Sea Transportation: Mandatory Anti-Piracy School



January 19, 2010: The Philippines supplies a third of the world's sailors on large, seagoing ships. Given the growing threat from Somali pirates, the government is now providing an eight hour anti-piracy training course for these sailors. The course is mandatory for Filipinos signing on for a crew after January 15th. They will learn a number of proven techniques for defeating pirates. This ranges from stringing barbed wire around likely boarding points, to showing the sailors how to use fire hoses and other tools (like long poles) to keep the ladders or grappling hooks from enabling the pirates to get aboard. The training points out the importance of having emergency communications available in a safe room, and that the pirates cannot take control of the ship unless they have the crew. Usually this comes down to barricading the crew in the engine compartment. Sailors will also learn how to behave if captured, and how the ransom negotiation process works. Some shipping companies are already putting their crews through similar courses.

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