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The Defence Minister, Carme Chacón, meeting with representatives of the tuna fishing industry in the Indian Ocean. (Photo: MDE.es)

'Panic room' creates new way to fend off pirates

Click on the flag for more information about Spain SPAIN
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 03:30 (GMT + 9)

Owners of Spanish tuna vessels fishing in Somali waters have proposed installing hermetically sealed rooms to protect the crew in case of an attempted hijacking by pirates.

The pilot project is to build 'panic rooms' which will be connected with Atalanta forces, which fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean.

The initiative provides that once you are alerted about the attack, the protocol is activated, the military intervene quickly, overpower the pirates and free the kidnapped fishermen.

For now, the owners of the vessels have been granted approval by the Ministry of Defence of Spain to launch the self-protection project.

Specifically, the defense minister, Carme Chacon, called the proposal "very positive", reports Diario Montanes.

While it is impossible to guarantee total safety, the construction of hermetically sealed rooms would abort a potential pirate attack "which private security could not do," said the minister.

Chacon also said that the preventive measures imposed against pirate attacks have been successful so far, and early warning systems that connect tuna vessels with the Atalanta controls have been effective.

Owners who met with Chacon thanked the "full readiness" of the government to prevent piracy.

Currently, there are 30 tuna vessels fishing in the Indian Ocean, of which, 13 fly the Spanish flag and all have private security.

Spanish fleets have invested EUR 1 million in security: half of which is paid by the boat owners and the rest is covered by the government.

The minister also met on Monday in Madrid with the president of Somalia, who is in the country attending the eighteenth meeting of the International Contact Group for Somalia (ICG).

Related article:

- Government, shipowners and Somalian President to discuss piracy

By Analia Murias
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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