Attacks will leave members exposed, says association

The London P&I Club has warned its members that continuing piracy attacks leave them increasingly exposed.

The mutual insurance association also criticised charterers for imposing harsh terms on shipowners as they look to improve profitability in the tough economic conditions.

It said in a statement: “Given the prevailing market conditions, it might be expected that charterers will seek to impose onerous terms on owners, which may serve to encourage masters to expose their ships to an increased risk of piracy. In particular, members should be wary of terms that might expose them to claims for delay, or other liabilities.”

The Sirius Star, hijacked in the Indian ocean last year, was freed last Friday with 25 hostages after a £3m payment was parachuted to the ship.

The London P&I Club said the heightened naval presence in the Gulf of Aden and in the waters off Somalia should help reduce incidences of piracy, but it warned that the risk of attack remained a serious possibility for shipowners and operators trading in the area.