Navy vessels call a safe Port of Salalah 2012-09-17

Port of Salalah has been visited by navy and military attaché representatives from many countries in the past month, meeting with members of the port's senior management to support the positive relationship between the respective nation and the port.

Discussions were centered on developments in security in the seas with regard to improvements to combating piracy. Port of Salalah has played a significant role in supporting the international alliance against piracy by providing rest and repatriation for visiting navy ships.

Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino of Italian navy ship San Giusto, remarked that the Port of Salalah was especially helpful in providing these services efficiently and effortless while in a meeting with Ahmed Akaak, Deputy CEO of Port of Salalah.

Peter Ford, CEO of Port of Salalah, also met with a group of military resident representatives to discuss current and upcoming features of the port's security. Mr. Ford also welcomed the Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Soeparno of Indonesian ship Dewaruci which is on a nine month journey around the world and has called on a total 21 American, European, African and Asian ports.

Operation Atalanta, approved by the UN Security Council in order to counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean and in the Gulf of Aden, includes a fleet of four warships: three frigates - La Fayette (France), Bremen (Germany), Reina Sofia (Spain) - and the Amphibious Assault Ship San Giusto (Italy); other ships will join the task group, including one Romanian warship (for the first time in a EU-led antipiracy mission), increasing the total number of ships up to eight.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) the number of pirate attacks dropped by a third in the first half of 2012, led by a decline in Somali piracy, thanks to international naval efforts and the adoption by shipping lines of best management practices and hardened vessels. IMB warned, however, that the decline off the Somali coast was offset by a growing number of attacks in Africa's Gulf of Guinea.

In 2011, at least 3,863 seafarers were fired upon by armed Somali pirates, and of that number, 968 seafarers faced armed pirates who managed to board their vessels. 35 hostages died during 2011: 8 were killed by pirates during an initial attack or after being taken captive; 8 died from disease or malnutrition while being held; and 19 died in crossfire while being used as human shields, reported the IMB, while the estimated economic impact of Somali piracy cost nearly $7 billion in 2011.