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Image: ESPADA

It will comprise a fleet of 18 ships, based in Djibouti, and will offer to convoy merchant vessels along the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor (IRTC).

This is the world’s most dangerous shipping lane, between the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. The fleet will be operated by the Convoy Escort Programme (CEP), a British company launched by the international shipping insurers Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) and the Lloyds of London underwriters Ascot.

“The shipping industry needs to stand up and be counted,” said Angus Campbell, the CEP’s chief executive and a former director of Overseas Shipholding Group, the world’s second-biggest listed oil tanker company. “The time is now, not in four or five years’ time.”

Piracy in the region is costing the global economy an estimated US$7 billion a year. For the ship owners alone, every vessel sailing through the waters off Somalia is charged additional insurance premiums of between $50,000 and $80,000.

Source: David Black for The National.

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Image: ESPADA It will comprise a fleet of 18 ships, based in Djibouti, and will…