18/11/2008 Asia
MOL training ship conducts anti-piracy drill
SPIRIT OF MOL and Japan Coast Guard in South China Sea drills

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that MOL, along with the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) and other involved organizations, have conducted an anti-piracy/terrorism drill aboard the training ship SPIRIT OF MOL in the South China Sea. The drill was held yesterday, November 17.

During the drill, the JCG patrol ship Shikishima hurried to site, and marine safety officers boarded the SPIRIT OF MOL. The drill helped confirm the effectiveness of MOL’s crisis management programmes as well as its communication systems and methods.

This drill proved to be an invaluable lesson for the 170 trainees serving onboard the SPIRIT OF MOL, as they effectively learned how to respond to a crisis. The trainees were reviewed and tested as to the steps they must follow in case of an attack by pirates or terrorists.

Drill participants included the SPIRIT OF MOL (a MOL-owned seafarer training vessel);

the JCG’s International Criminal Investigation Division; the JCG patrol ship Shikishima; the Japanese Shipowners’ Association; Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure Transport and Tourism Maritime Bureau International Shipping Division; MOL, and M.O. Cable Ship, Ltd.

The training was based on a scenario in which a high-speed boat, suspected of plotting a seajacking, was tailing the SPIRIT OF MOL in the South China Sea between the Philippines and India.

The SPIRIT OF MOL sent out security warnings to report a possible seajacking to the vessel’s ship management company, M.O. Cable Ship, Ltd., and JCG.

To prevent the seajackers from boarding the SPIRIT OF MOL, the crew sprayed water, locked all doors and conducted emergency vessel handling.

Upon receiving the report from the SPIRIT OF MOL, the ship management company immediately conveyed the information to MOL’s Safety Operation Supporting Center at the head office, which works 24/7 to enhance the safety of all MOL-operated vessels. The center continued to exchange information with the ship management company and the related entities involved until the situation was resolved.

After receiving the report from the SPIRIT OF MOL, the JCG dispatched the Shikishima, which was on anti-piracy/terrorism patrol in to the training ship’s location. The Shikishima contacted the SPIRIT OF MOL and reported the situation to JCG officials. The JCG in turn reported the information to all relevant parties including the ship management company.

The marine safety officers from the Shikishima boarded the, SPIRIT OF MOL conducted an investigation, and confirmed that the situation was under control.

MOL and MOL Group companies conduct regular drills to confirm that all vessel safety and security measures are working effectively, and to hone the communication and crisis management skills of the company’s personnel on land and at sea.