In a commercial shipping environment it is absolutely vital that proper maritime security is in place. Assets, goods and employees all need to be kept away from harm and business needs to continue without interruption. The Somali coast is one of the worst places in the world when it comes to piracy. Over one hundred attacks took place in the Gulf of Aden in 2008 alone. As a result of this high frequency of crime, vessels which pass through that area have to pay a tremendous amount in insurance.
Piracy has long been a potential hazard on trading routes, but the truth of it is that the criminals of today are becoming increasingly violent in their behavior. This is true in all areas of our society and attacks on vessels are by no means an exception.
Many ships that have insufficient maritime security in place have found themselves to be easy targets for pirates. Millions of pounds are paid out in ransom purely because vessels are inadequately protected. Having the correct deterrents in place really can make all the difference.
So, what exactly can you do in order to reduce corporate risk? The best place to start looking at what preventative measures you can take is on the Department of Transport’s website. It has specific guidelines on anti-piracy strategies and some very good advice on the best ways to protect yourself from criminals at sea.
There are also some actions which can be taken straight away to deter intruders, such as greasing the handrails of your ship and adding extra lighting equipment to the deck. Even small measures like this will increase your maritime security and help to act as a deterrent.
However, more and more people are looking to private security companies for a solution. By spending a little time doing some research on the internet, you can find several firms who specialize in maritime security. These people can offer all the guidance you need to ensure the safety of yourself and your crew. Many commercial sailors think that private security firms are the only real way forward.
There are several ways they can help to make your vessel more secure. As they are so familiar with crisis management techniques, they will know exactly which preventative measures are necessary. They will often place their employees onboard your ship to assist you. This is not only useful in the event of attack, but it only a massive deterrent for any would-be pirates. The more protected a vessel appears; the less likely it is to be forcibly boarded.
Staff from proper maritime security firms will be trained to handle all manner of different situations. You will be able to go about your business with a much greater peace of mind, knowing that you have taken realistic and sufficient measures to protect yourself from the risk of attack. And you crew will be happier as well to know that an adequate form of protection is in place.