New ship-hardening measures from tanker owner

Bermuda-based tanker owner Team Tankers International (TTI), a majority-owned subsidiary of Norway-based Eitzen Chemical ASA, has said that a regional increase in piracy has led to it adopting additional ship-hardening measures. TTI said recent hijackings in West Africa led the group to contract Easi-Chock to install security devices onboard its fleet.

TTI chief of operations Kate Chaston said “that the company had seen an increase in attacks in southeast Asia and West Africa as demonstrated by the second recent hijacking off the coast of Benin, and therefore ensuring crew welfare was an essential concern.”

In just a few weeks in late January and early February 2018, two tanker vessels and their crews were taken hostage off the coast of Nigerian neighbour Benin in the Gulf of Guinea.

Easi-Chock’s Wayne Harrison, who founded the security company after surviving an encounter with pirates, said his experience led him to believe that following BMP4 guidelines did not provide adequate protection for vessels’ crews.