Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ships must employ armed bodyguards

Letter from Roland Mah Kah Eng

I REFER to “Sailors to carry weapons?” (April 14). I am a certified public accountant and the auditor for more than 10 shipping companies and my clients in the industry tell me there is no use arming the crew with water hoses because the Somali pirates will only laugh at you.

The only way to ensure a ship’s safety is to have a proper bodyguard system. A trained bodyguard with automatic firearms knows when, how and what to shoot. However, these armed bodyguards are very expensive and may cost at least $1,500 a day.

The industry must also spread the news that every commercial ship sailing the Somali coastline and Indian Ocean has an armed bodyguard who has a permit to use firearms and will not hesitate to shoot.

I believe every ship should have an armed bodyguard, and nobody else should be armed. This will stop the Somali pirates because they are no match for trained gunfighters. Look at airlines — following 911, every plane now has a member of its crew trained in the use of firearms to deter any would-be hijacker. The shipping industry could take a leaf from their book.

From TODAY, Voices – Friday, 17-April-2009


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