Maersk Group statement on piracy
April 14, 2009.
In light of the hijacking of MAERSK ALABAMA and hostage-taking of Captain Richard Phillips, the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group is making a thorough investigation of the events. Based on this investigation, the Group will review its policies and procedures for sailing off the coast of Somalia and take appropriate action.
"Our main concern is always the safety and security of our crews. We are extremely vigilant and constantly monitor the situation in the Gulf of Aden and the area off the Somali coast," says Søren Skou, A.P. Moller - Maersk Group Partner and Maersk Tanker CEO.
The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group would like to express its appreciation for all the efforts and support which ensured the safe return of Captain Richard Phillips and the crew of MAERSK ALABAMA.
The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group reiterates its appeal to the international community, which must come together to find a solution to the problem of piracy. Piracy is a threat to important international trade lanes and therefore an international security issue.
"We must insist that it is possible for seafarers to do their job in a safe and peaceful environment. Civilian crews must be able to do their job in safe environment; ensuring goods are traded around the world," says Søren Skou.
"This is not a problem the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group or the shipping industry can or should solve alone," says Søren Skou.
The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group provides its crews with detailed safety and security instructions, and emphasises the importance of exercising vigilance when sailing in the areas of piracy risk. This includes reviewing onboard security plans before entering the area.
The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group is also examining routes and vessel assignments in the area off the coast of Somalia.
Still, the piracy situation around Somalia is very dynamic and constantly changing.
"While the naval presence in the Gulf of Aden has been successful in deterring attacks there, the pirates still remain a threat to crews and vessels in the area and elsewhere. The problem has not gone away," says Søren Skou.