Anti-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Guinea for the Great Tema

An attack by a pirate skiff in the Gulf of Guinea was simulated at the end of April during an exercise involving the Grimaldi Group’s multipurpose ro-ro vessel Great Tema, together with the Italian Navy ship Bettica, as part of Operation “Gabinia”.

 Having been informed of the attack, the Grimaldi Group Company Security Officer (CSO) activated the protocols and the crisis management team at the shipping company's headquarters. Meanwhile, after activating the Ship Security Alert System (S.S.A.S.) and taking every possible action to dissuade and counter the pirates, the crew mustered in the citadel.

Upon receiving the alarm, as the national authority in charge of maritime security, the Italian Coast Guard Operations Centre engaged the Navy’s Multi-domain Operations Centre – located in Rome within the Naval Squadron Command-in-Chief – which, in turn, ordered the Bettica to intervene. The Navy patrol vessel, deployed in the Gulf of Guinea, intercepted the Great Tema and prepared to send its San Marco Marine Brigade team on board. An AB 212 helicopter from the Bettica carrying two San Marco Marine Brigade Amphibious Sharpshooters also took part in the training activity.

Once on board, the team headed to the bridge to ensure that the Master and crew of the Great Tema could leave the citadel, regain control of the merchant ship and resume their voyage safely.

The Gulf of Guinea is strategically important for Italy, which has large-scale national interests there that depend on freedom of navigation. Piracy is the main threat to merchant ships transiting the area and has a negative impact on the entire supply chain. For this reason, since 2020 the Italian Navy has been active in the waters of West Africa, protecting the main shipping lanes and guaranteeing maritime safety.

In addition to confirming the excellent synergy between the Navy, the Coast Guard, Confitarma (Italian Shipowners’ Association) and the Grimaldi Group, the exercise helped perfect the procedures implemented by all the actors involved in safeguarding Italy’s maritime interests in the Gulf of Guinea.

uploaded picture

uploaded picture