Dockwise, the world's leading shipping company in the transport of yachts, has requested 'more Leeway' from the Netherlands Government to counteract pirates and threatened a change of flag if it is not forthcoming.
At least two round-world yachting rallies were thrown into confusion by the rapid increase in scale and ferocity of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean this year and Dockwise was one of the companies commissioned to transport some of the boats past the danger zone.
However, even Dockwise seems to be disconcerted by the major risk to its ships passing through the zone.
While the Dockwise Group is headquartered in the Netherlands, the Dockwise Yacht Transport business unit is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and has an office in Italy. The Group's main commercial offices are located in the Netherlands, the United States and China with sales offices in Korea, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and Nigeria.
In their statement, the company announced: 'Dockwise urges the Netherlands government to allow for better protection on its vessels to counteract piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. As the ability of governments to offer military protection is limited, the ability for ship owners to employ additional private protection is of the utmost importance.
'Despite several appeals, private protection onboard Dutch vessels could meet with legal impediments. Other nations do allow for such added protection measures. Dockwise eventually may be forced to have its vessels sail under a different flag if restrictions are not eased imminently.
On the growing piracy problem André Goedée, Dockwise's CEO, comments: '...In the interest of our employees and because of the increasing pressure from the industry itself, we may be forced to seek other alternatives - such as bringing the vessels under a different jurisdiction and flag - if regulations are not adapted quickly. We would regret having to take such a decision, but we are left with no choice should the Dutch government remain idle.'
For further information: www.dockwise.com
by Sail-World Cruising - June 2011