Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More ships to have armed guards

There has been a quiet movement to arm more of the vessels sailing through "Pirate Alley".

Belgium will shortly arm vessels flying a Belgian Flag, for a price. Armed guards are being put onboard vessels delivering relief goods to Somalia. Shipcraft started arming their vessels after the first hijacking attempt.

I suspect once it is shown armed guards can be successfully deployed, others will follow. Especially as the price of ransom is now around 3 million for a vessel, as opposed to 1 million less than a year ago.

It's coming down to economics.

Soon, the cost of security teams onboard vessels will be just another operating cost for international shipping companies.

This from Lloyd's List, regarding the increase in ransom demands.

Ransom payments for an individual vessel have jumped from less than $50,000 five years ago to over $3m today.

“The bottom line is that people are paying these ransoms and that is naturally fuelling the increasing demands,” said Mr Trelawny.

“It is being run as a business and the pirates are out to make money. If they see ransoms being met the natural instinct will be to raise the price.”

click here for complete article

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