IMO Raises Fresh Alarm over Increase in Piracy

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has raised a fresh alarm over soaring waves of piracy and armed robbery attacks against ships, globally.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Natasha Brown, Media and Communications Officer, on the outcome of Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 101 session held in June.

“In 2018, 223 incidents occurred worldwide as compared to 204 incidents reported in 2017, an increase of about 9% at the global level. So far in 2019, incidents in West and Central African waters have accounted for about half of all reported incidents.

“The MSC reminded companies, masters and seafarers to continue the diligent application of existing IMO guidance and the revised Best Management Practices (BMP) guidance.

“As well as the new Global Counter Piracy Guidance and the updated guidance for protection against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea region contained in MSC.1/Circ.1601 on Revised industry counter piracy guidance,” she said.

She said that MSC invited member states to continue to provide naval assets; and flag states to continue to monitor threat to ships flying their flag and set appropriate security levels in accordance with the ISPS Code.

Natasha, however said the committee also approved the navigation equipment guidance and draft resolution for Safety of ships in polar waters.

“The MSC approved guidance for navigation and communication equipment intended for use on ships operating in polar waters.

“The guidance includes recommendations on temperature and mechanical shock testing, and on how to address ice accretion and battery performance in cold temperatures.

“This is expected to be an important tool in support of implementation of the mandatory Polar Code.

“IMO’s Polar Code which helps ensure that ships operating in harsh Arctic and Antarctic areas take into account, extremes of temperature and that critical equipment remains operational under those conditions,” she said.

She said interim guidelines on life-saving appliances and arrangements for ships operating in polar waters was approved.

“The Committee approved a draft Assembly resolution, urging member states to implement, on a voluntary basis, safety measures of the Polar Code on ships not certified under the SOLAS Convention.

“The draft resolution will be submitted to the IMO assembly in late 2019 for adoption,” she added.

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