Piracy Hits Close to Home

Piracy might seem like a problem that is a world away, but it is a definite reality for some Connecticut companies. 

The ongoing pirate drama off the coast of Somalia is an all-too-real reminder of a situation involving Stamford-based Industrial Shipping Enterprises. 

The company paid a $1 million ransom to Somali pirates in February for the release of the MV Biscaglia, a 27,300 ton tanker, and its 28 crew members. The negotiation was a success.

Basil Mavrolean, a Greenwich-based marine consultant, tells the Connecticut Post the piracy situation in the Indian Ocean has gotten out of control.

"It's a major issue and the answer is for the world to police these guys to get rid of them," Mavrolean said.

Others say it's a losing battle.

"We're trying to fight a gentleman's war against people with no rules," Jay Bolton, a retired oil tanker captain and a member of the Stamford-based Connecticut Maritime Association, told the newspaper. 

Bolton tells the Connecticut Post that international law doesn't allow ships to carry weapons, so they have to fight heavily armed pirates with nothing more than flood lights and fire hoses.

Shipping companies are considering new non-lethal devices, such as electric fences around the ship's perimeter and long-range acoustic devices, but Bolton tells the Post, the pirates will keep taking ships until law enforcement is established in Somalia

Contact Us