An armed security guard seized control of an Eagle Bulk Shipping vessel for three days last week before surrendering to authorities, the New York-listed owner said today.
The guard was involved in a pay dispute with his employer that had no relation to Eagle Bulk nor V.Ships, the vessel's crewing manager. No one was injured.
The incident aboard the 52,400-dwt supramax Jaeger (built 2004) began on 21 July in the Indian Ocean as the vessel was bound for the Red Sea.
The guard was one of three security guards to board the vessel to transit a high-risk area, as has been the practice for more than a decade, Eagle Bulk said.
"Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel's captain as is normal protocol and then took control, and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation.
"While the guard discharged his weapon on board the vessel, at no time did he directly threaten or harm any of the crew members."
The guard indicated he had not been paid by his employer for several months. The other two guards did not take part.
"Eagle Bulk, in coordination with maritime security experts, worked to de-escalate the situation and after a period of approximately three days, the guard surrendered his weapon and allowed the ship to continue on its original course," Eagle Bulk said.
"Relevant authorities were kept apprised through the incident, and the guard was disembarked last night."
Eagle Bulk kept regular contact with the captain throughout the incident and V.Ships with the crew's families. Eagle Bulk praised the professionalism of V.Ships as well as the captain and crew in handling the incident.
Eagle Bulk declined to comment further "due to the sensitive nature of the incident".