| Friday, August 1, 2014 |
Piracy is a
real and serious threat in multiple areas around the world. Mariners traveling
abroad are urged to use extreme caution when entering known pirate waters. Read on for more
information about the best safety practices when traversing dangerous pirate waters.
Avoid Pirate Waters if
The best and
most effective safety measures are, of course, to avoid areas that are known for
episodes of pirate attacks. Areas of piracy include areas around South East
Asia and the Indian sub continent, Africa and the Red Sea, South and Central
America, and the Caribbean, according to ICC Commercial Crime Services.
are ongoing in an attempt to deter pirate activity, but the area of these
waters is vast and many pirate vessels are small enough to escape detection. If
possible, avoid these areas. But if you must enter areas of known pirate waters, keep the following
safety guidelines in mind.
If You Must Travel in
Pirate Waters, Remember These Safety Tips
avoiding pirate waters and staying
informed of new pirate attacks is the best method for remaining safe while at
sea. However, if you must travel through areas known for piracy, keep the following
safety guidelines in mind, as adapted from the Best Management Practices for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy
- Report and register your transit with official
maritime organizations. The BMP4 recommends reporting to the UKMTO and
registering with the MSCHOA. Look up other official agencies when
traveling in pirate waters.
Also use your AIS and keep it turned on.
- Avoid detection by only using navigation lights. Also
check reports of recent pirate activity to be aware of where pirates are
- Post lookouts and use radar to detect pirates. This
can help you prepare as much in advance as possible if pirates are
targeting the vessel.
- Make sure you're prepared for an attack if you're
traversing pirate waters. This
includes using razor wire to keep pirates off the vessel and using water,
foam, etc. to repel them.
- Designate a safe muster point. This is the area
where crew gathers in the event of an attack, which is usually lower in
the vessel. Those who are not required to be on the bridge will head to
this location and should provide protection from small arms weapons.
- Increase your speed and maneuver the vessel to
prevent the pirates from boarding your vessel. The BMP4 contains
information about avoiding the pirates if they are in pursuit of your
- Make sure your crew knows how to handle a pirate
attack situation. Always practice your procedures and run drills regularly
so you're prepared in the event of an attack.
refer to the full
text of the Best Management Practices
for Protection against Somalia Based Piracy for more detailed information
and recommendations. The guide includes information about what a typical pirate
attack consists of, how to protect the ship, planning for the event, and what
to do if the pirates take control of the vessel despite your best efforts to
new waters can be a wonderful experience for maritime workers. But traveling in
pirate waters carries risks of which
all workers should be aware. Stay up to date on the latest pirate activity and
recommendations from official organizations about handling pirate attacks, or
hopefully avoiding them altogether.
following the Marine
Education Textbooks blog for more topics of interests to maritime workers,
including those pertaining to piracy and more.