Hellenic War Risks and UK P&I host West African Kidnap for Ransom Seminar

Shipowners' concerns at increasing piracy in West Africa and the kidnap for ransom threat were addressed by the Association at their seminar co-hosted with UK P&I in Athens on 7 March. Key themes of loss prevention and response were discussed with invited industry experts.

Michael Greenwood, Legal and Claims Manager for Hellenic War Risks, highlighted the assistance an insurer can provide to shipowners, together with coverage and response in the event of an attack.  George Devereese of UKP&I's loss prevention department used geospatial-intelligence analytics employed in their new marine intelligence portal to detail approach and port risks in West Africa.

Dimitris Maniatis of Diaplous Maritime Services spoke on the real-world intricacies of employing armed guards and escort vessels before handing over to Richard Neylon and Michael Ritter of HFW, London. Messrs Neylon and Ritter highlighted the practical and legal matters that a shipowner needs to be aware of should they suffer the trauma of a kidnap for ransom. Finally, Terra Firma Risk Management provided guidance on the challenges when negotiating with pirates.

The seminar was well received and attended, with approximately 140 representatives from shipowners and associated industries present. A lively discussion continued on the Hilton's rooftop terrace over drinks.

Michael Greenwood

Legal and Claims Director