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News — Press Releases

Below are the press releases of VessEx.


New Anti-Piracy Service Protects Vessels in Dangerous Waters

VessEx Expands Its Ship Recovery Service to Deter and Repel Pirate Attacks

NEW ORLEANS, April 22, 2009 -- Vessel Extractions LLC (“VessEx”) (, a worldwide ship recovery specialist, today launched its Shiprotek service to protect ships from pirate attacks. VessEx protection teams, composed of former Special Forces personnel, ride with ships in high-risk waters to prevent pirates from boarding their clients’ vessels and harming the crews. 

“Unfortunately, military forces and law enforcement agencies can’t patrol all of the world’s pirate-infested waters,” said Michael Bono, a maritime attorney and Managing Director of VessEx. He quoted Vice Admiral William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, as saying, "Shipping companies have to understand that naval forces cannot be everywhere. Self-protection measures are the best way to protect their vessels.”

Capt. Max Hardberger, VessEx’s Operations Director, adds, “The defense of a ship under armed attack cannot be left to an untrained, unarmed civilian crew. Our highly skilled and well-equipped teams offer effective and cost-efficient protection for ships going in harm’s way.”

A VessEx Shiprotek team will board a client’s vessel anywhere in the world, escort it through troubled areas, and disembark in its next safe port. During the voyage, the team assesses the ship’s security situation, trains the crew in anti-piracy techniques, implements procedures to minimize risk, and assists the crew in maintaining anti-piracy watch. When a threat is identified, the team implements its counter-piracy procedures.

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About VessEx

Since 2002, Vessel Extractions LLC ("VessEx") has provided ship-recovery solutions to shipowners, marine insurers and shipping financiers. The company has been featured in the Los Angeles Times and on The Learning Channel, National Public Radio and CBC Radio-Canada. In March 2010, Broadway Books, an imprint of the world’s largest book publisher, Random House, will publish Capt. Max Hardberger’s memoirs, entitled SEIZED: Battling Pirates and Recovering Stolen Ships in the World’s Most Troubled Waters

New Service Frees Ships from Hostile Situations

VessEx is the first company to combine legal, operational and technical expertise to recover ships

SAN FRANCISCO, March 12, 2002 /Marine Newswire/ -- Vessel Extractions LLC (“VessEx”) (, a worldwide ship recovery specialist, today launched a unique service to free ships from hostile situations and sail them to safety.  Although the company focuses on repossessing ships for mortgagees, it also assists owners whose ships have been seized, detained, abandoned or stolen.  Freeing strategies range from negotiating and resolving disputes to sailing ships out of hostile ports.

VessEx is the first company to combine the real-world operational experience of shipmanagers, the superior technical expertise of class surveyors, and the legal skills of maritime lawyers to perform ship recovery operations.  These skills are essential to overcome the many obstacles to freeing ships. As explained by Captain Max Hardberger, the Operations Director of VessEx, “the ships we deal with could be manned by a defiant crew, hunted by agitated creditors, or held for ransom by corrupt local authorities.  To make matters worse, such ships are often in unseaworthy condition, lacking necessary repairs, certificates, supplies, and insurance.”  Captain Hardberger notes that VessEx’s robust capabilities allow it to overcome all such problems, usually under adverse conditions and on short notice.

If an extraction operation is required, VessEx will take control over the ship through the use of a specially trained crew, each member selected for his individual talents in the specific situation.  Once control over the ship is secured, the team does everything necessary to get the ship out of port, including resolving pending claims, performing emergency repairs, and obtaining necessary supplies.  The crew then sails the ship to a safe location.  Each operation is led by Captain Hardberger, who brings an unparalleled level of skill to this task as a master mariner, maritime lawyer and class surveyor.

This merger of legal, operational and technical disciplines marks a new approach to ship recoveries. Michael Bono, VessEx’s Managing Director and a maritime lawyer, explains:  “Marine operators often fail to appreciate the legal ramifications of their plans, a failure that can result in disaster.  With two maritime attorneys as principals, VessEx has the training and experience to provide its clients with prudent and farsighted situation assessment as well as effective planning and action.”

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