Maersk Alabama Hijacking: 15 Years of Maritime Security Lessons

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Maersk Alabama hijacking, an incident that captured the world’s attention and was made famous by the 2013 film “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks.

In 2009, four Somali pirates boarded the Maersk Alabama in the Indian Ocean. It was the first time in 200 years that pirates had seized a U.S. flagged vessel. This led to the capture of Captain Richard Phillips, who was forced onto one of the ship’s lifeboats.

Did you know that Securewest International, through our Maritime Assistance Centre (MAC), was the first to know about the incident? When the vessel activated its onboard SSAS button, our MAC received the alert and immediately began liaising with the United States Coast Guard (USCG). We also started informing key company personnel and other pre-agreed stakeholders. Our friends in the Royal Navy were shown depicting this part of the process in the movie.

Securewest was highly commended by both Maersk and the USCG for our professional handling of the situation. 15 years on, we continue to operate our MAC and offer SSAS Monitoring and Management services.

We are proud of our ongoing cooperation with the USCG as part of our SSAS management service, ensuring the safety and security of maritime operations worldwide.

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