“MYBA took the decision to commission an expert report from a well-regarded, independent maritime intelligence and operations company because we take questions of safety and security extremely seriously,” explains Fiona Maureso, MYBA president. “MYBA believes that its members, and their clients and yachts, deserve to receive objective and fact-based information in order to make informed decisions... It was therefore decided to commission an external report from a reputable and qualified specialist, and release this (unedited) to our members.”
"The narrative that the Med is about to fall prey to a wave of terrorists and pirates engaged in maritime attacks is not one that is underpinned by hard evidence."
The report, which can be read in full here, was originally published by Dryad Maritime on 18 March, 2015 and is refreshingly pragmatic and practical in tone – something that is often absent when it comes to the ’security on superyachts’ discourse. Since then Ian Millen, chief operating officer at Dryad Maritime, has been approached to comment on any changes in the situation. On 14 April, 2014 he made the following statement:
“There is an unhelpful and inaccurate picture of concern building in the Mediterranean with regard to threats to shipping. Whilst there is no doubt that certain port and inshore areas should be avoided, for example in Libya and Syria, the narrative that the Med is about to fall prey to a wave of terrorists and pirates engaged in maritime attacks is not one that is underpinned by hard evidence. Mariners of all types should continue to take sensible precautions, based on good situational awareness, regardless of where they are operating, including the Med. The problem with media speculation, which we saw back in February, is that it understandably generates discussion and concern amongst the yachting community; the viral effects of social media spread these concerns widely and at some speed. The situation is further exacerbated by those who have a commercial interest in a deteriorating security situation or the fear that springs from it and also by journalism that seeks to make two and two add up to five.
“Since we issued Dryad’s analysis of the ISIS threat on 18 March, we have no reason to believe that the situation has changed in any material way, other than in a positive one, as the Italians who have shouldered the greatest burden in coping with the humanitarian situation with Mediterranean migrants, have committed to a force of naval, marine and air force assets, forward deployed, to monitor the situation in Libya in operation ‘Mare Sicuro’ (Safe Seas). Should a threat develop against any form of shipping from Libya it would inevitably be met with an extremely robust response by these and other regional and international maritime and air forces. In Dryad, we will continue to monitor developments and report on any emerging concerns.”
This article can be read in full on SuperyachtNews.com. For a full analysis on the threat with conclusions and recommendations for superyachts cruising the Mediterranean, read Dryad Maritime’s Superyacht Special Advisory ‘Central Mediterranean: ISIS Maritime Threat Assessment’ report in full here.