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Merchant Ships Urged to Avoid Using Private Armed Teams in Mideast Gulf

Logistic News - Published on Wed, 17 Jul 2019

Image Source: thestar.com.my
Reuters, citing industry associations, reported that shipping companies sailing through the Middle East Gulf are being urged to avoid having private armed security guards onboard as the risk of escalation in the region rises. Relations between Iran and the West have become increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar last week and London said its warship HMS Montrose had to fend off Iranian vessels seeking to block a British-owned tanker from passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The most recent incidents followed a spate of attacks on tankers since May around the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, which the United States has blamed on Iran and are denied by Tehran.

An advisory issued in recent days by leading shipping associations warned against using private armed guards in the critical areas.

The advisory said that “The use of force against threats recently encountered in the Gulf of Oman carries significant risk and has the potential to escalate security situations to the detriment of the safety of ship and crew. The use of unarmed maritime advisors to assist with onboard security and watch-keeping is sensible.”

A rise in Somali piracy, which was at its height a decade ago, prompted shipping companies to deploy private armed security teams in the Gulf of Aden.

Mr Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, said there were stringent restrictions on the use of armed guards in the Gulf, whereas there was approval by flag states for their deployment off Somalia.

Source :

Posted By : Mohan Sharma on Wed, 17 Jul 2019
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