Breda, the Netherlands, June 8, 2011. Dockwise urges the Netherlands government to allow for better protection on its vessels to counteract piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. As the ability of governments to offer military protection is limited, the ability for ship owners to employ additional private protection is of the utmost importance. Despite several appeals, private protection onboard Dutch vessels could meet with legal impediments. Other nations do allow for such added protection measures. Dockwise eventually may be forced to have its vessels sail under a different flag if restrictions are not eased imminently.
On the growing piracy problem André Goedée, Dockwise`s CEO, comments: "As an oil and gas service provider, our vessels - which as a consequence of their specific nature have been labeled by experts to be very vulnerable to pirate attacks - have to enter pirate-infested waters most months of the year. At this point we are not allowed to protect our employees adequately against pirates, while other nations do allow for added security measures. Our clients, too, request added security measures for their employees and cargoes on-board. In the interest of our employees and because of the increasing pressure from the industry itself, we may be forced to seek other alternatives - such as bringing the vessels under a different jurisdiction and flag - if regulations are not adapted quickly. We would regret having to take such a decision, but we are left with no choice should the Dutch government remain idle."
Dockwise has directed attention to the piracy problem through various channels in the recent past. Territorial protection by means of patrolling naval vessels or having military personnel onboard for personal and object protection are desired solutions. However, in view of the size of the area and the sheer number of vessels that pass through this area, the navy cannot be expected to respond to each distress call in time. Unlike in other nations, Dutch law does not allow for armed private security companies to be contracted. The protection of vessels by means of armed escort vessels - contracted by the cargo`s owner - in some isolated cases can be a solution, but many cargo owners are unable or not prepared to contract private security companies.
Although it is clear that a long term sustainable solution to the piracy problem necessitates a much wider and structural approach including international engagement of people and authorities in the relevant areas, the improvement of prosecution and imprisonment of pirates, coordinated attacks on mothervessels and many other measures, a solution for the dangerous problems that ships face this very moment is required in the very short term. Dockwise makes an urgent appeal to the Dutch government to pro-actively seek an effective solution to the problem of vessel protection, including the ability to contract adequate private security. Dutch vessels must be able to offer the same level of security to employees and clients as those vessels that sail under flags of other nations.
For further information please contact:
Fons van Lith
M: +31 (0)6 51 314 952 or T: +31 (0)76 5484116
Dockwise Ltd., a Bermuda incorporated company, has a workforce of more than 1,200 people both offshore and onshore. The company is the leading marine contractor providing total transport services to the offshore, onshore and yachting industries as well as installation services of extremely heavy offshore platforms. The Group is headquartered in Breda, the Netherlands. The Group`s main commercial offices are located in the Netherlands, the United States and China with sales offices in Korea, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and Nigeria. The Dockwise Yacht Transport business unit is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and has an office in Italy. The Dockwise Shipping network is supported by agents in Norway, Argentina and Italy.
To support all of its services to customers, the group also has three additional engineering centers in Houston, Breda and Shanghai, manufactures specific motion reduction equipment such as LMU (Leg Mating Units) and DMU (Deck Mating Units) and owns a fleet of 19 purpose built semi-submersible vessels.
Dockwise shares are listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under ticker DOCK and on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam under ticker DOCKW.
For further information: www.dockwise.com
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.