WASHINGTON, July 23 (RIA Novosti) - The equipment of pirates, who are capturing merchant ships, has greatly improved in the past few years, Dave Robinson, founder and head of Tactical Intelligence International, a security company providing armed protection for ships, said.
“In that time period, which is pretty small of 5-6 years, we started seeing heavier weapons, we started seeing multiply weapons on board vessels, climbing equipment, ladders, we started seeing them use the mother ships, what let them go for the operations further and further into the sea," Robinson said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
The expert noted that without armed guards on board, there is no guarantee any ship is safe, despite the presence of international missions to protect against pirates in the dangerous areas.
“Pirates are getting much better at boarding the vessels and it is also depends on the type of vessel it is,” Robinson said.
However, the expert noted significant changes in the maritime domain with regard to the shipboard security, which had led to a dramatic decrease in the number of both successful and attempted pirate attacks.
“Most notable was the change in mindset of both the US Coast Guard and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to begin recommending armed security teams aboard vessels transiting high risk waters, whereas prior to 2009, they were recommending against such procedures,” Robinson said.
The security professional noted that since the international community had finally implemented legislation which provided for adequate protection of commercial ships, no successful hijacking attempts were reported.
“That coupled with better cooperation of international navies, including Naval Forces Europe, Combined Maritime Forces, Russia, China, India and other partner nations, created an extremely difficult environment in which pirates could operate,” Robinson said.
One of Russia’s most known cases of fighting against maritime piracy was with the Arctic Sea cargo ship.
In 2009, the Arctic Sea merchant vessel cargo ship with a crew of 15 Russian sailors was following from Finland to Algeria, when it disappeared in July, and was then discovered in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Verde. The ship was captured by a group that included citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Russia, as well as stateless persons. The Russian Black Sea Fleet successfully carried out a mission to find and rescue the sailors, with all 15 returning home alive and well.