Will navies pull out?
Drones Add Another Protective Layer for Container and Bulk Shipping Against Pirates
Attacks May be Down but There is Still a Place for the Combined Naval Task Forces
GULF OF ADEN – SOMALIA – It seems like only yesterday that almost every other story in the Handy Shipping Guide referred to yet another atrocity or failed attack by pirates off the Somali coastline. As the years passed so the intensity of hijacks increased with container ships and bulk carriers constantly harassed by skiffs manned by crews armed with rocket propelled grenades and boarding ladders.
Now the tactics of the ocean carriers are honed to what can now be considered close to perfection the number of attacks has fallen drastically and a successful hijack is very much the exception not the rule. The combination of Best Management Practices, reporting of locations to the authorities, the use of water hoses and citadels by vigilant crews and latterly the use of private security teams have all contributed to winning the battle against the criminals.
The one great fear however for those who fully understand the battle against piracy is that, with the number of attacks down, the governments who have invested heavily in providing the combined forces which have swept the seas for the past few years, would slowly withdraw support potentially making the region a more amenable environment for the criminal gangs who themselves have refined tactics as time has passed.
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