Disgruntled Security Guard Takes Control of Drybulk Carrier
A disgruntled security guard involved in a pay dispute with his employer created a security incident threatening a drybulk carrier and its crew. After a nearly three-day standoff, Eagle Bulk Shipping reports that the security incident was successfully resolved.
According to the statement from the operator of the supramax dry bulk carrier, the incident began on July 21 when three guards boarded the 52,500 DWT vessel the Jaeger to provide security during a transit in the Indian Ocean sailing towards the Red Sea. Eagle Bulk noted that it was following an industry best practice as it has for more than 10 years to bring security guards aboard when sailing in the High Risk Area.
The normal practice is that once onboard the guards hand over their weapons to the vessel’s captain. Instead, one of the three guards took control of the vessel, steering it off course and voicing his grievances and demands for compensation. The company said that while the guard fired his weapon he did not threaten or harm any of the crew on the vessel. The other two guards supplied by the contractor were not involved in the incident.
The company later learned, that the guard was in an employment dispute with his employer and that he had not been paid for several months. The dispute was between the guard and his employer who had assigned him to the ship as part of a security contract.
Eagle Bulk reports that it worked in coordination with maritime security experts to deescalate the situation. The company maintained regular contact with the captain during the incident and kept relevant authorities updated on developments. V Ships, the vessel’s crewing manager, was also involved during the incident and kept the families of the ship’s crew updated.
After a period of approximately three days, the guard agreed to surrender his weapon. The vessel was allowed to continue on its original course. The guard remained aboard the vessel and was disembarked 10 days after first coming on board.