Monday, April 13, 2009

Why the Pirates of Somalia are not as cute and cuddly as Johnny Depp

Mention the term "Pirates" to most of us, and we'll think of Johnny Depp from the three-film trilogy "Pirates of the Caribbean. Maybe, a few of us might even think of that National League baseball team from Pittsburgh.

However, yesterday's rescue of Captain Richard Phillips by Navy Seals shows that not all bucaneers are cuddly like Johnny Depp or hold a bat in their hand. As a public relations manager, I have worked with San Antonio based Espada Services, a maritime security company that is working on security solutions for the gulf of Aden. My clients will be the first to tell you that the Somali pirates will attack that sails through the region.

Will yesterday's attack curtail the rash of piracy in the region? No. However, upgrade security efforts such as the deployment of security sensors with ships along with onboard security professionals may deter attacks.

Like all businesses, shipping professionals often question the cost of extra security. However, the rise in attacks and the publicity from Captain Phillip's rescue will make them more likely to embrace their use.

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