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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

No piracy left?

According to the NATO statistics there have not been a pirated vessel off Somalia since May 2012 and only 11 in total the last two years. The last two reported attacks were performed January 2013. This off course doesn’t mean that everything is okay in Somalia, but it off course takes some pressure of the people passing through the waters. But no one is interested in lowering the guard so that piracy seems worthwhile again… as I have written before this makes for a tricky situation for the decision maker.

This is however not the end of piracy and other sources report higher numbers for the waters off Somalia and also presents numbers for the rest of the world.
The International maritime bureau piracy reporting centre (IMB PRC), an independent body set up to monitor attacks, reports 176 incidents, including 10 hijackings, worldwide so far 2013. Out of these 10 reported incidents, including two hijackings, off Somalia and 28 reported incidents including two hijackings off Nigeria.  There are also still 57 hostages hold by Somali pirates.

The total numbers are lower than 2010, but security issues are still important and must be addressed more widely than has been the case for the last years when Somalia piracy has taken all the focus and let the situation get worse off Nigeria without getting international attention. It is clear that piracy arises as a result of situations on land but also needs special conditions at sea to grow.
The maritime community needs to more effectively identify emerging areas and factors on land and at sea that can let piracy to grow. Hopefully also the blooming security industry can be harnessed for the good of maritime security and assist in analyzing emerging problems, which however needs more openness in security matters than has been the case off Somalia...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Costa Concordia: parbuckling, blisters, a lot of cement and almost 20 months of preparations for an 8 hour job!

Giving good weather the salvage of Costa Concordia will be performed during September, nearly 20 months after the accident in January 2012. The accident took the lives of 32 persons of which still two are missing and will be search for when the ship is upright again. The legal aftermath is still going on; four out of the crew and one company official has been sent to jail in July and the ship's captain Francesco Schettino’s trial for manslaughter and causing the loss of the ship is still going on.
Around and on the ship there has now been a lot of activity preparing for the salvage including blisters for buoyancy and supporting the bow and a foundation made of cement to keep the ship from sliding away. But before that also a lot planning and preparing for a thing that only will be performed ones. That’s what I think is so cool with salvage operations, they are always unique and it really pays off thinking before you act and choosing an alternative based on setting safety and reliability first.

This very clear example of thinking before you act is off course also, especially for Costa Concordia, in bright contrast to the chaotic evacuation of the passengers and crew after the accident as well as the choice of unnecessary risky route for the ship.
But no matter the level of preparations; the salvage is still unique and unprecedented in size. I really hope that it will work smoothly!