March 02, 2011

Patrol planned

Financial Times "Bob Maxwell pulls a British Admiralty chart from a binder, places it on his desk and points out the International Recommended Transit Corridor, a shipping lane that gives ships protection as they negotiate the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden." By Peter Shaw-Smith

'The channel, 450 nautical miles long by 20 wide, was drawn up by the Maritime Liaison Office (Marlo), an international body that facilitates contact between the disparate naval forces in the Indian Ocean and commercial shipping.

'Under the scheme, which came into effect in February 2009, ships approaching the Gulf of Aden contact Marlo to form convoys under warship escort if steaming between 10 to 18 knots. Faster ships can proceed under cover of darkness. The corridor has been a success. The ICC-International Maritime Bureau, a unit of the International Chamber of Commerce, says that incidents in the Gulf of Aden more than halved last year, totalling 53 attacks, down from 117 in 2009.'

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