Escort service sails through troubled waters

Piracy is spreading from its Somali roots across the Indian Ocean as far as the Gulf of Guinea, Bangladesh and Indonesia, and it is predicted that the wind-down of the Eunafor’s naval presence in the Gulf of Aden in 2014 is likely to coincide with a major escalation in piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Typhon’s integrated protection model starts by detecting any threats of piracy at long range. This is done onshore in Typhon’s operations centre in the UAE, enabling the company to conduct its transit safely through the network of pirate action groups, and advising clients of necessary course adjustments to avoid known trouble spots.

With Typhon’s service, close protection vessels (CPVs) shadow client vessels using the firm’s ‘umbrella concept’, which consists of surveillance, detection and early warning capabilities to identify and assess any likely or suspected threats.

Through early detection, Typhon said that it will be able to deter a pirate threat before it becomes a danger.

The convoys travel in a protected ‘envelope’, which Typhon said makes it extremely difficult for the pirates to enter the ‘Protection Zone’ to launch an attack.

Typhon’s detection solution consists of a multi-layered service that detects piracy in three ways: by sea (using radar), by air (using satellite) and by land (through an onshore operations centre).

In conjunction with the CPV, Typhon’s detection of potential threats will inform the decision to use armoured patrol boats to intercept a potential target, engage direct fire weapons or mount a key defence of the client vessel.

The use of force is a last resort and is always reasonable and proportionate using the minimum amount of force necessary. Anthony Sharp, chief executive of Typhon, said: “Typhon was created in order address the specific threat from pirates in a number of key geographies.”

“The areas we will protect are too vast for current naval resources to monitor effectively, and this will be an even bigger issue when Operation Atlanta comes to an end. Our mantra is to combat the problem of maritime crime and piracy using methods that are effective and proportionate to the threat. With millions paid out in ransoms to pirates and much more money lost by businesses in fuel costs avoiding pirates, it is important that businesses are granted a safer passage with their cargo through dangerous waters. The benefits to business will be substantial.”

(Source – Insurance Insight 23/01/2013)