AN ACT OF PIRACY SCENARIO TO ASSESS REACTION & SAFETY PROCEDURES
Geneva, 10 April 2014 – On Monday 31 March at 15:00 CET, MSC Cruises organised a crisis management drill on board MSC Lirica as she was cruising off the coast of Oman. The drill saw the involvement of close to 2,500 people between the crew members, the employees ashore and the passengers on board the ship.
This was an unannounced emergency drill, in order to test threat assessments, reactions and emergency procedures both at sea and ashore. Strict safety procedures were followed and no one’s life was put at risk during the exercise.
As previously mentioned, the emergency drill took the form of a piracy attack that consisted in individuals aboard a skiff approaching MSC Lirica and firing upon her in an attempt to board the ship. As per standard usage, and following the pre-established scenario, the Master raised the alarm and took evasive manoeuvres to avoid being boarded by the pirates and immediately reached the competent personnel at MSC as well as at the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre.
MSC Cruises is satisfied with the outcome of the exercise and will make sure that the elements that need to be improved will be taken into account whereas lessons that need to be learned will be implemented.
“We are grateful to all the passengers on board the ship “ declared Emilio La Scala, General Manager MSC Technical Department “and to the crew members as we needed their cooperation in order to make an honest and professional assessment of an emergency situation arising unannounced. The communication between the different services involved proved to be very efficient and standard contacts with all relevant authorities and official bodies were simulated in a timely manner. We are satisfied with the outcome of the exercise but will not rest on our laurels. Safety is a constant improvement process.”