- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
In its global piracy report unveiled in January, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that whilst the total number of recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery has dropped from 445 in 2010 to 439 in 2011, attacks against ships in east and West Africa are a rising trend. The Panic Room Company is feeling the effects.
Steve Brook, Business Development Director for the Panic Room Company, explains, “When the Panic Room Company was established, we initially identified various land-based needs and hadn’t expected this considerable interest from the shipping industry. Our unique portable product has immense appeal as it is quickly installed with no welding and minimal need for specialist equipment or training, offers ballistic and blast protection and can keep a crew of between two and 24 people safe for up to five days with ship to shore communication. An independent power supply, air filtration, the ability to activate a smoke screen and basic survival essentials from fresh water to toilets can also be provided. With leisure boats now under threat alongside container ships the consequences of not having a Panic Room onboard do not bear thinking about.”
Of the 439 pirate attacks in 2011 a huge 275, well over 60%, took place off Somalia on the east coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on the west. 802 crew members were taken hostage last year, slightly down on the 1,181 in 2010, but sadly the same number were killed in both years at eight fatalities apiece. Somalia remains the area at most threat.
Steve continues, “International naval forces are working tirelessly to either pre-empt or disrupt pirate activity yet cannot thwart them all. With the average length of captivity for ships attacked by Somali pirates being six months, many of them very violent encounters, investment in a Panic Room makes both economic and humanistic sense as crews have a chance to raise the alarm in safety. Shipping is certainly an industry that is keeping us unexpectedly busy.”