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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Maritime Insurance & Piracy

The Standard Club, a maritime insurance group, offers up some anti-piracy info here (pdf):
Sensible practical measures
• Use the coalition patrolled channel: Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) (
• Passage planning: keep large-scale charts of the area, keep abreast of weather forecasts and fishing vessel activity. Speak to ships passing that have already transited the area
• ISPS: heighten the level of security to a minimum of level two and inform all crew of the potential threat
• Ensure appropriate ISPS drills are carried out well before transiting the area
• Prepare and provide a response plan on how to react if boarded or approached by suspicious craft. This should include a list of contacts and a policy regarding communication, media control and
management of crew and families.
• Ensure all deck officers are provided with appropriate contact numbers and are fully conversant with the ship’s satellite communication equipment
• Contact naval units in the area (see below)
• Maintain contact with other ships in the area
• Ensure that a full bridge team is available whilst transiting dangerous areas. Post extra lookouts, including a stern watch
• Maintain a constant radar watch. Be aware that the skiffs used by the pirates are often made of wood, and are small and very fastmoving, and therefore are not an easy radar target
• Evasive manoeuvring can be successful. The small boats being used by the pirates can be vulnerable to heavy stern wash
• Maintain speed, or with the consent of shore management, increase speed during the transit area. Charterers should be advised and/or consulted, as appropriate
• Use of fire hoses is often suggested as a deterrent, although when faced with armed pirates, their value is debatable
• Consider if non-essential personnel should be retained onboard when transiting these areas
• Consider using professional specialist security companies, which can provide equipment and advice. For example, a Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD), has been proven to be a successful deterrent in the past. Thermal-imaging devices have also been used to provide an advanced warning, although their range is limited to 1-2 miles
• Ensure that all spaces outside of the accommodation block are locked for the transit. Restrict accommodation access
I am somehow reminded of that Ogden Nash advice: "...if called by a panther, don't anther."

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