Thursday, October 28, 2010

Container Shipping And Bulk Freight Carriers To Attend Dubai Anti Piracy Conference

ACI Offer a Chance to Review the Growing Threat at Sea
Shipping News Feature

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dubai is to host a Maritime Piracy and Security Conference organised by Active Communications International (ACI) on the 1st and 2nd February 2011, when maritime industry experts, ship operators, naval forces, senior government figures, coast guards, security services experts and equipment specialists will convene to discuss the latest solutions to counter the ever-present threat of international piracy.

The object of the conference is to reach a long-term solution and galvanise an effective collective response to piracy and security threats with coordinated policies that can be effectively implemented. Topics covered will address the global trends of piracy with a focus on the high risk areas and the associated commercial impact of increasing security threats. Coalition Forces and naval forces will discuss their future strategies and protection to ship operators. Armed with knowledge, the participants will identify the long term solutions and best practice responses to safeguard their cargo, crew and vessels.

The plethora of attacks on vessels ranging from private yachts to supertankers and container vessels coupled with the impotence of the authorities in dealing effectively with miscreants is leading to individual companies taking actions which vary wildly in effectiveness. The use of safe rooms has had limited success and weapons ranging from water cannons to automatic rifles reportedly used by the crews of different ships to defend themselves.

ACI have assembled an impressive range of speakers for the event including Commander Stein Olav Hagalid - NATO Northwood, Toby Stephens - Holman Fenwick Willan, Captain Dunkan McKelvie - NYK Line, Rear Admiral Kevin Cook – USCG, Roy Paul – ITF Seafarers Trust, Graeme Gibbon Brookes - Driad Maritime Intelligence plus various others.

One of the conference workshops arranged with International Transport Federation Seafarers Trust will focus on the human impacts of maritime piracy and security threats, looking at seafarer welfare and the psychological preparation and conditioning necessary for crews to overcome the damaging effects of such threats. Attendees will learn how to mentally prepare crews and deal with post incident psychotherapy necessary for maintaining their seafarer welfare. This session is important for managers, security officers, QHSEs, security specialists, trainers and all members of crew.

A workshop with Holman Fenwick Willan will cover all relevant practical and legal issues arising from a hijack situation, specifically costs, insurance cover, recovering costs with general average and crisis management. After this attendees will split into groups and undertake a unique piracy workshop scenario. The groups represent the key figures involved in a hijacking in order to highlight the relationships and how they work together in real life. This session is relevant for all stakeholders involved in dealing with piracy threats especially including shipowners, managers, naval personnel, governmental representatives, lawyers, underwriters and security specialists.

Photo: A pirate skiff tries to speed away from a pursuing Canadian Sea King helicopter. Courtesy of the Canadian Navy.