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Home Piracy Prevention Ship Protection Measures against Piracy

Ship Protection Measures against Piracy

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The purpose of ship protection measures help ships to avoid delay, attacks and deter. Ship protection measures are differently in each geographical maritime area, depending on the risk factor of an area.

Step by step Protection Measures

As mentioned in the introduction , geographical regions are important. High risk areas such as The Gulf Of Guinea , West Africa ranks number 1 of most active hotspots for piracy. In other words the higher risk factor the higher factor of protection and security measures. High risk area (HRA) needs extra route planning.

However pirates are not just the case for protection measures onboard. Regional instability in many areas have shown new threats towards vessels.These are; Anti-Ship missiles, Sea mines and water-borne improvised explosive devices.

Anti-ship missiles- long, powerful missiles used against military. Many incidents occur from “missiles controllers” targeting the wrong ship.

Sea mines- usually anchored however can break free and drift upon a ship lane. Which makes it a potential threat for vessels.

Water-Borne improvised explosive devices (WBIED)- mostly occurring in the Red Sea/Western area of The Gulf Of Aden. Now mostly used by extremists and aimed at merchants ships. Attacks like these usually have 2 or more speedboats approaching approaching the vessel while shooting at it. These attacks differ from piracy ones. In addition these muggers , aimed to destroy rather than board.

Security advice for geographical regions.

ReCAAP, Solace Global advice all vessels transiting the HRA to proceed accurately with a full protection measure to avoid risk factors on their route. Solace Global have implanted , 24 hour maritime security watches when vessels are transiting the strait. Above all recommending vessels to travel through the Maritime Transit Security Corridor for more protection.

Fascinated by all new technology and security measures, it’s far from perfect. The problem is within the vessels , why attacks and incidents are still occurring nowadays. Economic factors effect many vessels, not all companies have the financial attributes to have security measures onboard. Understanding the cause of attacks still occurring worldwide today.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is one of the most important procedures for the vessel. It delivers methods of prevention against anything capable of slowing down the vessel.

A few requirements are as followed; Background factors, threat assessments and geographical locations of increased threat or risk, Ships characteristics, vulnerabilities, capabilities, cooperation with military , understand whether military is present in the geographical region.

All routes throughout the world need protection measurement and planning , however some more than others.

Captains planning measurements.

The security onboard is the most important aspect of the measurement.

The Captain needs to obtain latest threat information of the geographical reason . Check latest warnings . If PCASP used on board embarkation of the plan . As well as confirming if the vessels can operate full speed. Every security measures takes time and planning. These planning and measurements reduce risk factors while sailing at sea.

As the vessel enters high risk areas, the captain has to implement the right security measures that states by law and maritime security of the geographical region.

After that a crew and conduct drill this includes , lockdown conditions , safety considerations etc..

The Captain always needs to prepare an emergency communication plan , that informs all contacts numbers . Which should be needed incase of an attack or incident onboard the vessel.

Ship Protection Measures

There are three types of defences

Primary layer of defence- includes razor wire ,manoeuvring , freeboard and PCDSP.

Secondary level of defence- includes door hardening, grate and motion sensors.

Third layer of defence- Internal door hardening, citadel, communication.

Speaking more briefly about each sections of protection.

Alarm –

alarm is used to inform crew of suspicious and dangerous situations onboard. Crew members onboard should be familiar with the alarm . There are 2 types of alarms ; 1. Indicating Danger Other indicating “All Clear”.

Physical Barriers-

they are constructed to , create an extra protection wall between the ship and any intruder wanting to attack it. In addition making it difficult to climb and gain access onboard.

Razor wire-

known as barbed tape , creates a barrier as rigged around. Reduces climb rate of intruders on board. However if properly rigged . Quality of razor wires differs from cheap too expensive . Cheap usually being less effective and not creating an extra wall onboard. For instance its recommended that an High tensile concertina razor wire with coil diameters of 730mm, 980 mm is best fit. Making it hard to cut by tools.

Razor wire is used as a double tool . Creating a better defence rather than one . In addition razor wire is attached to the ships railings and rig steel cable preventing the wire from being pulled up.

Also see our special; What is the best razor wire?

Bridge protection –

bridge is alway key point of an attack. In fact usually pirates shoot directly at the bridge to scare crew members and intimidate them to stop the ship. In addition the protection measures are as followed.

Bridge windows are laminated and windows blast resistant . Chain link fencing are used to stop RPG’S.

Citadels-

A Citadel is a protection zone build for emergency situations onboard, where crew members can hide for protection . However they are different citadels build on every vessel. Well constructed citadels have reliable communications including network , VHF , food supplied, sanitation. Bad designed differ and look more as an empty room .

Other measures

Including CCTV coverage , which controls the radius of the vessel. Monitoring incase of suspicious attempts that might occur. Some companies even monitor and record CCTV from ashore. Furthermore lightning which is important on deck. In addition CCTV cameras usually cover vulnerable areas around the vessel ; bridge and poop deck. However not many vessels have them , increasing the risk of unnoticed activity onboard.

Concluding that ship protection measurements are important for safety of crew members firstly. Secondly of the vessel.

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Alexia Livathinos
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