Hostage situation resolved on Eagle Bulk vessel
US shipowner Eagle Bulk Shipping has reported that it has successfully resolved a security incident involving an armed individual on one of its vessels, the company said on Friday, July 31.
On July 21, the Supramax bulk carrier Jaeger embarked three security guards in the Indian Ocean before sailing towards the Red Sea, as the company has done for all transits through the high risk area (HRA) over the past 10 years, in accordance with industry best practices.
Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel’s captain as is normal protocol and instead took control of and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation.
Eagle Bulk added that, while the guard had discharged his weapon on board the vessel, at no time did he directly threaten or harm any of the crewmembers.
The remaining two guards did not participate in this action.
Unbeknownst to the company, there was an employment dispute between the guard and his employer, and he had not been paid for several months.
Eagle Bulk, in coordination with maritime security experts, worked to de-escalate the situation. After a period of approximately three days, the guard surrendered his weapon and allowed the ship to continue on its original course.
Relevant authorities were kept appraised throughout the incident, and the guard was disembarked on Thursday, July 30.
Eagle Bulk maintained regular contact with the captain throughout this event, and V Ships, the vessel’s crewing manager, also maintained an active dialogue with the crew’s families to keep them updated.
Eagle Bulk said neither itself nor V Ships was a party to the employment dispute.