Maersk calls for international solution

Shipping giant undertaking 'a thorough investigation of events'.
A lifeboat containing the captured Maersk Alabama captain is shadowed by the USS Bainbridge. Courtesy of AFP/Getty.
A lifeboat containing the captured Maersk Alabama captain is shadowed by the USS Bainbridge. Courtesy of AFP/Getty.

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Danish shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk has indicated that it is conducting a review of its policies and procedures for sailing off the coast of Somalia and will then take appropriate action. The carrier also called for the internatioanl community to unite to find a solution to the piracy threat.

"Our main concern is always the safety and security of our crews. We are extremely vigilant and constantly monitor the situation in the Gulf of Aden and the area off the Somali coast," said Søren Skou, A.P. Moller - Maersk Group partner and Maersk Tanker CEO.

Skou was speaking after the conclusion of a torrid few days that saw one of Maersk's vessels hijacked and then freed by its 20-man US crew, followed by a five-day standoff between four pirates holding the ship's captain and a destroyer from the US Navy, which has brought unprecendented international attention to the piracy issue.

"We must insist that it is possible for seafarers to do their job in a safe and peaceful environment. Civilian crews must be able to do their job in safe environment; ensuring goods are traded around the world," continued Skou.

"This is not a problem the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group or the shipping industry can or should solve alone," he concluded.

The Maersk statement emphasised that it provides crews with detailed safety and security instructions, and insists on reviewing onboard security plans before entering the risk area.

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