Monday, August 19, 2013

Ex Pirate Hostage Speaks Out at Women's Shipping Forum

Eight Month's Terror Detailed as Delegates Also Discuss Environmental Issues
Shipping News Feature

UK – As part of this year’s London International Shipping Week, which runs from 9-13 September 2013, the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) will have as its main forum speaker Chirag Bahri, the Chief Engineer from a tanker captured in the Indian Ocean in a pirate attack in 2010 and held hostage in appalling conditions until his release 8 months later in January 2011. Later the WISTA event will feature a debate on the impact of shipping on the environment.

Mr Bahri, who worked on bulk carriers and oil and chemical tankers since he went to sea in 2004, has spoken out widely since his release and is now the India and South Asia regional representative for the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme, focussing on providing guidance for seafarers and their families as well as promoting the human side of the issue of piracy.

For anyone who hasn’t heard his down to earth assessment of the terror of captivity at the hands of a Somali pirate gang, this is an opportunity to understand to some degree the horrors inflicted upon innocent captives used as pawns of extortion. The panellists at the session ‘How safe are our seafarers and ships in West Africa?’ also include representatives from The Royal Navy and The Mission to Seafarers.

In the evening session, in a debate moderated by Jim Davis, Chairman IMIF and a WISTA-UK Ambassador, senior maritime figures will debate ‘This House Thinks that Green Shipping is Hot Air’ as they highlight the huge impact which environmental demands and regulations on maritime emissions will have, not only on shipping lines, but also on the wider maritime industry and, indeed on everyone who buys or uses goods sourced from overseas.

WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) is an international organisation for women in management positions involved in maritime transportation business and related trades worldwide. So it is not surprising that it will also host a session on ‘Women in Top Jobs’ and speakers will include senior women in both maritime and wider international roles. The opening session aims to help conference delegates make the most out of networking opportunities, with specific reference to the value of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques.

Women only organisations often frighten off those from another sex but all the sessions are open to everyone, WISTA and non-WISTA, women and men, and will be held in Portcullis House, Westminster on Wednesday 11 September 2013. WISTA UK members can attend for free, with non-members paying £150 for the full day or £50 for the evening debate and networking. Details HERE. 

Photo: Chirag Bahri, India and South Asia regional representative for the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme