2014-11-27
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Letter: Failure on pirates


Friday, May 11, 2012

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As the union representing 23,000 maritime professionals, we read your report (Cuts force navy to drop Somalia pirate patrols, 9 May) with utter dismay. The UK's failure to honour its commitment to protect merchant ships and seafarers from the very real risk of pirate attack is appalling. It is unbelievable that an island nation that remains so dependent on the sea for more than 90% of its international trade can so dismally fail to provide essential support against a proven danger.

We warned the European parliament last year that we need more warships, not less, in this area as the pirates are extending their range and becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way they attack merchant shipping. The UK must urgently reconsider its commitment to defending commercial ships and it is simply not good enough to rely on other countries' navies or to privatise protection by the deployment of armed guards.

This article was originally published in guardian.co.uk,

Mark Dickinson
General secretary, Nautilus International


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