The InterManager campaign, which has received more than 90% support from its members, proposes to lobby Flag States and Charterers to review their rules relating to armed guards onboard ship.
It claims that any decision taken to provide armed guards should be based on a robust risk assessment of each vessel and its transit and should be in accordance with the guidance set out in Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4) â€“ the recently produced IMO guidelines on the employment of armed guards. Such decisions should be unhindered by restrictive Flag State legislation or Charter Party agreements.
Pressure for greater protection of ships transiting danger areas such as the Gulf of Aden and the NW Indian Ocean has grown following concerns over the effectiveness of naval operations in the area. Notwithstanding the efforts of the international communityâ€™s naval forces deployed in the area since 2008, more than 3,500 seafarers have been taken hostage by pirates with around 60 dying as a result of their captivity.
InterManager, whose members include ship managers as well as crew managers, is keen to give all support possible to protect its seafarers from the mental and physical torture, degrading treatment, food deprivation and dehydration, that those held hostage suffer.