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Maersk resorts to warship hire for crew safety

Maersk resorts to warship hire for crew safety

Copenhagen: Leading Danish shipping group A.P. Moller Maersk is reported to have hired soldiers and a warship from Tanzania to protect it crew from the threat of Somalian pirates when sailing off the coast of Africa. According to the Copenhagen Post Online (CPO), Maersk hired the warship through former special forces soldiers working for firm Guardian GBS security in December 2008. The vessel was charged with protecting the Brigit Maersk tanker from pirates. It is unknown how much the shipping company paid for the service.

'The waters east of Africa are a grey zone because developing countries don't have resources to fight pirates. It's a temporary solution that a shipper has hired a warship from another country, but there's no alternative,' Jan Fritz Hansen, vice-president of the Danish Shipowners' Association told the paper.

CPO also quotes Steffen Jacobsen, technical director at Maersk Tankers as saying the company checked first to make sure the move was legal. 'That's why we chose it as an alternative solution to a very critical situation,' he said.  [05/01/10]