Danish Shipping’s CEO was on the quay in Frederikshavn when Esbern Snare was sent off towards the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) west of Africa. The Danish contribution comes at an important time of the year where piracy is usually on the rise.
It felt like a day of celebration, when the crew on board the frigate Esbern Snare was sent off by family members, the Minister of Defence, and other guests.
However, the reasons behind Esbern Snare’s departure from Frederikshavn were rather serious, as they are now on a critical mission to help prevent pirate attacks on civilian ships in the GoG.
CEO of Danish Shipping, Anne H. Steffensen, was one of the quests who participated in sending the Danish crew off: “It is a special event to partake in, to send a Danish warship on a mission that is central to Danish Shipping’s agenda, and which has been a priority to carry out. I am full of respect for the members of the crew, who are on their way to increase the security of the merchant fleet. We owe them and their families a big thanks,” says Anne H. Steffensen.
The GoG is under a lot of pressure from pirate attacks and can with good reason be described as the world’s most dangerous body of water. During the past six months, the number of pirate attacks has been relatively low, however, that does not mean the threat of piracy is behind us.
“Pirates are faced with the difficulty of attacking vessels during rain seasons due to poor weather conditions. That’s why we usually assume that pirate attacks start increasing around November, as the weather starts improving,” says Anne H. Steffensen.
Many Danish shipping companies operate in the area, and in 2020, they exported for a value of 7.8 billion DKK to the countries in the GoG. However, upon arrival to the Gulf of Guinea, the vessels must dock at many different ports, which makes the task of protection them more complex.
“We take a huge responsibility by sending Esbern Snare to the Gulf of Guinea, and a warship equipped with a helicopter undoubtedly presents a deterring impact on the operations of pirates. Our opinion has always been that other countries have to follow troop, and now that the UK has also deployed a ship, the attention has shifted to the Gulf of Guinea,” says Anne H. Steffensen.
- There are 30-40 Danish operated ships in the GoG on average
- Danish shipping companies operate with container ships, dry cargo ships and tankers in the area
- In 2020, Danish shipping companies had approximately 2,400 port calls
- Nigeria and Ghana are the most important countries in the area with 39 per cent of the export and 27 per cent of the Danish port calls
- In 2020, Danish shipping companies exported for a value of 7.8 billion DKK to the countries in the GoG
- Within the first nine months of 2021, 28 incidents have been reported in the GoG