Ensuring Safety: BW Frigg Escapes Pirate Attempt
BW Frigg was bunkering off Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo on October 29, 2018 when it was approached by an unidentified offshore support (OSV) vessel. An alert bridge officer detected the vessel and activated the emergency alarm. Bunkering ceased immediately. Pirates shot at the vessel and tried to board the vessel from the bunker barge.
Following safety guidelines, the Master on board ordered crew to head to the citadel for cover, deployed officers to release the mooring lines, navigated the vessel away from the barge, and began steaming out to sea at full speed. All crew were safe and accounted for, and thereafter resumed their voyage to Angola for loading. The crew were recognised for their bravery in deterring the pirate attack, and were presented with awards by Pontus Berg, BW LPG EVP (Technical and Operations), and Carl Schou, Wilhelmsen Ship Management President and CEO. During a visit on board, Pontus Berg said to crew, “What you did out there shows excellent seamanship”.
BW LPG condemns any acts of piracy, for the impact it has on our crew’s family and loved ones. BW LPG has measures in place to deter attacks and safeguard the well-being of all on board. BW LPG’s fleet security team follows a set of rigorous operational procedures, relies on several intelligence resources to evaluate the risk of sea routes, and provides guidance on the most strategic route of travel.
All vessels transiting high-security areas follow a set of regularly updated guidelines which respect various reporting requirements as defined by the UK Maritime Trade Organisations, the Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa), various national authorities, flag states and charterers. Anti-piracy gear, such as razor wire and water hoses, are fitted on board vessels to deter hostile boarding. We were also one of the first ship operators to implement the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code, which contains rules and requirements for carriers and terminals to significantly improve vessel and port security against international terrorism. Individual companies such as BW LPG cannot solve the problem of piracy by ourselves. The IMO has taken a leadership role in coordinating efforts to alleviate the problem from the maritime perspective.