Anti-piracy group: In last 5 years, 65 seafarers died of torture, disease
Thursday, 01 March 2012 | 13:10
The international anti-piracy group Save Our Seafarers (SOS) is urging ship operators and governments to take more concrete actions against Somali pirates because 65 seafarers died in the last five years "through torture, murder, suicide, malnutrition and disease."
“These criminal gangs are holding the world economy ransom. Hundreds of seafarers have been held hostage and the physical and mental ill-treatment they are forced to suffer makes horrifying reading," SOS chair Giles Heimann said.
"The potential economic impact of the crisis is hugely disturbing given the knife edge on which the global economy is currently perched," he added.
According to the January 31, 2012 figures of the worldwide piracy center of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), Somali pirates are currently holding captive 10 vessels and 159 hostages.
Out of some 400,000 Filipino seafarers, who make up a quarter of the world's seagoing workforce, 769 were captured between 2006 and 2011.
To protect seafarers from piracy attacks, the Philippine government has expressed its support for the proposal to use use of armed private security guards on Philippine-flagged sea vessels.
However, Philippine shipping companies that will use private guards will have to adhere to the strict guidelines set by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the International Maritime Organization.
MARINA chief Emerson Lorenzo earlier said the country has 140 ships on the international register, and about 90 percent of these ships pass through the pirate hotspots of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Somalia and Aden.
Source: GMA News
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