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ISWAN India joins panel at Workshop on Maritime Security and Piracy

December 20, 2018
Chirags Article 3

On 10 December 2018, our Regional Director in South Asia, Chirag Bahri, joined a panel of speakers at a Workshop on Maritime Security and Piracy organised by the Directorate General of Shipping in Mumbai.

The workshop was attended by over 100 delegates from Indian maritime training institutes, shipping industry representatives, maritime unions and NGOs. Foreign delegates who attended and spoke at the event included representatives from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR), the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) and the Russian Foreign ministry.

IMB’s Cyrus Mody briefed the audience on the recent statistics on piracy and armed robbery across the globe, including the latest criminal threats such as cyber security and fraud. He mentioned that piracy threats are still prevalent, especially off the Gulf of Guinea region, and many of these cases are not reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.

Others speakers briefed the audience on the mandate of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and its working groups, and its brief on insurance, P&I and kidnap-ransom policies. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard spoke about the challenges ahead and their crucial role in suppressing piracy activities in the Indian Ocean.

Deepak Shetty, former Director General of Shipping and ISWAN Trustee, presented a profile of cases concerning Indian seafarers who were abandoned while in captivity of pirates, and spoke about the support provided to their families by the Government of India.

ISWAN’s Regional Director in South Asia, Chirag Bahri, briefed the members on the work of ISWAN’s Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP), which has trained 120 trainers in India on its seafarers’ pre-departure piracy awareness course, and highlighted the need for seafarers to be trained and sensitised prior to joining ships. He highlighted ISWAN’s Good Practice Guides for shipping companies and manning agents and other resources available in helping provide humanitarian support to seafarers and their families affected by piracy incidents. Chirag informed the audience that piracy is not over yet and seafarers should continue to be alert and not complacent while transiting high risk areas. MPHRP had earlier assisted with humanitarian support for Indian seafarers and families by providing them with moral guidance and psychological support and assisting the crew with the rehabilitation process so they could rejoin shipping once more.

The Director General of Shipping, Dr Malini Shankar, and Additional Director General of Shipping, Amitabh Kumar, concluded the event by thanking the speakers for their informative presentations, from which the delegates could take away a great deal.

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