Government bans on ransom payments to pirates would put seafarers at risk and hurt the global economy, said Alastair Evitt, managing director of Meridian Marine Management and president of InterManager and the newly appointed Chairman of the Save Our Seafarers Campaign.
Evitt, the newly appointed chairman of the Save Our Seafarers Campaign, spoke at the annual Connecticut Maritime Conference last week. He said that if ransoms were banned, seafarers would be unwilling to sail in pirate-infested waters and that any owner who failed to ransom his crew and ship would be unlikely to ever attract a crew again.
"I for one would not sanction one of Meridian's vessels transiting the high risk area – if there was no ultimate solution in the event of a vessel and her crew being held captive," Evitt said.
At a recent London conference on Somalia, government officials called for a move to quit paying ransoms to pirates. Evitt explained that this would force many vessels to reroute at higher costs.
"And for those forced to transit pirate areas, insurance premiums would become prohibitive – to say nothing of the fact that in many cases vessels would become a total loss after six months,” he said.
"I speak as Chairman of the Save Our Seafarers campaign when I say that we are opposing this apparent change of political will and hope we can rely on your support,” he told the Connecticut audience.