It is very important to note that piracy and armed robberies of ships became one of the most dangerous criminal acts. It has become a global international problem as ships from different countries cross the borders of other states, but an attack can happen anywhere. In fact for pirates there is no significant difference where they attack ships – on the high seas, in the territorial sea or in the internal waters of states.
In the open sea, having found a suitable target, with its approach at a distance of 10-20 cables, speed boats begin to pursue it. When approaching at a distance of effective use of weapons, they open fire, come close and go on boarding. Climbing ladders and strong cords with iron hooks are used for boarding.
Therefore, all ships must be aware of the precautions to prevent an attack by pirates. The main task of security measures is to ensure the safety of life and health of passengers, crew members, and safety of the ships themselves.
Most attacks can be avoided by demonstrating to the attackers that their plans have been discovered, the surprise factor is lost and the ship is ready to repel the attack. The pirates must see the taken measures to prepare for “battle”. In addition, you need to patrol the ship in random order so that pirates do not establish the system and frequency of changing routes and changing vigilance.
Organization of round-the-clock visual observation and vigilance watches.
These measures include ensuring that a short-range radar station is constantly operating to detect and identify floating objects. Also, scows and small boats used by pirates are elusive and sometimes not reflected on radar screens. However, constant visual observation from the bridge and superstructures should compensate for the shortcomings and errors of technical tracking equipment. In piracy areas, it is best to avoid trades with the public, especially by boat, as a cover for upcoming acts.
Strengthening night watches, organizing observation at night.
Pay special attention to the stern and stern area during the hours from 01.00-06.00. In this case, it is necessary to carry out constant patrolling of the vessel with a stable connection with the bridge via mobile communication. To control and coordinate the actions of radar, it is advisable to appoint an additional officer of the watch.
Sealing hatches and communications.
Lock hatches and doors to rooms, but consider the situation when an emergency exit is necessary for the crew to go for cover. That is, you should take all precautions without compromising the safety requirements of navigation. It is extremely important to block the passage to the living quarters of the vessel.
Stable HF radio communication.
Maintain stable radio communications with nearby ships and coastal authorities. The radio station should be located not in the captain’s cabin and outside the radio room, as the primary objects of attack.
To observe the tank, stern, adjacent areas of the water area, as well as to detect and blind raiders in the dark, searchlights are installing on the wings of the bridge, and the duty forces patrol with lanterns. Remember that in this case the safety of navigation should not suffer. In addition, the lights of vigilance watches should not exceed the brightness of the navigational ones or merge with them.
Use of hoses and other equipment.
Prepare the above equipment for quick use with a constant supply of water to the hoses and flush pump. Also be ready to water the area of possible attack zone on the quarterdeck.
Prevention of theft.
Remove all portable equipment from deck and store in a safe place. Seal containers and place tightly from door to door to avoid theft of the contents. Also, close up all aisles to storage and cargo areas without compromising the evacuation plan.
Equipment for safe rooms.
When a large group of pirates enters the ship, there is a need for temporary shelter. The role of a shelter can be played by a block, a part of a block of any premises. The main criteria are isolation and the ability to quickly open the crew accommodation, close it. In the event of a fire or flood, a quick evacuation.
Communicating the safety plan to the crew.
The crew must be familiar with the action plan and interaction procedure. Previously, the crew should be trained in how to deal with an alarm. The use of signal flares and water will serve as a good warning to the attackers and make them think about their chances at the sight of the determination, readiness of the crew for battle – as a rule, pirates prefer easy prey.
At the moment, there is already a wide selection of raider deterrent detection tools offered by companies. Among which it is possible to purchase devices with infrared rays, night vision binoculars, containers with spray of tear gas, bullet prove vests and razor wires.This will provide effective assistance in protecting sailors and ships in piracy hotspots around the world.
All Image Credits – The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia.