Gulf of Oman: “Everyone is afraid of a war”

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With the voltages on the Gulf of Oman, the need for security has increased in the Maritime transport sector, said security consultant Dimitris Maniatis of the DW. But as long as shipowners earned money in the business.

Deutsche Welle: How have the attacks on the tankers on the security in the Persian Gulf?

Dimitris Maniatis: After the attacks in may on the four tankers in the Emirate of Fujairah, we have found an increasing concern of the international shipping community about the safety of their ships in the Region. After the incidents in June in the Gulf of Oman has increased but the interest of vessel operators as to the safety of crews and ships. We have seen an increase in the actual requests that we receive for the security in this particular Region, of about twelve to 17 percent is observed.

Do you have a strategy, with the current Situation deal with it?

We have planned a unarmed security service. It is a three – to four-member Teams, support crew, and on this trip to prepare. Through training, for example. We have seen how all of these incidents have occurred and are of the opinion that there are very effective measures that can be taken to protect these vessels.

What measures?

The ships are large and go fairly quickly. You can arrive to do many different things, to escape everything. We do not believe that the attacks of 13. June were carried out with projectiles such as missiles or torpedoes. Probably closer to me in the night, the ship from the rear, and an improvised explosive device on the hull of the vessel is placed.

Aerial view of the Strait of Hormuz for the global oil supply it is of immense importance

If the detects the watch officer on the ship, that there is an attack, there are ways to avoid the incident. When crossing the Strait of Hormuz, but the possibilities are limited, because it is section of a narrow body of Water. The captain only looks forward and pays attention to safe Navigation. However, if an unarmed security team is on Board, its task is not the safe Navigation of the ship, but the safety of the ship. So you can be sure of what the crew may not be aware of.

What exactly happens in the event of an attack?

If an attack is identified, then the procedures are very specific. The ship departs on its maximum operating speed and dodges. The shafts, the the tries it to anyone, to approach the hull of the ship, very difficult to make. In addition, all of the lights are turned on and the fire hoses activated.

It light are fired signals on the incoming ship. So it will not be at all easy. And if it is the small ship able to come next door and put something on the ship, then we know that it is there. The naval forces in the Region will be notified immediately and it will give an adequate response.

They expect that the demand in view of ongoing tensions in the Region maintains, or even increases?

I don’t think so. What we know from our many years of experience in this industry, is that there is an incident, a surge of interest and concern that subsides over time.

How good companies like your company are prepared for the increased demand?

Every ship that we protect 100% against damage. This is not true for all attacks. When we speak of state actors and a sudden attack on the Iranians or the Saudis or the Americans, by anyone who wants to close the Strait of Hormuz for geopolitical reasons, we can do very little. We are not an army, but only a private company for maritime security. So a Four-man fighting Team against an organized tactical squad, such as, for example, the Iranian revolutionary guard.

An unarmed security team on Board can protect the ship from attackers, the security adviser

What are the shipping companies doing the most to Worry about?

It is the kind of attack that we on 13. June looked as if someone put explosives on the side of this ship. And, of course, everyone has a fear of a war or military operations, which would, for example, against Iran and trade in the Region and worldwide, greatly affect.

Consider the Region withdraw? This is due to their long-term contracts with customers at all possible?

This is a complicated matter. It depends on the risk appetite of the different operators. The Heidmar tanker pool, the most prestigious tank pool in the world, after 13. June, virtually every Pool belonging to the ship deterred, to drive in the Persian Gulf, until the risk analysis is completed. And this is a very professional approach.

Other companies have ceased operations from the Persian Gulf entirely. Also, many Singapore-based management companies set up their operations in Fujairah complete.

Now, because of these incidents, the Gulf of Oman and the whole of the Persian Gulf have been referred to as a high-risk area, not because of piracy, but because of the Aggression of state actors. This means that for every single ship that sails in the Persian Gulf, additional insurance premiums incurred.

Shipowners are business people and your purpose is to earn money. If your assessment comes to the conclusion that a trip is risky, but at the same time lucrative, you will make more. You don’t know that this industry is shying away from hazards. On the contrary, it will go where it is dangerous, because it costs more.

What is the meaning of this increased demand for the cost of hiring security personnel? Have you increased your prices?

I can only speak for my company, and not for the other. Our basic idea is the protection of human life at sea. We come originally from the Greek Navy. All of our staff are mostly former military, and the code of conduct, we have in the company, protects the life on the sea, then the ship and then the cargo. We do not want to benefit from this unfortunate Situation, in which the industry is located. We will require the same amount of money, we are in the last year or on 1. May, before the attacks have to be calculated. We do not charge extra just because the risk is magnified.

Dimitris Maniatis, managing Director of Maritime security company-Diaplous Maritime Services.

The conversation was led by Ashutosh Pandey.