Monday, January 11, 2010

Switzerland deals with pirates

As odd as it may seem, a Swiss-flagged bulker, the MV Turicum, was reported to have had a run-in with pirates off the Somali coast last week and managed to avoid being boarded.

I say "odd" only because few would expect that land-locked Switzerland would have any sea-going vessels under its flag. But according to the news report, "24 Swiss ships crossed the Gulf of Aden" last year, without incident. It also says that the Swiss merchant fleet currently comprises 35 vessels.

For what it's worth, my grandfather was a member of an esteemed poker club in Northern Ontario many years ago. They lightly dubbed themselves "The Swiss Navy", thinking there was no such thing as an ocean-going aspect of that country. But such is the global nature of shipping that they were wrong, and no one is immune to the threat of pirates, not even venerable Switzerland.

MV Turicum (photo credit: Actionjackson at Vesseltracker.com)

1 comment:

FTI83 said...

Hello !
Have a look to this :
http://www.mscgva.ch/about_us/about_us.html
MSC is the 2nd shipping company in the world for box ships !
But you're right : no Swiss naval ships to protect them, no Swiss aircrafts, no Swiss soldiers. Just foreign forces.