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Danish Maritime Officers
Jakob Wandel
Communications Officer


Citadel Solutions
Søren Chr. Bech
Managing director


Images (4 photos below + 1 PDF file)

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PHOTO #1 (6,1 MB)








Decription: Armed pirates entering the bridge and taking control of the vessel.  The initial time until the pirates have gained control with the crew is the most dangerous, as the pirates are highly stressed and prone to very aggressive behavior. They fear interference from the naval forces and crewmembers fighting back or resisting the takeover. The pirates enter the bridge, from the bridge wing. They have climbed the outside stairs to the bridge, and enter shouting and aiming their weapons at the personnel inside. They sometimes fire their AK-47’s through the door before entering to make sure the crewmen inside are subdued and ready to surrender. Quite a few vessel captains have been apprehended on the bridge, intent on outmaneuvering the attackers, and not having evacuated to the safe room in time. Other crewmen report leaving the bridge as the pirates are entering from the bridge wing. Running down the stair to the safe room with the pirates on their heels and having to push against the safe room door to close it, with the pirates pushing from the other side. (Photo, reconstruction: Citadel Solution)


PHOTO #2 (1,1 MB)








Decription: Hostage guarded by two pirates from the holding team. There will often be pirates present in the cabin where the crewmembers are confined. The crew are forbidden to leave the room unescorted not even to use the toilet. The guards chew khat and are in general a nuisance to the confined crew. They can be very noisy, talking or arguing loudly or playing music on their radios all through the night, making rest or sleep very difficult for the crew. Their main interest in the crewmembers concern the crews’ personal items and knowledge about possible hidden valuables. They will often loot the rooms on the ship, in their search for things to take ashore and sell at the local market for a small profit. Stealing may be frowned upon by the holding team leader, so the lower ranking guards may try to hide the stolen items from their leader. They often adopt a strategy of asking the hostage to give a personal item as a gift or pressure him into exchanging an item, like his watch, for an old and broken one. They use their mobile phones constantly, even to speak to other guards on-board the ship and often take a particular interest in pornographic material present onboard. The nearly constant presence of the guards is a strain on the confined crew. (Photo, reconstruction: Citadel Solution).


PHOTO #3 (4,0 MB)








Decription: Holding team guard, on his guard station, located on the main deck at the port side of the accommodation. The guards will often erect a sunscreen so they have shade, and drag out the crew’s mattresses to sit on.  At his station he keeps a supply of drinking water, juice or sodas, and abundant khat leaves to help him stay alert. The amphetamine-like substance contained in the khat combined with plenty of sugared beverage keeps the guard mentally alert and able to stay awake troughout the night. The guards rotate positions often and change shifts regularly to avoid inattentiveness or guards neglecting to keep lookout. These guards are posted all over the ship. And at least one guard always sits on top of the highest deck of the ship to keep lookout for the naval warships. The pirates own Code of Conduct describes the punishment for neglecting guard duty. Falling asleep on watch will cost the pirate a fine. (Photo, reconstruction: Citadel Solution).


PHOTO #4 (4,5 MB)








Decription: Crewmembers lined up on deck so overflying planes or helicopters can record a Proof of Life. During the negotiation process it is common that the company requests a Proof of Life to confirm that the negotiating party is really the one in control of the hostages and vessel. A proof of life takes many forms, but a common way is to march the crewmembers outside and line them up somewhere, where they are visible from the air. Holding team guards are nearly always present in these photos. They are there to guard the crew, but more importantly to visualize the threat to the crews’ safety, as one of the pirates’ tactics to influence the negotiations. (Photo, reconstruction: Citadel Solution).


PHOTO #5 (1,1 MB)








The frontpage of the book. Pressoptimized PDF for media use.