We’re just now catching wind of a bizarre security incident aboard a Eagle Bulk vessel in which a seemingly disgruntled security guard took the vessel and its crew hostage at gunpoint for three days before surrendering.
NASDAQ-listed Eagle Bulk Shipping provided details of the incident, which took place in late July in the Indian Ocean as the vessel was about to transit the high-risk area in the Gulf of Aden towards the Red Sea.
According to the company:
On July 21, 2020, M/V Jaeger embarked three security guards in the Indian Ocean before sailing towards the Red Sea, as the Company has done for all transits through the High Risk Area (HRA) over the past 10+ years, in accordance with industry best practices.
Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel’s Captain as is normal protocol, and then took control of and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation.
While the guard discharged his weapon on board the vessel, at no time did he directly threaten or harm any of the crewmembers. The remaining two guards did not participate in this action. Unbeknownst to the Company, there was an employment dispute between the guard and his employer, and he had not been paid for several months.
The company continued to say that the disgruntled guard held the vessel hostage for three days before eventually surrendering his weapon and allowing the ship to continue on its original course.
“The Company maintained regular contact with the Captain throughout this event, and V Ships, the vessel’s crewing manager, also maintained an active dialogue with the crew’s families to keep them updated,” said Eagle Bulk. “Eagle Bulk and V Ships’ primary concern was the safety of the crew, and as a point of clarity, neither company was a party to the employment dispute.”
The company said that due to the sensitive nature of the incident, it will not be releasing any more information at this time.