06 June, 2009

Companies Hire 'Shipriders' to Prevent Pirate Attacks

Shiver me timbers!

There's not a warship for miles, a small pirate skiff is speeding toward you and there's no way the creaking tub you're on can outrun the bandits. How long do you wait before you shoot?

It's just one of many possible dilemmas facing an increasing number of private security companies who offer armed escorts — known in the industry as "shipriders" — from Somali pirates.

The few companies that have begun offering armed escorts say their services have become increasingly popular since the April hijacking of the American-flagged Maersk Alabama, particularly among U.S. shipowners. One company — Hart Security UK — has reported a fourfold increase in escorted trips since it began offering them in October.

But legal problems abound for ships that carry guns.


Anonymous Mack said...

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8:40 AM  

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