Bimco calls for Brazil to improve security after port pirate attacks
WONG JOON SAN
The Baltic and International Maritime Council (Bimco) is urging Brazilian authorities and government ministries to improve security at ports to protect vessels from pirates.
Bimco pointed to an attack on a tanker at Rio de Janeiro on August 27 by seven pirates armed with automatic handguns and rifles while the vessel was alongside the Petrobas terminal.
The pirates stole binoculars and two-way radios after locking up two crewmen, despite anti-piracy measures taken by the ship's master which included watches by three extra hands and securing of accommodation doors.
Bimco said it was disturbed that vessels which reported such incidents might face delays in ports of up to a week, meaning shipowners could face additional costs.
It urged port authorities, besides providing good security, to ensure vessels reporting such incidents were allowed to depart on schedule.
Bimco said that according to the ship's agents, there had been a similar incident at the port two months earlier, when thieves stole US$1,800 from a ship's safe.
Because investigation of that case by the authorities resulted in delays which cost the ship's owners an additional $3,800, the ship's port agent had advised the master in the recent attack against reporting it.