2 Illuminate the ship and its side
Keep the ship illuminated, particularly, the outer side and the whole length of the deck, using high powered floodlights. Bad visibility impedes the action of the watchmen, constituting favorable factor forunlawful activities. Do not forget what is recommended in rules 2 and 30 of the COLREG.
3 Establish communications for outside support
Whenever possible, install a telephone line with easy access for the watchman or crew member on duty. Ask for assistance by the telephone.
Remember also the list of stations which will be on permanent watch on VHF – channel 16. These stations can forward the request for assistance to the competent authorities.
4 Control of accesses to the cargo and to living quarters
The Master’s cabin is one of the main objectives of the assailants who are looking for money and the master keys to other living quarters, to steal the crew’s personal effects of value and nautical equipment from the bridge. The cabins and other living quarters should be kept locked whenever their occupants are absent.
Normally cargo will only be the object of robbery or theft if the criminals have advance knowledge of the contents, through information collected by unscrupulous persons who have access to the bill of lading.
Attempt to stow the containers with valuable cargo in a manner to obstruct their doors. Isolate the means of access to the ship and also the accesses to the internal areas, creating a sole way of entry and exit by the gangway, guaranteeing its control by the watchman posted there.
5 Keep the portholes closed
Open portholes can be an easy access to clever criminals: close them with the clips in place always when you leave. Try also, to keep the accesses to internal areas locked, guaranteeing the entry and exit by the gangway watchman.
6 Do not leave valuables exposed
Try to reduce the opportunities of robbery by putting all portable equipment which is not in use to its place of storage. Valuables left exposed tempt opportunistic thieves; keep them in safe place under lock and key.
7 Keep the gangways raised
At anchorages and in port, make the access difficult by keeping the gangways and rope ladders raised. In port, only leave the gangway to the dockside down.
8 In case of an assault
I – do not hesitate to sound the ship’s general alarm in case of a threat of assault;
II – try to keep adequate lighting to permanently dazzle the opponents, in case of an attempt by strangers to climb the ship’s side;
III – raise the alarm, by VHF – channel 16, to the ships in the area and to the permanent watch system of the authorities ashore (cite the existing structure in the port). The efficiency of assistance by the security forces depends on an early alarm;
IV – sound the alarm with intermittent blasts on the siren and use visual alarms with floodlights and signaling rockets;
V – if appropriate, to protect the lives of those onboard, use measures to repel the boarding by employing powerful floodlights for dazzling the aggressors or using jets of water or signaling rockets against the areas of boarding; and
VI – do not attempt any heroic acts.
9 Keep the contracted watchmen under the control of the officer of the watch
Demand a good watchman service. Make them identify all persons that enter and leave the ship.
Recommend that the crew co-operate with the control. Do not allow the watchman to leave the gangway, unless he is relieved by another watchman or a crew member.
10 Communicate to the police any occurrence relating to robbery, theft or assault
Occurrences involving assault or robbery should be communicated to the Security forces, for the pertinent legal steps to be taken.
This information will make possible the study of measures to be adopted for the prevention and combat of these crimes, contributing to guaranteeing the safety of the crew and the ship.
FORMAT FOR REPORTING TO IMO THROUGH MARITIME ADMINISTRATIONS OR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
· Ship’s name and IMO number
· Type of ship
· Gross tonnage
· Date and time
· Latitude Longitude
· Name of the area, while sailing, at anchor or at berth?
· Method of attack
· Description/number of suspect craft
· Number and brief description of pirates/robbers
· What kind of weapons did the pirates/robbers carry?
· Any other information (e.g. language spoken)
· Injuries to crew and passengers
· Damage to ship (Which part of the ship was attacked?)
· Brief details of stolen property/cargo
· Action taken by the master and crew
· Was incident reported to the coastal authority and to whom?
· Reporting State or international organization
· Action taken by the Coastal State
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