Bahrain’s ports, vessels ‘secure’
Manama, August 9, 2010
Bahrain’s ports and vessels have the highest security measures available, and the kingdom has no plans to beef it up further following an attack on a Japanese tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last month, said a senior official.
General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOSP) maritime affairs assistant director-general Isa Yateem said Bahrain was already party to the International Convention For The Safety Of Life At Sea (Solas) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
"All (seven) Bahraini ports are complying with the code as well as the Solas convention," he said.
"All Bahraini vessels are complying with the code, which includes having a ship security assessment, ship security officer, a port facility security assessment and a port facility security officer.”
"There is no reason for them not to comply with the code wherever they are and I expect this (Japanese) vessel was complying with the code. It tells them what to do in case of an attack. We have to put measures in place to tell them how to behave on the ship,” he added.
"Any ship coming to Bahrain should have its own security plan, but ships must review their security measures every year."
A spokesman for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet - which is headquartered in Bahrain and patrols the Gulf waters - said it was already operating at a "high state of vigilance", suggesting there was no plan to review its security policy.
Meanwhile, Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (Memac) director Captain Abdul Monem Al Janahi added the organisation would monitor investigations and discuss the findings with member countries.
"Until now I don't think we can do anything (for security) until they come with their suggestions from the investigations," he added.
"We will study it (the results of the investigation) with international maritime organisations and discuss it with ministers of member states."
The UAE said on Friday the Japanese oil tanker was hit by an explosives-laden dinghy in the Gulf in the first attack in the strategic waterway, where millions of barrels of oil are transported each day.
An Al Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility for attacking the vessel, raising fears about the vulnerability of the Strait of Hormuz - a vital shipping lane for petroleum exporting countries in the region between Oman and Iran.
The M Star super tanker was damaged on July 28 as it entered the strait, a transit point for about 40 per cent of oil shipped by tankers worldwide. – TradeArabia News Service