Details of how the bulk carrier “Arrilah-I” was freed have been released.
Upon being attacked the 21 crew of the vessel and three security guards remained secure in the vessels citadel. The pirates who managed to get onboard the vessel began shooting at the entrance and pumping in smoke to cut off their oxygen.
Owing to training and planning the Arrilah crew were well prepared, they had breathing apparatuses, food and water and could control the ship and communicate with nearby vessels and aircraft.
Citadels can be extremely useful when used as part of a controlled and managed response, such as this. Whereas if simply used as a locked place to withdraw crew into, then there can be problems.
The upcoming revision of Best Management Practices will feature an indepth examination of the management of the citadel approach.