A COMPANY helping in the fight against piracy has been honoured for its lifesaving work.
Guardian Maritime in Lee-on-the-Solent was set up by husband-and-wife team David and Teresa Stevens in February 2013.
Its anti-piracy barrier, invented by Teresa to prevent pirates at sea from capturing ships and torturing the crews for ransom, fits over ships’ rails and makes it impossible for anyone to board from another vessel using a ladder or a grappling hook.
The business has so far saved more than 100 mariners onboard ships fitted with the device attacked by pirates since 2013.
David said: ‘Pirates have attacked five ships of the 350 ships protected by Guardian.
‘All these attacks have resulted in failure by the pirates and successful defence of the ships.
‘Most importantly, the crew members on the latest attack in the Gulf of Guinea took the total number of crew saved to over 100. These brave mariners will now return to their families safe and sound in time for Christmas.’
The company was honoured for its work at the Intergas 2016 Awards in Nice on November 29, where it was named the Most Extraordinary Contribution to Health, Safety, Security, and Environment.
It is the third international award for the Lee firm, after it won a Horners Award and a Seatrade Awards last year.
David said they were proud of the award, but even prouder to have saved so many lives.
He said: ‘After a ship is captured, crew are rounded up and made to call home and tell their families they are captive. This puts pressure on the shipping company to pay the ransom. If negotiations go too slowly then the crew are beaten or tortured including hacking off limbs, then made to call home again. This is repeated until the ransom is paid.
‘We’re very proud to have saved over 100 mariners from this unimaginable fate.’