Monday, February 1, 2016

Private Security on the High Seas

The Economist reports. My bold:

The Seaman Guard Ohio was a “floating armoury”, a ship that loiters semi-permanently in international waters, acting as a hotel and base for private security guards hired to protect ships from Somali pirates. They are typically stationed in waters off Sudan, Sri Lanka or the United Arab Emirates, waiting for their customers—merchant ships in need of protection—to pass by.

Guards hop aboard a client’s ship with their guns, then ride it through the piracy “high risk area” (HRA). Since armed guards first started protecting ships against Somali pirates about a decade ago, no ship with them aboard has been successfully hijacked. Now about 40% of ships rounding the Horn of Africa carry armed guards, according to IHS Jane’s, a research company.

Once the ship has passed back into safe waters the guards disembark to another armoury. Then they fly home or jump aboard the next ship going the other way. This arrangement keeps guns out at sea, avoiding bothersome and inconsistent national laws.


  1. Where there's a need, there's a market. Where there's a market, there's a solution. Cool.

  2. So the solution to piracy wasn't a statist answer but a free market answer. Surprise, surprise.

  3. I'm also surprised that someone hasn't sold Somali pirate hunting tours as well. I think this would be a big hit.