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Piracy focus for regional workboats conference

Piracy focus for regional workboats conference

Abu Dhabi: The recent attack on German cargo vessel the MV Charelle, just 60 nautical miles south of Sur in Oman has ensured the central role that Piracy issues will play at Seatrade's Middle East Workboats conference taking place from 5-7 October at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The event, which carries the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Public Works and Chairman of the National Transport Authority, will boast expert speakers in the Piracy panel discussion including William Tobin, Underwriting Manager, The Shipowners' Protection and Floyd Woodrow, Operations Director, Cerberus International a specialist in supplying training, protection and security services.

Other highlights of the three-day conference include sessions covering commercial and contractual issues, new innovative products, crewing and training and design, construction and safety.

"Attacks are now occurring further afield into the Red Sea around Aden and now more ominously into the Arabian Gulf," said Christopher Hayman, Seatrade chairman, the organiser of Middle East Workboats exhibition and conference. "Ships must be more vigilant. The MV Charelle was caught unaware, without even raising any distress signals - they just did not expect it. In addition, many smaller workboats are active in that part of the Gulf. In the past they have been targeted by pirates and used as 'mother' ships enabling pirates to launch attacks deeper into international waters," he added.   

According to the International Maritime Bureau more ships have been attacked off Somalia so far in 2009 than in the whole of 2008. There have been 132 reported attacks compared with 111 in 2008.  

Principal sponsors of Middle East Workboats 2009 are DNV, ESNAAD, Irshad. Other sponsors are DVB, ABS, Lamnalco, Svitzer, Topaz Energy & Marine and Wartsila. Supporting organisations are the International Marine Contractors Association and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.  The exhibition is slated to feature 150 exhibitors from over 20 countries. for more information, go to   [29/06/09]