Maersk steps up action to confront piracy



The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group is upping the ante of its piracy control methods in light of the recent hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, issuing directives on its ships sailing through the Gulf of Aden and examining defensive measures to boost onboard security.

Søren Skou, A.P. Moller-Maersk Group Partner and CEO of Maersk Tankers, said: “We have expanded the area off the coast of Somalia where only vessels with a certain freeboard or capable of sailing certain speeds are allowed to enter. Vessels should spend as little time in the area as possible, and while in the area sail at maximum speed.”

Increased security measures onboard vessels and certain devices to make access to its vessels more difficult are undergoing review, details of which are remaining undisclosed to ensure the maximum safety of the Group’s vessels and crew.

While the increased presence of naval vessels operating in the region has been met with some success in deterring pirates from hijacking vessels, the Group has appealed to the international community to go even further to prevent this appalling problem.

“We back proposals such as establishing a regional maritime sea patrol to protect vessels in the area from piracy attacks, and also to establish a transit corridor. The nations in the region with the support of the international community must address this problem,” stressed Mr Skou.

With the emphasis to address this monumental threat to the shipping industry as an international community, the Group has also advocated the expected agreement between Denmark, Kenya and other countries to allow legal prosecution of pirates in Kenya.