crews suffer.
A vessel sailing within 500miles of Somalia without a full compliment of well rested and alert mariners with the tools needed to combat threat needs to be a criminal liability for shipowners. Vessel masters need to be in strong defense of their orders and stand up to both crew and management. All aboard need to be well trained, alert and aware of the resources at their disposal. Do you, the mariner, know how to contact the Navy for help?
The numbers are large and the people are real. Solutions are available if we, the maritime community, care enough to make them a priority.