In a recent report on global piracy report, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that whilst the total number of recorded incidents of piracy and armed robbery has dropped from 445 in 2010 to 439 in 2011, attacks against ships in both East and West Africa are a rising trend.
Steve Brook, Business Development Director for the Panic Room Company, explains, how his company is feeling the effects. “Our product has immense appeal to the yachting community as it is quickly installed. With yachts now under threat alongside container ships the consequences of not having a Panic Room onboard do not bear thinking about.”
With no welding and minimal need for specialist equipment or training, the room offers ballistic and blast protection and can keep a crew of between two and 24 people safe for up to five days with ship to shore communication.
The portable unit comes with its own independent power supply, air filtration, the ability to activate a smoke screen and basic survival essentials from fresh water to toilets can also be provided.
Of the 439 pirate attacks in 2011 a huge 275, well over 60%, took place off Somalia on the east coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on the west. 802 crew members were taken hostage last year, slightly down on the 1,181 in 2010, but sadly the same number were killed in both years at eight fatalities apiece. Somalia remains the area at most threat.
International naval forces continue to work to either pre-empting or disrupting pirate activity yet cannot seem to thwart them all. With the average length of captivity for ships attacked by Somali pirates being six months, many see the investment in a Panic Room as making both economic and humanistic sense as crews have a chance to raise the alarm in safety.