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October 18th, 2010

Many Maritime Companies Ignore Best Practices to Deter Pirate Attacks

In spite of efforts by the Combined Maritime Forces to enhance anti piracy efforts, approximately 50% of all maritime companies continue to ignore the best practices to prevent pirate attacks.

According to Chris Chambers, the Chief of Staff of the Combined Maritime Forces, half of the vessels in the Gulf of Aden still do not follow the best practices for preventing these attacks.   These inadequacies continue to leave crewmembers and vessels at risk of an attack.

According to Chambers, too many ships sail these dangerous pirate-infested waters without protection.  For instance, the CMF recommends that crewmembers be alert at dawn and dusk, when most successful pirate attacks are launched.  It’s also important that the vessel be registered with the MSCHOA, and have counter piracy strategies in place.  Every vessel must be equipped with visible firehoses, fencing on the freeboard, a visible watchman and razor wires.  These are simple steps that can help prevent attacks, and yet, too many maritime companies continue to place their crew members at risk by failing to implement these safety measures.

There are approximately 33 warships in the region to protect vessels from pirate attacks, but they’re not enough to protect each and every ship in the area.  Operating even one warship in the area is very expensive, and the fear is, that at some point, these governments will begin to complain about how expensive maintaining these warships is.

The Combined Maritime Forces can only recommend best practices to deter piracy.  They can’t force governments to place pressure on shipping companies to implement  these practices.  Ultimately, it’s in the best interests of shipping companies to put in place a comprehensive and highly effective counter piracy program to protect their crew members and vessels.

The maritime attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent injured maritime workers who have been victims of pirate attacks around the world.

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