Thursday, June 4, 2009

Armed Security Teams Unregulated.

Anyone who sails for a living knows how many hoops you have to jump thought to obtain the credentials to work about ships today. In contrast the requirements needed to start a shipboard security company is a web page and a list of your old Blackwater buddies

From Reuters article Shippers weigh armed response to Somali piracy

Peter Hinchliffe, marine director with industry association the International Chamber of Shipping, told an IMO meeting on piracy last week there were concerns over the "proliferating private armies of security guards", who were also unregulated.

"These relate to issues of legality and liability for the use of lethal force, collateral damage and shipboard safety," he said.

John Dalby, chief executive of Spanish based MRM, which provides armed and unarmed personnel to merchant vessels, said he had concerns about the type of security companies now approaching shippers. "Some have been kicked out (of Iraq and Afghanistan) for bad practice and being too ready to use the gun," he said.

"They are punting for work out there (Somalia) and some are getting it and making grave errors. There have been unnecessary shootings and instances spiraling out of control when firearms were not necessary," he said

Transiting the Gulf of Aden without an embarked security team the ship is faced with the risk of an attack by pirates. With an embarked security team the captain may instead be faced with the all the risks associated with having a group of inexperienced, untrained, undisciplined, but very enthusiastic armed men with an unsophisticated world view, particularly with regards to the use of lethal force.


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