An Encounter With Pirates!

by David Matine

Just after the 12th anniversary of  September 11th, as if to remind us of the importance of security, an incident occurred in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia while AdvanFort guards were onboard an oil tanker.

The trained and professional AdvanFort team onboard the oil tanker observed a sailing vessel approaching them. At first the team leader noticed a skiff being towed by the vessel. This is a common practice among pirates, to tow a skiff (a shallow, flat-bottomed open boat with sharp bow and square stern), and once they spot a vessel that might be worth looting, climb onboard it, and pursue that vessel with the intention of penetrating it.

The team leader directed the Master to change the direction of the oil tanker just to make sure that in fact it was them they were headed for. It was. The sailing vessel changed course to match the oil tanker. After 2 minutes of observation it became apparent that the sailing vessel had increased its speed and was catching up with the oil tanker. The team leader instructed the that the Master radio the nearest coastal authority, and increase the vessel’s speed. After this the sailing vessel also increased speed, and was gaining ground on the oil tanker. The team leader then made the proper preparations to kick some butt.

First, the team leader met with the Master to brief him on the situation. The AdvanFort team leader requested that all crew working on the main deck be brought inside. They then ensured that all doors leading from all accommodation levels were locked. Next, they turned on the fire hoses. This is a common practice of large vessels when they are under attack. It helps make penetration of the ship’s security more  difficult to accomplish.

When the sailing vessel finally approached it was apparent that there were two skiffs being towed, not one, and about a dozen men were gathering towards the rear of the sailing vessel to climb into one of the skiffs. The AdvanFort team was ready for action.

Just then a naval helicopter flew overhead. The sailing vessel slowed down and changed direction, thinking it was being slick, but it was obvious they were a bunch of misfits about to get the shock of their life. When the helicopter disappeared out of view the misfits headed back towards the oil tanker, and was about to eat some AdvanFort firepower.

The sailing vessel then deployed one of the skiffs with about 6 men. Of course they did not know they were headed straight into armed guards who were ready for them, so they were indeed lucky that just then an Iranian navy ship came into view. The navy ship deployed military teams to all three vessels, and at that point the oil tanker lost sight of the incident, and returned to business without any damages.

Does this incident sound familiar to you? If you’ve ever been on a shipping vessel trying to cross the Arabian Sea, it might. Don’t get caught without a PMSC on your vessel, and don’t use a shady unprofessional team to arm your vessel. AdvanFort is the most efficient maritime security company in the world.