Britain Changes Laws in Stand Against Pirates

This might not affect the average cruiser, but it’s an interesting move in recognizing the need to take a stand against pirates.

All UK-registered vessels — including superyachts — can now employ armed guards to defend themselves against pirates in exceptional circumstances, the British government has confirmed.

The move comes just weeks after Prime Minister David Cameron promised a swift change to the law in order to protect British vessels from pirate attack in the Indian Ocean.

“Evidence shows that vessels with armed guards are less likely to be successfully attacked, which is why the Government has been working in recent months to allow the lawful use of armed guards in exceptional circumstances,” says British shipping minister Mike Penning.

“Modern pirates are dangerous, organized criminals who have shown they are not shy of using violence to achieve their goals.“We have not taken this decision lightly. It is clear that we must offer those flying the Red Ensign every opportunity to ensure the safety of their crews and vessels.

“By allowing the use of armed guards in a structured, legal framework we can move to a system where ship owners can provide an adequate deterrent against this scourge on the maritime industry.”

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