Module 8 of SWAIMS project to address complexities of safety and security in marine space


The 8th module of the Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security (SWAIMS) Project has been held at the Regional Maritime University.

The EU funded project is a nine-module program which consists of Introduction to Maritime security environment, the Maritime Security Functional Areas, Legal and Police Frameworks for Advancing Maritime Security, Blue Economy and Maritime Environment, Maritime Crisis Management, among others.

The module 8 which seeks to address complexities of safety and security in the marine space had participants from the Navy, Maritime administration, Port authority, Marine police and even judges drawn from countries like Ghana, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire and Niger.

An Electrical Engineer and an old student of the Regional Maritime University, Jewel Ahiable, who was a speaker at the program, drummed home the need for security and safety in the maritime space to be enhanced as he shared his experience as a captive for 1000 days after their vessel was hijacked by Somalian Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.

“We realized that our captain tried to do defensive manoeuvring and within about 15 minutes everything subsided and our bosun came and shouting colleagues come out come out your ship has been hijacked by Somalian pirates and we came out from our hideout. We climbed to the officers’ deck and on our way to the bridge, we saw this pirates wielding an AK-47 and he asked us to put our hands on our head. So, after 2 years 9 months 1,000 days for the first time we stepped our feet on land on the 23rd of December 2012,” he narrated.

He stated that fire, ship grounding, sinking, explosion, collision and armed robbery or piracy are some dangers that are likely to happen in the maritime space and urged vessel crew members to always adhere to security measures while on board.

“In the Marine space, there are lot of happenings, there is an amputation, electrocution, there is corrosion and man falling overboard. Some of the major happenings are fire, grounding of the ship, sinking of the ship and collision,” he said.

The Coordinator of the SWAIMS project, Ing. Augustus Addy-Lamptey, revealed that the module’s goal was to help maritime industry actors understand the consequences of maritime crimes.

“Shipping carries about 90% of international trade so if anything affects ships then it’s a challenge and you can see Covid times it took shipping to let the wheels of Industry run. So this particular program was set up to make sure that the actors in the maritime industry appreciate the main effect of maritime crime and this has more to do with kidnapping for ransom,” he said.

He added that module thrived on collaboration and cooperation and urged for interagency collaboration among players in the value chain.

“This particular model has to do with collaboration and cooperation. So that is why we have addressed this issue holistically,” he said.

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