Dutch shipping firm wants pirate protection

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Dutch shipping company Dockwise is threatening to start sailing under a different flag if it is not granted greater freedom to protect its ships against pirates, the company announced on Wednesday.

"At present we’re not allowed to protect our personnel adequately, while other countries allow extra security,” said Dockwise chief André Goedée. “In the interest of our personnel and under growing pressure from our customers we may be forced to seek alternatives, such as sailing under a different flag.”

The area in which pirates are active now covers an area as large as Europe, Dockwise says. “So there’s no point protecting the area, the property that has to sail through it has to be protected.” The company sees this as a task for the authorities.

Dockwise says it would like to have marines on board every ship crossing the area. “But that appears to be difficult. That’s why we would like more possibilities to hire our own security.”

Up to now Dockwise has not had any of its ships seized by pirates. The company puts this down to the barbed wire it wraps around its ships, the large volume of shipping sailing through the high-risk area, and a “large dose of good luck”.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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