On Friday NASDAQ-listed Eagle Bulk released brief details of a remarkable hostage situation onboard one of its supramaxes, which saw a disgruntled hired armed security guard take control of the ship for three days.
On July 21, the V.Ships-managed Jaeger bulk carrier 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) for more than a decade, 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 then took control of and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation over late salary payments he was owed from his private security firm. While the guard discharged his weapon onboard 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.
Eagle Bulk, in coordination with maritime security experts, worked to deescalate the situation and 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 night.
“Eagle Bulk expresses its appreciation for the professionalism shown by the vessel’s Captain and crew throughout this ordeal,” the shipowner stated in a release.