How to protect your crew from piracy attacks at sea…

There are a number of preventative measures you can take to protect your crew from piracy attacks, but one of them is relatively low cost and could buy them extra seconds to make split decisions.

Piracy in the news.

Typically, pirates will try to hijack the vessels under attack and take the crew hostage or steal the cargo. Weak economic conditions have left governments with fewer resources to battle piracy.

The number of incidents in the Maritime Executive’s news feed on piracy is harrowing and most likely does not reflect the true extent of piracy at sea.  On sifting through the reported incidents, it is apparent that boarding is still the most prominent type of incident.

According to Statista.com the number of pirate attacks against ships worldwide over the last decade has (thankfully) decreased by 36%.  However recent figures suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to an increase in pirate activity in the coming months, replicating it’s peak in 2010/2011.

Piracy & Armed Robbery Prone Areas 

At the time of writing this, Mariners are warned to be extra cautious and to take necessary precautionary measures when transiting the following areas:

  • South East Asia and Indian Sub-Continent
  • Africa and the Red Sea
  • South and Central America and the Caribbean waters.

What Can We Do To Help?

SG Safety Film is an anti-explosion film that fits directly to the surface of the window glass, it is designed to make glass safer by strengthening it against breakage. It does this by holding dangerous shards of shattered glass together in one mass (in situations where glass breakage occurs). The film protects the glass from explosion damage, bullet penetration and manual attacks.  Whilst it is true, the film cannot prevent intruders getting onboard a ship, but if and when that situation arises, this tool really comes into its own.

Glass is normally shattered/broken using objects or explosions to gain access to the bridge and take control of the vessel. Flying glass can be a main cause; loss of life, serious injury and/or damage to navigation equipment. Attacks also happen very quickly, leaving crew little time to escape into a secure room or part of the ship. SG Safety Film holds the fragmented glass in place, even under constant attack, providing vital extra minutes to escape and report the pirate attack.

What help is there?

The biggest difference is how International communities have forged alliances to provide much better protection on the Worlds seas.  The IMO (International Maritime Organisation) provide excellent guidance to operators and crew on their website, with the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) providing live data in the form of a World map, detailing recent events of piracy, which enable crew and operators to make adjustments to their schedule.

Stay safe Seafarers.