Security Companies Cash In On Anti Piracy Operations
Security Companies Cash in on Anti-Piracy
Author: Defence IQ
Posted: 03/02/2010 11:21:00 AM EST
Piracy has become an increasing problem in recent years, with attacks up by almost 40 percent last
year compared to 2008, compromising the security of civilians and military personnel alike.
The International Maritime Organization has been working to find a solution to the security problem
since the 1980s in conjunction with the UN, national governments and other political and defence
organisations such as the EU and NATO.
"The response to piracy has been one of the great examples of international cooperation in the modern
era," said Efthimios Mitropoulos in a recent report by Lloyds of London insurance market.
However, these criminals have become bolder, as well as better armed and equipped, so attacks have
grown dramatically both in number and ferocity.
Military support has gone some distance towards combating the security problem, with the IMO working
with national Navies to protect shipping routes and educate the industry on preventative, evasive and
defensive measures, the report highlighted.
Crisis Management Training
In addition to these efforts, many security businesses have started tapping into the market for anti-
piracy, offering training for organisations on safeguarding their employees, managing risk and
implementing crisis response plans.
Triple Canopy, for example, is just one of the companies that operates a crisis management service.
This is provided by its subsidiary Clayton Consultants. When it comes to maritime security, the firm
offers services across three areas—assessment, training and simulation, and response.
In terms to assessment, Clayton works with clients to assess their current security operations to identify
any vulnerabilities and help them to develop new strategies to address these weaknesses.
Clayton also trains an organisation's crisis management team on how to deal with hijacking and the
common scenarios associated with this. The company teaches crew members how to implement
preventive security measures, recognise threats, react in the event of an attack and understand the
negotiation process should a hijacking occur.
Furthermore, the firm offers 24-hour support in the event of an attack, working to negotiate the safe
release of the ship, crew and cargo.
Other companies working in this area offering military-style training in security include Longmoor
Security and DynCorp International.
As well as security companies offering crisis management training, there are also firms selling anti-
For example, the UK's Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions has developed a non-lethal weapon for
defending ships against hijackers—the Counter Piracy Net.
These nets can be fitted to any vessel and attach across the full width of the stern, trailing 50m behind.
They are fitted with orange warning buoys to act as a visual deterrent and are dragged through the
water floating just on or below the surface. Any pirate speedboat propeller that tries to penetrate the net
will immediately stop working.
Also used in the fight against piracy are sonic guns. The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD),
developed by the American Technology Corporation, is used to create safety zones by hailing and
warning approaching vessels at distances of up to 3km. The system is used to determine the intent of
unidentified vessels and can be used as a deterrent with a highly effective warning tone.
In November last year, the LRAD-X was used by the M/V Maersk Alabama, along with other defensive
measures, to successfully deter a pirate attack off the north-east cost of Somalia.
"This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take proactive action to prevent being attacked
and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they're in high-risk areas,"
commented Navy Vice Admiral William Gortney, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command
and US 5th Fleet.
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