Explosions, hijackings and Royal Marines storming a ship. Not the plotline of a Steven Segal movie. But the subjects of the most read Captain’s Blogs of 2019. What they all had in common (aside from being dramatic events) was how they highlighted the complex and growing risks faced by organizations across the maritime ecosystem. Here’s a recap of what you may have missed, or what you may want to read again:
Third place: The Kerch Explosion & Dynamic Data
Way back in January, two tankers exploded and burst into flames in the Kerch Strait, killing more than a dozen crew. Windward Data Scientist, Hannah Moise, explained that dynamic data predicted these two ships were highly likely to be involved in an incident in 2019. Just as importantly, she explained why.
Second place: Migrant Ship Hijacking Raises Questions
Next came the story of the Palau-flagged tanker ELHIBLU 1, which picked up migrants off the coast of Libya. It was heading towards Tripoli when the rescued migrants reportedly hijacked the vessel, turned it around and headed for Malta. But as Dror Salzman wrote at the time, there was more to this migrant ship hijacking than met the eye.
Winner: The Multinational Story Behind the Grace1
The winner of the coveted “most-read Captain’s Blog of the year” gong – by quite a margin – goes to the Multinational Story Behind the GRACE 1(subsequently renamed ADRIAN DARYA 1). This, of course, was the Iranian tanker seized by Royal Marines and Gibraltarian authorities on suspicion of breaching EU sanctions on Syria. The Iranians promised they wouldn’t head to Syria – which is exactly what they did once the vessel was released.
Data and AI, while they can’t foresee all these specific events, they can analyze vessel behavior to determine if a ship is likely to be smuggling or evading sanctions or engaged in dangerous maneuvers. To that end, they can help make the seas safer and the maritime ecosystem thrive. Here’s to a successful and safe 2020.
The Windward Team