During the last couple of years the number of pirate attacks along the Somali coast has increased, and piracy is today considered one of the most serious challenges facing the international shipping industry. H. Folmer & Co. has firsthand experience with piracy as one of our vessels, Danica White, was hijacked in 2007. And today the development in this area is a subject we follow very closely.
2007: The hijacking of Danica White
M/V Danica White was hijacked by Somali pirates in The Indian Ocean on the 1st of June 2007. The crew - five Danish seamen - were taken hostage for 83 days and released after a ransom was paid by the shipowners. Danica White was hijacked 205 nautical miles off the Somali coast at a distance that - at the time - was considered safe by the Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) in Bahrain.
Beginning of a new era
Danica White was one of the first European merchant vessels to be hijacked in The Indian Ocean after a period of quiet, and the incident marked the beginning of a new era. Since 2007 the number of hijackings and attacks has increased significantly, and the security level has been raised in H. Folmer & Co. as in the shipping industry in general.
Following the relevant guidelines in Best Management Practices (BMP3) is now integrated in the daily routine in the whole industry. This implies among other the use of barbed wire and armed guards on certain trips.
Supporting anti-piracy activities
At H. Folmer & Co. we feel very strongly for the anti-piracy agenda. We have at several occasions given our support to initiatives trying to raise the level of awareness about this very serious threat against our industry. We continually attend relevant meetings and conferences and we actively support various initiatives from The Danish Shipowners' Association and others. However, at the same time it is our belief that piracy is a political problem with an international solution.
Press releases related to the hijacking of Danica White
During the last couple of years we have issued a number of press releases to the Danish Press about the hijacking of Danica White and a following lawsuit. The trade union 3F claimed that H. Folmer & Co. was responsible for the hijacking and argued for an additional compensation for the seamen.
The City Court of Copenhagen dismissed the case in August 2008: H. Folmer & Co. had in fact taken the necessary precautions by sailing 205 nautical miles off the coast. The hijacking could not have been prevented, the court stated. The trade union appealed the case, and in October 2010 The High Court came to the same conclusion as the City Court. The trade union 3F lost the case in both courts.
The press releases are only published in Danish. They are listed below:
|Press release title||Date|
|Reder: Godt at vores søfolk har fået erstatning||20. February 2011|
|Rederiet H. Folmer & Co. frikendt - igen||06. October 2010|
|H. Folmer & Co. vinder sag i Pressenævnet||03. December 2009|
|Søfolk fra Danica White kunne ikke frigives før||09. September 2009|
|H. Folmer & Co. tilfreds med frifindelse||30. August 2009|