MOL, Japanese Coast Guard hold terrorism drill
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines together with the Japan Coast Guard, the Japanese Ministry of Transportation, and the Japanese Shipowners’ Association, Thursday conducted a drill to prepare for potential terrorist and pirate attacks.
The drill was undertaken in a part the South China Sea, an area that experiences frequent pirate attacks. The scenario involved MOL’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier “Wakaba Maru” being tracked by a high-speed boat in an apparent hijacking attempt. The crew of the “Wakaba Maru” then followed its security manual, based on the International Ship and Port Facility Security code, including sending a security alert to the Japan Coast Guard, discharging water, and locking all doors and hatches. The ship was also put into emergency navigation mode, which involves traveling in a zigzag pattern.
Upon receiving the “Wakaba Maru’s” security alert, the Japan Coast Guard and its ship management company, M.O. LNG Transport Co., ordered the “Mizuho,” which was patrolling the area to prevent piracy and terrorist attacks, to aid the “Wakaba Maru”. The Coast Guard also contacted MOL, which then activated its marine accident task force. The task force acted as communications control center, maintaining exclusive contact with the “Wakaba Maru.”
According to MOL the practical drill gave it the opportunity to ensure the effectiveness of its risk control system, including communication with authorities and other concerned parties.