On 22 October, MSC container ship Marta and the Navy’s frigate Marceglia took part in an anti-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Guinea; the exercise simulated an attack and the subsequent response actions of the Italian military ship.
The exercise is part of the activities periodically carried out by the Navy in support of shipowners’ companies and is aimed at maritime security; the activity is even more important for those who work in specific risk contexts. In the Gulf of Guinea, the piracy phenomenon has been present for some time, however in the last period the level of security has significantly increased – also due to these operations.
Nave Marceglia received a warning signal according which a group of pirates attempted to take control of MSC Marta. At that point the Navy frigate closed the distances with the container ship and sent a team of specialists from San Marco Marine Brigade on board by helicopter. The action made possible to foil the attack, allowing normal commercial operations to resume. The activity was carried out in cooperation between the Italian Navy, MSC and Assarmatori.
“These are exercises that are held regularly”, commented Assarmatori, “and are of great importance for the protection of Italian ship crews and cargo on the risky routes, as well as confirming the high level of coordination achieved between CINCNAV (Command in Chief of the Naval Squadron, based in Rome), Assarmatori and the shipping companies operating in the area. Decisive in these cases is the training of crews and the role played by the Italian Navy, which is precious and irreplaceable in protecting human lives. The Guinea Gulf is one of the areas considered “the hottest” from this point of view. Nevertheless, thanks to this type of activity and the constant presence and surveillance of these waters, the number of attacks in recent months has dropped considerably”.
“This, continues the Association, does not have to let us lower the guard. The collaboration between the Italian Navy and the Merchant Marine is an indispensable element of security. The results of the interaction among crews and the military forces is quite evident”.
CreditPhoto: Italian Navy