Services — Stolen Vessel Recoveries
Although still rare, incidences of vessel theft, barratry, and piracy are
on the rise. The existence of outlaw states and regions where a
vessel can be renamed, reflagged, and resold without any real fear of
apprehension has created a lucrative market for stolen vessels.
Whenever the scrap market prices rise, the possibility of sale of a stolen
vessel for immediate scrapping also rises.
Difficulties in Recovering
Recovery of a vessel from a thief or pirate requires the highest
level of coordination, forethought, and caution. Unlike
other adversaries, such as defaulting owners or fraudulent
claimants, thieves and pirates are criminals and are therefore
prone to violence. Further, they are usually on a heightened
level of alert for an attempted repossession of the stolen vessel.
VessEx Recovery Option
policy in these cases is to pursue legal and law enforcement
avenues first, including the filing of criminal charges and claims
to possession with local authorities and the coordination of the
effort with Interpol. In cases where these efforts will be
or have been ineffective, VessEx has a specially selected crew of
mariners—including deck and engineering officers with military
and/or law enforcement backgrounds—to effect the repossession of
the vessel and, if appropriate, the delivery of any criminals
onboard to the proper authorities.
VessEx will be pleased to discuss the specifics of VessEx
policy regarding the recovery of misappropriated vessels on a
case-by-case basis with prospective clients. Due to the
nature of the actions that may be required under these
circumstances, VessEx policy is to require strict proof of
ownership or other legal interest in the vessel by prospective
clients and convincing evidence that the vessel has been taken
from her rightful owners by theft, barratry, or piracy.
Proven Ship Recovery Experience
to view an excerpt from Seized by VessEx Operations Director Capt.
Max Hardberger for an account of his efforts to recover a ship in Haiti.
VessEx team boarding a ship
Book cover of Seized