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Today is Thursday, February 21, 2019

Best Management Practice Strategy Beats Pirates

Not Applicable

CBeluga Fortune was attacked and boarded by pirates while in transit from the United Arab Emirates to South African port of Richards Bay while some 1,200 miles east of the Kenyan port of Mombasa on 24 October 2010. Seeing that pirates were in a position to board the vessel, the master along with the entire crew implemented the appropriate provisions of the Ship Security Plan (SSP) required by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) in which they trained had rigorously for just such an event.

The vessel would have implemented the Emergency Communication Plan that likely included advising the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organisation (UKMTO), activation of the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), thus alerting the company Ship Security Officer (SSO) and the Flag State. Additionally, the ships emergency alarm was sounded along with a Pirate Attack (PA) warning broadcast on the vesselís internal sound broadcast system and a mayday call transmitted on the vesselís Very High Frequency (VHF) radiotelephone system.

†Being in open water, with no immediate navigational hazard, the crew stopped the main engine, shut off the fuel supply thereby taking way off the vessel, shut down bridge equipment and proceeded to the citadel. Doing so, denied the pirates of means to get the vessel under way and with all 16 crew secure in the citadel were unable to coerce them into getting the vessel under way. The pirates while in control, were thus denied the means by which to propel and navigate BELUGA FORTUNE

In responding to the incident, naval authorities deployed a plane, a helicopter and a British type 21 frigate (understood to be the HMS Montrose), that arrived on the scene and sent a boarding team to aid BELUGA FORTUNE. A thorough search of the vessel found no pirates; consequently, the all clear was given on the conclusion that they had abandoned the vessel. On receiving advice of the situation, the master and crew emerged unscathed by their ordeal to set about preparing the vessel for continuation of her voyage.

It is not known if the efforts to investigate the situation related to the fishing vessel Kenyan Flagged fishing vessel FV GOLDEN WAVE 305 (sporting also the Korean name KEUMMI 305) are under way. This vessel, reportedly taken by pirates early in October but not reported until 17 October now may be being used by the pirates as a mother ship in logistic support of their activities.

†Jim Nicoll

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