THE Malaysian Maritime Academy (Alam) is developing a new course on piracy management to better prepare its cadets in facing sea criminals.

Alam chief executive officer M. Adthisaya Ganesen said with the help of MISC Bhd, Alam was currently developing the course based on experience with the hijacking of two chemical tankers last year.

M. Adthisaya Ganesen

“Once it has been developed, we would be glad to offer the course to all in the shipping industry,” he told StarBiz.

He said the escalating piracy crisis off the Somalian coast had made the Gulf of Aden dangerous to shipping.

“This basically calls for more protection for merchant shipping as the waterway to the Suez Canal is at stake through which some 30% of oil movements transit, as well as other goods.

“We are glad that the Malaysian Navy has responded in a timely manner to the need for their intervention along with other naval forces,” he said.

On other future developments, Adthisaya said Alam was looking at new courses, such as bridging course for mechanical engineers, which would only take six months.

“This specific course is for interested mechanical engineering degree holders to become seagoing marine engineers.

“Upon completion of the course, they are required to undergo six months’ sea time training before being eligible for their first certificate of competency examination,” he said.

Alam commenced offering this course with MISC sponsoring a total of 27 candidates.

Other local shipping companies have also expressed interest.

“We are able to produce marine seagoing engineers quicker and at a lower investment cost without compromising on quality and competency.

“Another new course could be the re-skilling of officers from the bulk and liner sectors to cater to the tanker sector,” he said.

Alam has obtained accreditation from the Nautical Institute, Britain, to conduct the dynamic positioning operator course in collaboration with Bumi Armada Bhd.

Alam has also been appointed by the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners to be a member of the committee to develop the tanker officers training standards.

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