St Helena’s cherished lifeline ship to return as anti-piracy armoury

The RMS St Helena, a former postal ship, will now become a floating armoury and be renamed “MNG Tahiti”. The popular old RMS ST HELENA is renamed in
MNS TAHITI Photo: Glenn Käsner the RMS ST HELENA, the UK’s last working postal ship, was for nearly three decades the main source of contact between one of humanity’s remotest islands and the outside world. Now the ship, cherished by the 4,500 residents of UK-ruled St. Helena, will start a new life as a floating
armoury, packed with automatic weapons, bulletproof jackets, and night vision goggles, all stored for maritime security operatives. Renamed the MNG Tahiti, the 104-metre ship will undergo some tweaks before sailing to the Gulf of Oman where it will be used to ferry guns and guards to passing vessels navigating stretches of water lurking with pirates, its new operator said on Tuesday. “The ship is good to go with a few adjustments,” said Mark Gray, a former British Royal Marine
and founder of floating armoury firm MNG Maritime. “By the middle of the year, we hope to have her operating.” Tahiti have lost all hope of being able to turn around the route’s loss-making situation. “Therefore, we have no alternative but to
close the route as we undoubtedly will lose clients who will be forced to seek alternative solutions for their transport.” He
said DFDS was “extremely sorry” for the effect the decision would have in Scotland and Belgium. The closure would affect
a “very limited number of people” employed by the ferry company, he added “In cooperation with the Scottish government
and the port, we have tried everything in our power to save the route,” he said. “This included going from a combined
passenger and cargo ship to a freight ship, reducing costs by enabling double stacking of containers and reducing fuel
costs by installing a scrubber to remove sulphur from the exhaust gas instead of using expensive, low-sulphur fuel.
“However, the route continued to make losses. And with the new situation with the ship out of service for months, the
market, the customers and the financial situation will be negatively affected, and make a turnaround and a reopening
unrealistic.” The freight service between Rosyth and Zeebrugge has been operating since 2002. Charles Hammond, group
chief executive of Forth Ports, which operates the Port of Rosyth, said they were “very disappointed” by the closure. He
added: “Scotland remains well connected with continental Europe through the range of multimodal services operating from
the Port of Grangemouth. “Grangemouth is Scotland’s largest container terminal and provides connectivity to locations in
the UK, mainland Europe and the rest of the world through its feeder network. We will work hard to ensure that as many
affected customers as possible can be accommodated from Grangemouth. “The Port of Rosyth is among Scotland’s best
connected ports, with a range of opportunities currently being explored for the port as a whole.” Source: BBC




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The Maritime Security Alliance is a platform of maritime stakeholders aimed to provide ships with non-lethal, non-violent protection against maritime crime. Continuous innovation and creative thinking of its expert team will improve security conditions for seafarers by ensuring effective, legitimate and affordable self-protection measures.

The Maritime Security Alliance offers the service of one single contact for integrated solutions against piracy.

 

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