09 September 2009

Incident: Warning issued to mariners

With the end of the monsoon season, the the US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration has warned of an increase in Somali piracy.
“We must apply the lessons learned from the crew of the Maersk Alabama,” said Acting Maritime Administrator David Matsuda, referring to the U.S. crew that escaped pirates last spring. “We are urging mariners to take defensive measures and not surrender at the first sign of a threat.” The advisory not only warns vessels to avoid routes where attacks have taken place, but also recommends that mariners “demonstrate a willingness to defend yourself.” Today’s update encourages mariners to travel at “maximum sustainable speed” through “high threat areas” and to continually conduct risk assessments during their voyage. The advisory also gives mariners information on how best to check in with authorities and how to request escort service in a convoy.
(ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping, 8/19/09)