Friday 1 March 2013

MS Expedition prepared for pirate attack

Your editor will head to West Africa next month aboard G Adventures, MS Expedition.

Today I received this thoughtful letter from my captain.

February 28, 2013

A message from your Captain

Dear G Adventures traveller(s),

I am very much looking forward to welcoming you on board the MS Expedition for our inaugural trip up the West Coast of Africa.

At this point, I wanted to introduce myself, and few things about the vessel. I am Captain William Bennett, and I have the privilege of guiding the MS Expedition on her journey.

One of the most common questions G Adventures has received in the booking process for this trip has been in regard to the safety of the vessel, and the safety and security of the travellers (and staff). I am here to reassure you all reasonable measures have been put in place, and I would like to outline a few of those.

Largely, the concerns come to us as a result of reports of piracy in some of the waters of West Africa. These piracy events have in the vast majority of cases been focused on oil tankers. There have been no reports of passenger ships having been involved. G Adventures have considered all the factors, and although obviously not the safest part of the world, we feel the risks (and rewards of travelling in this part of the world) are manageable.

That said, we have taken some additional measures to ensure safety. Some examples are razor wire that will be deployed at certain points around the vessel. Another is the physical presence of a security team onboard. Both of these are to discourage, and further, repel, attempted threats. I cannot provide too many details here – that will be done onboard. We will introduce you to the crew, staff and the security team. We will also be involving you in some drills, both safety and security drills. I wanted to let you know in advance that these are some of the things you can expect to see on board, in addition to our wonderful crew and comforts of the MS Expedition.

There are, of course, many other safety and security measures that we have in place. You will not be able to see them all, and we cannot tell you them all, but I can reassure you they are in place.

In addition, I would like to remind you to bring a soft water shoe to protect your feet during the zodiac landings.

Finally, we may have opportunity to visit some schools along our journey. If you would like to make a positive difference for the children of these schools, I encourage you to bring practicable items the children may use, for example, notes books with lined paper, pencils and pencil sharpeners, coloring pencils and coloring paper etc. The Expedition Leader will collect these items on board, and co-ordinate the distribution.

I am excited to have this opportunity to command the MS Expedition. It is a new trip for G Adventures, I am very much looking forward to this departure and discovering the history and adventure that is West Africa.

Yours Sincerely,
Captain William Bennett.

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