MARINE PIRACY AND HOW WE MITIGATE
Although piracy has increased in several parts of the world over the past ten years, maritime crime is a global issue that can range from people smuggling to drug trafficking.
Marine piracy is defined as any unlawful acts of hostility, detention, or theft carried out for personal gain by the crew or passengers of a private ship or private aircraft directed: on the high seas, against a ship, aircraft, people, or property in a location beyond the territorial jurisdiction of any state.
Maritime piracy forms a cluster of the maritime security domain and disturbance in maritime works such as maritime terrorism, armed robbery or theft.
The earliest documented instances of piracy were in the 14th century BC, when the Sea Peoples, a group of ocean raiders, attacked the ships of the Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations. However, it has been a continuous sabotage in marine works.
Different Forms of Piracy
An attack by pirates might involve (but not be limited to the following:
- Any act or threat of violence intended to harm a ship or its crew
- Try to board a ship (where it is suspected that the assailants are pirates)
- A successful boarding whether control of the vessel was achieved or not
- Attempts to defeat the ship’s defenses and ship protection measures through the intentional employment of ladders, grappling hook, and weaponry against the ship
How NUE Offshore Has Been Able To Mitigate Marine Piracy
- Adherence to industry regulations and guidance
- Use of military personnel onboard SEV
- Avoidance of high-risk area
- Proper positioning of the SEV during escort to always defend the vessel and be reactive to intercept any approaching suspicious craft as well as maintaining proper distancing between the escorts
- Use of appropriate communication channel and codes
- Preserving all voyage information in a confidential manner:
i. keeping all communications with external parties to a minimum, with close attention paid to organizing rendezvous points and waiting positions.
ii. Minimizing the use of VHF and using email or a secure satellite telephone instead. Where possible, only known or legitimate callers on the VHF shall be answered and voyage critical information kept to a minimum.
iii. Email correspondence to agents, charterers and chandlers shall be controlled and information within the email kept concise, containing the minimum that is contractually required.
iv. Reminding crew of the dangers of posting voyage related information on social media
7. The Master/Bridge Crew can aid the SEV with early detection and warning.
8. SEV should not enter any designated oil terminal exclusion zone.
9. The Master should also practice avoidance maneuvers while maintaining the best possible speed. Experience has shown that such action can defeat even a lengthy and determined attack as the effect of hydrostatic pressure between vessels can have a better defensive impact than speed
10. Use of safe muster points and citadels with reliable communications (satellite phone and VHF)
11. Use of Closed-Circuit Television surveillance which allows a degree of monitoring of the progress of the attack from a less exposed position
12. Use of proper lighting:
-The ability to turn off all internal accommodation lights to deter pirates from entering or disorientate those who may already have entered:
13. Procedures for establishing a vessel safety zone surrounding the F(P)SO that is monitored and continuously controlled for unauthorized vessel entry should be in place:
i. These procedures should include communication checkpoints, means for vessel identification/ validation prior approval for entry.
ii. All vessels approaching within 2NM are monitored and then communicated with/challenged/ validated prior to entering in 1NM of the Safety Zone.
iii. Means to continuously monitor and detect vessels approaching the F(P)SO’s Safety Zone include: A proper radar watch, 360 degree CCTV coverage of F(P)SO surroundings with thermal imaging target detection/alarming for night time surveillance, Dedicated security vessel(s) for continuous patrol and surveillance, etc.
14. All ships using the VRA are strongly encouraged to inform MDAT-GoG of their movement as this is essential to improve military situational awareness and their ability to respond. Once ships have commenced their passage it is important this reporting continues as well as reports of suspicious/irregular activity (when necessary).