Armed Guards Rethink Needed Following Fishermen Deaths
Marine safety experts have renewed their call for World Leaders to reconsider the use of armed guards onboard commercial ships following the tragic shooting of Indian fishermen by Italian Marines.
Last week Italian Marines guarding the oil tanker, the Enrica Lexie, shot dead two Indian fishermen in the Indian Ocean they mistakenly believed were pirates. The deaths come just days before World leaders are due to discuss the issue of sea piracy at the London Conference on Somalia.
UK-based marine safety experts, BCB International Ltd, are calling on World leaders to rethink the self-protection measures used by commercial ships to ward off attacks from pirates. BCB International’s Marine Projects Manager, Jonathan Delf, said: “We have been warning for some time about the dangers linked with the used of armed guards on commercial vessels. The vast majority of armed guards protecting commercial vessels are extremely well trained and highly professional; but there can be no room for human error when lethal force is used. Armed teams onboard civilian commercial vessels need to be provided with the right equipment to enable them to do the very difficult task they face”.
“The London Somalia Conference is an opportunity for the International Community to prevent the further unnecessary loss of life. We call on World Leaders to cast their net wider by bringing forward new non-lethal protective measures like air pressurized launchers as part of the deterrence mix. These devices can help to create a layered and proportional defence around a vulnerable vessel.”