All About Shipping coverage of Open Ocean Launch, July 2012
July 17th 2012
Last Wednesday one of the biggest luncheon-buffet gatherings took place onboard the “HQS Wellington” off Temple on Thames in London as Chenega Federal Ltd announced the launch of the Open Ocean, its intelligence led integrated maritime security service. John Faraclas was there with his camera…Led by a defence and commercial engineer professional, Murray Hammick, the service is designed to provide shipowners, operators and managers with a comprehensive program to meet their transit security needs. The launch of Open Ocean coincides with the onset of the “Pirate-Season” when the monsoon winds shift to allow the small pirate vessels to take up station astride the busy hipping route in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
Piracy is a multibillion problem equally to the world’s shipowners and operators bas well as threatens the welfare of seafarers around the globe. Allaboutshipping has already devoted 92 articles and news on Piracy and Terrorism and this gathering added a lot to our knowledge and coverage, as with such debates we see how best we can also get involved and promote the wellbeing of all sufferers.
“Open Ocean has been developed with input from shipowners, insurance underwriters, flag registries and other major professionals to provide an integrated response to the needs of the shipping industry faced with the ever growing problem of having to ensure the security of their crews and ships” stated Hammick, Managing Director of Chenega UK Ltd. “Open Ocean is not merely about putting armed teams on ships; rather, it is about stepping back and taking a long-term and strategic view of what it is that individual shipowners and operators need n order to allow them to carry on their business without interference by unlawful gangs at sea.”
Open Ocean has been working with shipowners to identify their needs and requirements. Mike Powell, a Master Mariner, former Global Head of Tanker Operations at Glencore’s ST Shipping & Transport and Global Head of Voyage Operations for BP Shipping, has contributed his expertise to the development of the Open Ocean system. “By addressing the problem as a complete system, Open Ocean brings efficiencies, economies and effective measures to bear down on the problem of piracy,” observed Powell. “In doing so, Open Ocean frees up shipping operators to focus on moving vessels and cargo around the world in response to their customer’s requirements.
Open Ocean offers a full range of operational capability through intelligence, logistics and operations while meeting national governmental standard contracting and governance procedures. It’s primary goal is to minimise the risk of the ship being seen by pirates, focussing on intelligence as the key to risk avoidance. It provides a fully integrated risk management program with a single point of contact and contract. Further, it is backed and supported by Chenega Corporation, a highly respected national security and technology corporation.
Reflected Hammick: “Open ocean is, above all, an intelligence led operation which views the use of armed teams as a weapon of last resort-albeit a very necessary fall back option in many cases. Open Ocean allows customers to choose from a range of services from intelligence and routing advice, ship surveys and hardening, through to the deployment of some of the most highly regulated maritime security teams in the industry.”
Powell added: “Unlike many security providers, Open Ocean is backed by the Chenega Corporation with its significant financial and technical capabilities. In my experience it is the logical choice for the large and small operators looking for a serious contracting partner able to provide the highest standards of service but also able to support operational capabilities with technical developments in the areas of communications and surveillance”
Many questions followed and the one …”made” for all was on Open Ocean’s “right to operate”. The very eloquent Mike Powell responded that Chenega would not have risked its corporate reputation with its Federal partners unless there was complete confidence in Open Ocean’s capabilities.
Lunch was great and meeting old friends yet another plus. Spotted Grecofile David Brunskill, Helena Theodoropoulos from Capital Link, Inchcape’s Andrew Simmons, The Nautical Institute’s Bridget Hogan, Hall Smith from MARSH, Alan Taylor from the hosts, Hiscox’s Darren Carr, Alex Davis from Stephenson Harwood, Andrew Harker from Andrews Willis Limited, John Murray from ICS, Captain (HCG) George Seferiades and many many others.
Last but not least, congratulations to Carleen Lyden-Kluss from Morgan Marketing and Communications for her organisation skills, performance and delivery of this event, for which may we suggest that it should be repeated in the Worlds main shipping capitals!
Greyblog 123 - Michael Grey
UN should back off on private security
It is a bit rich, all this carping criticism from the United Nations about the private security sector, suggesting that it is open to trigger-happy criminals to get in on the act in the absence of that wonderful bureaucratic solution to all the world’s ills - “regulation”.
It doesn’t seem to occur to the disapproving officials that the industry doesn’t want to have arms aboard merchant ships and pay a lot of money for private protection. But it is forced into this strategy of self-help largely because the international “community” of governments is failing to do its job and ensure that piracy is consigned to the history books.
The UN and indeed any of its member governments have no moral right whatsoever to criticise the industry’s security arrangements while the situation in Somalia is surrounded by members of the Security Council sitting on their hands resulting in a policy vacuum. No UN report can burble on about “competence” when there is not much of this component being shown in addressing the root causes of piracy in this failed state.
Sure, there might be some cut-price gunslingers riding on merchant ships, just as there are some cut-price ship operators loose in the world. But if the UN was doing what it was supposed to be doing, rather than writing reports, the internal problems of Somalia would be addressed, the shipping industry would not be driven down the road of “self-help”.
Seafarers and ship operators have a right to safe navigation, and if governments can’t provide the necessary level of security, it is necessary to buy protection in the market. Said Murray Hammick of defence contractor Chenega Federal UK when launching the Open Ocean maritime security programme in London recently : “....it is about stepping back and taking a long-term and strategic view of what it is that individual shipowners and operators need in order to allow them to carry on their business without interference by unlawful gangs at sea”. Of course he is right. But maybe it is the UN and member governments which should be “stepping back and taking a long-term and strategic view” of the situation in Somalia, rather than criticising others for their reaction to its maritime consequences.
Open Ocean's complete risk management and security service
Open Ocean can provide any one of the following
services or all of them in a fully managed transit service.