27-02-2017

Easing counter measures may see rise in piracy off Somalia coast, warns Secretary General, Mission to Seafarers

Somaliacoast

Piracy off the coast of Somalia, which has been in a subdued state due to strong counter measures, may come back since the multi-national coalition task force has reduced its presence after situation improved, warned Revd Andrew Wright, Secretary General, Mission to Seafarers.

The Secretary General from London Headquarters was here on a brief visit to the city.
Wright said that there is quite a lot of piracy around the world. “What has changed is the situation in Somalia (Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa) – perhaps due to the presence of intervention of Navy of many ships having armed guards. Now the situation is alarming off Nigerian coast, off the coast of West Africa and the Philippines coast,” he said.

Regarding Mission’s specific role in dealing with piracy, he said: we can do nothing much as first response since we cannot get on board the vessels which have pirates. It is also difficult to meet crew when they come back to port. Our role is to help crew and their families in their home countries.

“All Chaplains have received special training in post trauma and stress issues. They are in a position to support victims of piracy and their families,’ he said.

The Mission to Seafarers, Dubai’s regional director, Gulf and South Asia, Revd Dr Paul Burt has assisted a lot of Indian Seafarers in distressed circumstances during the Somalia Piracy hijackings. Many Seafarers from Mangaluru have been beneficiaries of Dubai office assistance. The region has reported lot of issues relating to seafarers problem with respect to employment and other issues.

The Mission to Seafarers through International Seafares’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has representation at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Mission to Seafarers was the Principal Architect to the Drafting, Moving and Passing of the Marine Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) at IMO and ILO which is the fourth pillar of Legislation in the Shipping Industry.

Gavin Lim, Regional Development Manager, Sailors’ Society, said the `business model’ of the pirates in South China Sea has changed from dealing with ship cargo to human cargo, which brought in money through ransom. Unlike the Somali pirates, the pirates of southern Asia rarely seized hostages and were satisfied stealing liquid fuel cargoes.

Source: TNN

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