In light of the many hijackings of ships in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, a Norwegian security company has now developed a new method to help avoid pirate attacks.
Jeppesen Marine, in cooperation with Bergen Risk Solutions (BRS), has created an interactive map that includes updated information about hijacking attempts, weather patterns and sea routes. By cross checking this information the system assesses the risk of attack.
For instance, as product manager Bjørn Åge Hjøllo tells Bergens Tidende, pirates are less likely to carry out attacks if waves are higher than a meter and a half. Therefore, by navigating towards areas with higher waves and fewer reported attacks, ships can avoid hijacking attempts.
The up-to-date information featured in the system indicates that more of the attacks now occur outside the Gulf of Aden and more frequently in the Indian Ocean. An analyst with BRS, who monitors the map system, indicates that this change may have come as a result of the increased presence of international navy forces in the area.
The international shipping industry has already taken note of the new map system. Last year the two companies received the "2010 Safety at Sea International Award for Security," and will be featured in the well-known magazine Safety at Sea later this fall. Several companies from around the world have already purchased licenses for the system, or are in the process of testing its utility.