Around 100 armed security personnel hired to protect ships and tankers from pirates have been left scattered at sea after one of the world’s biggest maritime security firms ceased trading while allegedly owing millions in unpaid salaries.
More than a dozen Britons were among those left high and dry in treacherous waters, including off the coast of Somalia, when Gulf of Aden Group Transits collapsed last week.
Employees were woken in the early hours on Friday to find an email from the firm’s chief executive Nick Davis stating that “current and planned operations” would now be carried out on their behalf by Sea Marshals, another Private Management Security Company.
Former soldier Mark Mullins, 37, from Dymchurch in Kent, spoke via satellite phone from his ship “in the middle of the ocean”.
He said, “There are around 45 of us on this ship with 15 Brits. I was woken up by the vessel manager at two in the morning on Friday, along with 10 others, to be given a piece of paper with Nick’s email. The reaction was not good – we just started wondering how we’re going to get home. That’s my main concern. Some of the guys have been at sea without means of checking their bank accounts and living on false promises.”
Mullins had been working for GoAGT for 16 months and said he extended his latest 90-day contact by a month because he felt loyalty to the company.
He claimed he was owed around £16,000 and that after gathering information from workers worldwide believed that colleagues were owed millions altogether.