Insurers to set up 'private navy' to combat piracy

  • Fri, 18 Feb 2011

Armed patrol boats will help lower insurance costs

USS Ashland hits pirates

According to reports, Insurers in the City of London are finalising plans to set up a fleet of armed patrol boats in the Gulf of Aden.

The Convoy Escort Programme (CEP) will provide protection for ships and reduce the high costs of insuring vessels, cargo and crews against pirates.

Reports say that representatives of the shipping industry have agreed to explore the idea further. It is understood that the industry-led project is being monitored by international navies.  A not for profit association involving private and public sector members would be set up, and would control a fleet of 18 vessels, each with a fixed gun position and an armed crew authorised to engage the pirates in battle.

Although it would be managed separately, the fleet would be under the operational control of the relevant national navy and the crew would have to conform to international rules on combat and engagement.