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The Human Element in Container Shipping


Edited By Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik and Susanne Neumann

The shipping industry is run by people and for people. Thus, the main element in shipping is the «human element» – the mariners at all levels. Since the human element aboard vessels – being in and coping with a very special environment – is the crucial point of every transport chain, it is important to take a closer look at maritime human resource management issues which are scarcely tackled in scientific literature. This book deals with topics such as the criminalization of seafarers, piracy as part of shipping companies’ risk management, corporate social responsibility and human error in shipping.


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8 Pirate negotiation communication –Whose risk? Whose responsibility?A study of a company’s crisis communication response strategies to psychological stress in an authentic pirate hijacking situation: Lisa L. Froholdt, PhD.


139 1 Introduction Piracy is an element of risk management in shipping today. This element includes the act of attempting to board a ship in order to commit theft or use force to accomplish this1. Contrary to more traditional safety accidents that shipping companies must risk assess, piracy is an intentional accident that must be responded to. However, it can be argued that the assessment of the risk of psychological trauma in the event of a pirate attack calls for a response that goes beyond the individual shipping company.2 A response that has sought to provide psychological aid to traumatised victims of piracy comes from the Disaster Psychiatry Outreach and the New York Psychoanalytical Society and Institute, which, together with the Seamen’s Church Institute, initiated a collaborative research project two years ago that focuses on investigating the clinical assessment and treatment of piracy attack survivors 3 . The project seeks to identify stressors of pirate hostage situations, medical evaluation strategies for crewmembers and their families and plans for assessing and providing for seafarers after hostage situations. The project has compiled a guideline for “Post-piracy care for seafarers” in 2011. Another response that investigates the psychological welfare of seafarers is the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) 4 , which is funded by the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the TK Foundation and was launched in 1 IMO (2005). 2 Mitropoulos, E.E. (2001), pp. 1-5. 3 Lloyd’s List, 19 April 2011. 4 The MPHRP partner organisations are: BIMCO, ICMA, ICSW, IFSMA, IGP&I,...

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