Managing security on board requires resources. In addition, crews must be trained to identify security threats and take appropriate actions. The best way to do this is by using reliable intelligence. Fortunately, industry guidance has been introduced to help improve armed vessel security.
The plan should identify on-board Ship security officers (SSOs) and their duties:
The security plan should identify onboard Ship security officers (SSOs) and their duties. This plan should also identify the training and other requirements associated with this part of the code. In addition, the owner or operator of a ship must establish a frequency for the application of security measures.
Use of searchlights, overside lighting, and water spray monitors:
Enhanced security measures are also required on ships operating in high-risk areas. These include the use of searchlights, overside lighting, and water spray monitors. These measures may also be augmented with other equipment. For example, closed-circuit television cameras should be installed to monitor activity during port stays. The crew should also be briefed on the operation of these devices.
Use of removable barriers to block access to pilot boarding points:
Other measures may include the use of removable barriers to block access to pilot boarding points. In addition, steel bars may be installed to prevent pirates from entering through windows. Also, ships should be equipped with night vision aids to detect suspicious craft in the dark.
Identify the safe muster point:
A company’s risk assessment should identify the safe muster point, a designated area on the ship that provides the crew with maximum physical protection should an attack occur. The area should be stocked with the necessary equipment, including a satellite phone and VHF radio.
Install foam monitors in areas of the ship that may be vulnerable to boarding:
Another option is to install foam monitors in areas of the ship that may be vulnerable to boarding. These monitors can be remotely operated to deter illegal boarding. It is also important that the monitors are equipped with a visual and audible alarm that alerts vessel personnel. These measures should not be manually operated and should be checked regularly.
Use of water spray monitors:
Other measures include the use of water spray monitors, which will make it difficult for intruders to remain alongside the ship. Likewise, searchlights should be ready to be used immediately after an attack. This equipment can also be used to illuminate the ship’s side and poop deck.