Shipowners told to install panic buttons to help fight piracy scourge

Bangkok: Ships travelling in pirate-infested Southeast Asian waters should install panic buttons onboard, a Thai rear admiral has proposed.

Senior members of the Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean navies met this week in Phuket for the 27th Malacca Strait Patrol Joint Coordinating Committee.

Rear Admiral Chaiyanun Nuntawit from Royal Thai Navy Intelligence urged shipowners to install panic buttons that would send out an alarm with the position of the ship under attac to help authorities better pinpoint attacks and react faster.

“The ocean is so large, so it sometimes means time and money are wasted getting to the scene,” he said.

Latest figures from the International Maritime Bureau show ships are being hijacked in Southeast Asian waters on average once a fortnight for the past 12 months, making the region by far the world’s hotspot for piracy. Small coastal tankers are most at threat. Southeast Asia accounted for more than half of all attacks since the beginning of 2015.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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