Ships stuck in Suez 'at risk of piracy': reports

Ships stuck in Suez Canal 'at risk of piracy': reports
2 min read
27 March, 2021
Many ships waiting in the currently blocked Suez Canal are worried about risks of piracy and security.
Several shipping associations confirmed the pirate-related concerns. [Getty]
Shipping companies are contacting the US Navy regarding risks of piracy for the many ships stuck in the Suez Canal, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

"Maritime security in the region" was inquired about by many at the helm of the ships waiting in the canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, a spokesperson for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet confirmed to the FT.

The MV Ever Given, which is longer than four football fields, has been wedged diagonally across the span of the canal since Tuesday, blocking ships using the waterway in both directions.

Many of these ships are carrying sizeable cargos, with billions of dollars worth of goods. Shipping associations like the chair of the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, Willy Lin, reported concerns that naval warships might be needed to safeguard the ships in the Suez, she was quoted saying in the FT report.

This is compounded with the established problem of piracy in the region, which increased significantly in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Read more: Questions raised over Egypt's handling of Suez Canal wedging

Several shipping associations confirmed the pirate-related concerns, with the chair of the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, Willy Lin, telling the FT that naval warships might be required to safeguard ships in the area.

The United States already said it was ready to send support, including a team of US Navy experts.

The blockage has caused a huge traffic jam of more than 200 ships at both ends of the 193-kilometre (120-mile) long canal and major delays in the delivery of oil and other products.

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