Thursday, June 23, 2016

Piracy Update - How to Prevent Attacks and You Can Help Imprisoned Crewmates

New eLearning Course to Keep Seafarers Safer Whilst Anti-Hijack Crew Languish in Jail
Shipping News Feature
UK – INDIA – WORLDWIDE – Ahead of this year’s Day of the Seafarer on June 25, Marlins, suppliers of training solutions for the shipping industry and part of V.Group, have teamed up with International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to create a new eLearning course to help seafarers prevent and prepare for piracy attacks. Although there have been no successful attacks off Somalia for some time, piracy, armed robbery and kidnapping of seafarers in West Africa and Asia are a current concern, with Indonesia recently releasing advice to vessels in the area to avoid certain danger areas, such as the South Philippine waters of the Sulu Sea, fearing piracy could rise to Somali levels.

In some countries, training on piracy has become compulsory for seafarers prior to departure. Over the past four years, ISWAN’s Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme has become a leading provider of such piracy awareness training for seafarers. Based on industry best practice guides, ISWAN’s training courses give companies and manning agents a template for helping seafarers and their families deal with cases of armed robbery and piracy attacks. Catherine Logie, Manager of Marlins said:

“With insight into how devastating a pirate attack can be for seafarers and their families, ISWAN and Marlins have combined their knowledge to provide practical guidance to all seafarers who may be at risk of piracy. This new eLearning course brings piracy issues right up-to-date and makes industry best practice available to seafarers in any location.”

This interactive new eLearning course on piracy, which draws on ISWAN’s expertise, provides seafarers with an understanding of anti-piracy measures and promotes strategies for dealing with an attack. The course focuses on ensuring seafarers have the mental resilience to remain strong during their ordeal. It also addresses the issue of post-traumatic stress, explaining what it is, how seafarers and their families can cope with the condition and where they can get help. Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, said:

“The experience of seafarers who have been attacked shows the benefit of preparation, training and drills. This new e-learning course will be a valuable addition for seafarers to learn about the issues of attack and capture without having to be in a classroom setting.”

The new course will be available in July via the Marlins online shop and will be included in the next update for all subscribers to Marlins eLearning Suite for Seafarers.

In other pirate related news the men held in India after being arrested on board the anti-pirate vessel Seaman Guard Ohio still remain in captivity despite disputed facts regarding their detention. A UK petition to the Foreign Secretary insisting that the 6 British men be set free has garnered over 350,000 signatures and now Andrew Corcoran a former British Soldier who served in the Parachute regiment with four of the men, John Armstong, Billy Irving, Nick Dunn and Paul Towers, is to set off on a fund raising effort to support the families trying to fetch their loved ones home.

Andrew will cycle from Sunderland to Maryport, A total of approximately 254 miles over 3 days, sleeping under the stars, eating only rations, pushing his body to the limit and giving up his home comforts to raise awareness and funds for the men in India and anyone wishing to support him can do so via this link.

Photo: A Somali pirate skiff burns after a search and destroy raid by US Coast Guard units from the guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99) (courtesy US Department of Defense).