Maersk hired war ship to protect tanker

Maersk hired war ship to protect tanker

04-01-2010 16:30:00

SHIPPING: A.P. Moller Maersk has hired soldiers and a warship from Tanzania to protect its fleet in the pirate-ridden waters off the coast of Africa. The Danish Shipowners Association says, it should only be used as a temporary solution.

"The waters east of Africa are a grey zone because developing countries don't have resources to fight pirates. It's a temporary solution that a shipper has hired a warship from another country, but there's no alternative', Jan Fritz Hansen, vice-president of the Danish Shipowners' Association, told daily Jyllands-Posten.

Maersk hired the warship through Guardian GBS Security in December 2008. The ship was charged with protecting the Brigit Maersk tanker from pirates. It is unknown how much the shipping company paid for the service.

Steffen Jacobsen, technical director at Maersk Tankers, underscores, that Maersk checked first to make sure, that the move was legal.

'That's why we chose it as an alternative solution to a very critical situation', he told the newspaper.

Maersk is not the only Danish shipper who has hired military protection for traversing shipping routes off the coast of Africa. Norden previously hired out an armed security ship to accompany its vessels in the area.

Senior vice-president, Lars Lundegaard, told Jyllands-Posten, that he would not rule out hiring a war ship from the Tanzanian navy in the future.

Source: The Copenhagen Post

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