The Decision to Stop Using Security Guards

Shipping companies eye the bottom line.

The Decision to Stop Using Security Guards

By Wendy Laursen

It’s a subject that ship managers are reticent to talk about, but many are now thinking about when they will stop using security guards on their ships travelling high risk Somali waters.

“Shipping companies are paying a lot of money to have armed guards on board their ships when there hasn’t been any successful attacks for a couple of years now,” says Daren Knight, managing director of specialist security company Knight Associates Ltd.

“The feedback I get from clients is that although most are now looking at an exit strategy from using armed guards, their issue is with finding an effective defence alternative.”

Armed guards are just one single layer of defence amongst many other layers, says Knight, but the current piracy situation in South East Asia is creating a critical problem for seafarer safety. “In South East Asia, many crews are transiting with their fingers crossed. At present, a ship might pass through the designated High Risk Area affected by Somali-based piracy with their guards and other best management practice measures in place, but they then disembark their security guards in Sri Lanka before heading in to Asian waters unprotected.

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Source: maritime-executive.com

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