Highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on maritime security


The situation with coronavirus continues to evolve, governments are restricting the movements, closing the borders that causes such implications as disruption of global supply chains, personnel movement restrictions, logistic interruption and many other complexities.

By Katherine Yakunchenkova
General Manager, Al Safina Security

The coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting millions of people. Almost 3 million cases have been confirmed across the globe, resulting in more than 119,000 deaths. This pandemic will have devastating effects on the global economy. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted that COVID-19 will lower global GDP growth for 2020 from 2.9 to 2.4 percent. In its turn, economic slowdowns generally lead to lower energy demand, and the fallout from COVID-19 has proved no different. Oil prices are dropping due to failed agreements on production cuts on one side and on the other side - chemicals and refined products slow down due to industrial and travel restrictions in the wake of global pandemic.

There are high chances of piracy raise because of COVID-19 as governments become overwhelmed by the spate of issues that brings to the scarcity of resources and causes unemployment growth and economic activity disruption. Such vulnerable regions that lack effective mitigation strategies and affected by maritime piracy are likely to suffer disorder, theft and looting that could lead to more frequent pirate attacks. With healthcare systems getting the priority, maritime crime will be neglected and the economic impact of COVID-19 might bring to an increase in illicit maritime trading.

After the new restrictions related to COVID-19 were implemented by majority of countries, security operations got suspended. Al Safina Security continues to provide its services to protect clients’ ships passing the High-Risk Waters. With the flights temporary halted and new control measures taken by Egypt, Oman, UAE, Malaysia, Comoros, Sri Lanka and other regions crucial for maritime security operations, most of the PMSCs suspended their services. ALSS still performs in full mode to ensure steady supply of maritime security services. 

Maritime security solutions

ALSS security operators are based offshore on board of the floating armories and were mobilized before the pandemic burst out. The platforms management abided by protective measures and safety precautions to keep all guards in good health and operations running. All the infection control measures are implemented in compliance with the Standard Infection Protection and Control (IPC) precautions. The convenient location of all three platforms at OPL Fujairah, Red Sea and Arabian Sea covers the High Risk “Triangle” to ensure our clients vessels sailing safely and securely all over the risky region perimeter.

In these unprecedented times, the ability of shipping services to continue undisrupted to transport food, energy and medical supplies across the continents will play a critical role in overcoming this pandemic. Health measures must be the first priority for governments, business and society. It is important for businesses to show solidarity and work together to protect staff, local communities and customers, as well as keeping supply chains, manufacturing and logistics working. On the other hand, governments should foresee the effects in case maritime transport comes to a halt due to travel restrictions, and the inability of shipping companies to relief their crews.