A viral video of a security team firing on what is said to be Somali pirates approaching a vessel has caught the attention of a DC-area private security firm who is now calling for an investigation into the incident.
The video was uploaded this month to several sites including Liveleak.com, Ebaum’s World, YouTube, and Current TV, but without any attribution or explanation of the events.
The first minute of the video shows a small craft approaching a larger cargo ship at a high speed. The person holding the camera, and what looks like an AR-15 assault rifle, can be heard giving orders to fire warning shots and at least two crew members began firing at the craft.
The small craft continues its approach until it pulls alongside the bigger ship. Crew members continue to fire until the only thing left is the boat turned sideways in the cargo ship’s wake. At that point the camera man yells that a second skiff is approaching the ship. Crewmembers fire rounds until the skiff slows its approach.
Nexus Consulting, a security firm in Alexandria, Virginia, that specializes in maritime security and intelligence issued a statement on Friday saying the video paints private security in a bad light. The company has asked the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) to investigate the incident.
No maritime security companies have taken credit for the incident and its validity had not been verified, according to the press release. Nexus says SAMI should conduct an investigation to find out the firm operating on the ship and place sanctions.
“Security associations must ensure that firms are held accountable for their actions (and public statements) to ensure governance is not merely a paper tiger,” the release states.
Call and emails to SAMI were not immediately returned, but in a statement released in January, it noted that no ships have been taken by pirates when guarded by armed teams.
However, according to SAMI founder Peter Cook, “the bold decision to allow vessels to use armed guards was just the start. Now the authorities must set about the task of ensuring the systems and rules for the use of force which they employ are appropriate and adequate.”
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