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  • Armed Guards for British Merchant Fleet
    Posted by Christina Mackenzie 8:39 PM on Oct 31, 2011

    On Oct. 30 British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that ships sailing under the British merchant navy flag – the Red Ensign - would be allowed to carry armed guards while sailing through dangerous waters such as the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Current British law forbids ship flying the Red Ensign from carrying weapons aboard and unlike France and Spain which provide military protection for merchant shipping, Britain does not.

    The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) which represents over 80% of the world's merchant fleet, welcomed the move as likely to have a deterrent effect, but added it was only a “short-term measure.” ICS Secretary General Peter Hinchliffe says “to date, no ships with armed guards on board have been captured. But pirates will respond with increased firepower to overwhelm the armed guards, and when that happens the impact on the crew will be pretty dreadful.”

    Tags: ar99, UK, pirates

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