Maersk is reviewing its anti-piracy policies in the wake of the hijacking and rescue of the Maersk Alabama and its captain but, unless government mandated, will not use armed security personnel aboard its ships.
Says the company “(A.P. Moller – Maersk) maintains its policy of not arming crews or allowing armed guards onboard its vessels. Weapons onboard could lead to a dangerous escalation and raise a number of multi-jurisdictional legal issues. However, in certain instances when force protection is government mandated, the Group will work with and comply with government instructions.”
“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,” says A.P. Moller – Maersk Group Partner and Maersk Tankers CEO Søren Skou.
“Vessels should spend as little time in the area as possible, and while in the area sail at maximum speed,” says Søren Skou.
Other measures are being taken to further boost security onboard the group’s vessels such as making access to the vessel more difficult. For security reasons and the safety of its crews, the Group does not want to provide any specific details on these measures but they are likely to include unconventional technologies short of firearms, although not audio defense systems, and additional personnel along particularly hazardous passages.