|Mossberg 12 gauge Shotgun (Photo by K.C.)|
Weapons are used by security teams in areas that are at high risk for piracy. These weapons are left on board the ship after transit of high risk waters even after the security teams disembarks to avoid the expense and hassles related to the transfer of weapons to and from the vessel.
The problem with using the ship for storage for weapons outside piracy waters is apparent in the case of the Ocean Atlas. On-board stowage of weapons puts the captain, crew and vessel at risk and places the vessel and crew at mercy of port authorities and government officials.
Aside from the risk of delay, having to clear weapons though customs port authorities of various ports is a hassle. Port officials require documents, inventories etc and frequently demand to see and count weapons upon arrival and again upon departure.
In my last post I suggested that it would be better to remove weapons and ammunition at the same key points where the teams are picked up and dropped off now, Port Suez, Fujairah, Galle and Durban.
Governments involved should set up convenient armories at key points and eliminate costly bureaucratic obstacle to the transfer of weapons ashore so ships are not unnecessarily put at risk by port officials in ports of call outside high risk areas where weapons are not needed.