Mitigating Ship Piracy Through Crisis (Hostage) Negotiations


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Hostage Negotiation for the Shipping Industry

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Mitigating Ship Piracy Through Crisis (Hostage) Negotiations

  1. 1. MITIGATING SHIP PIRACY THROUGH CRISIS (HOSTAGE) NEGOTIATIONSeptember 52010CRISIS AT SEA: BE PREPARED BE RESPONSIVE Ships are cities within themselves with elaborate security measures to protect the employees and guests.  Add into the equation a rogue wave, an accident, a swine flu epidemic and even piracy ……now we have a serious problem.  We know how to deal with the mechanics of attempting to alleviate the crisis problem, but what about the aftermath and the trauma inflicted upon the crew or the passengers.  The Institute for Traumatic Stress has developed the first comprehensive traumatic response program to assist guests and crew to transition back to normal.  There are two components to effectively assist individuals on a ship that encounter an internal or external crisis situations. The first response is training the officers and management on the ship to handle any crisis event through the First Responder Crisis Negotiation Course modeled after the FBI program. This is not taking the place of trained negotiators but it allows the employee the opportunity to have an established format to address a crisis situation. The second response is the follow-up program which involves various components to mitigate the trauma through a psychoeducational approach.1. BE PREPARED:FIRST RESPONDER: CRISIS (HOSTAGE) NEGOTIATION FOR MARITIME CREWS ©2006-ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDCOURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will provide the student with the basic tenets of the FBI’s Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation- First Responder course, as well as Acute Traumatic Stress Management, and traumatology focusing on addressing the psychological underpinnings necessary to diffuse a crisis situation.TARGET POPULATION: This course is directed to those individuals who find themselves in an escalating crisis situation which demands immediate assessment and response whether it emanates from a passenger on a cruise ship or crew member, ie. Captain, First Officer, Deck Officers, Front Desk, Guest Relations Manager and Security etc.BACKGROUND: The world has changed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The economic distress, downsizing and layoffs have added to the potential stress even though we are told that there is no depression. The anthrax, security alerts, war in Afghanistan and Iraq and conflicts in the Middle East have caused us to feel out of control pushing our trust and vulnerability buttons. Terrorism by itself causes fear helplessness, vulnerability and grief. The reactions to terrorism are flashbacks, heightened anxiety, emotional numbing, frequent crying, and trouble concentrating. No wonder people are traumatized!!! People say it doesn’t affect them because they were not there when the terrorists slammed the aircrafts into the World Trade Center in New York City. In reality, we were all there…watching it live on TV… re-living it over and over again. This is the NEW NORMAL we live in now and all this distress spills over into our workplace and for cruise line crew members, it is the meeting with passengers who carry this EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE and then they need something immediately, or something has gone wrong. How do we diffuse the situation when the angry passenger yells and screams at you in a public area? How much do we have to take before we are overloaded with stress? What can we do to engage the potentially out of control passenger? These are but a few of the questions that will be addressed in a 4 hour seminar.The cruise industry is presently under a microscope and every action is being watched by the press and U.S. Congress. The Cruise Line Safety Act of 2010 was signed into U.S. law in August 2010 and must be implemented in the next 18 months.There has been an increase in the number of attacks and the first on a U.S.-flagged ship. The Alabama was the sixth vessel in a week to be hit by pirates who have extorted tens of millions of dollars in ransoms. The vessels strengthen surveillance of the area and may dissuade pirates from seizing another ship, but there are not enough for a blockade in the danger zone that sprawls across 1.1 million square miles, said a senior U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss operational matters. President Barack Obama received regular updates on the situation, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States will take whatever steps are needed to protect U.S. shipping interests against pirates.Steve Romano, a retired head of the FBI hostage negotiation team, said he doesn't recall the FBI ever negotiating with pirates before, but he said this situation is similar to other standoffs. Although pirates release most of their hostages unharmed, the difficulty will be negotiating with people who clearly have no way out, he said." There's always a potential for tragedy here, and when people feel their options are limited, they sometimes react in more unpredictable and violent ways," Romano said. (Pirates Want Ransom for Hostages, the Topeka Capital-Journal, by the Associated Press, April 9, 2009)Whether it is an accident or deliberate criminal action, the immediate response is what counts!WHY TAKE THIS COURSE?: 1. This course meets the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) mandatory requirements and guidance for security training, to include security drills and exercises for Levels 1-4. REQUIREMENT: The ISPS Code provides guidance at Part B, Paragraph 13.4: “All other shipboard personnel should have sufficient knowledge of and be familiar with relevant provisions of the SSP (Ship Security Plan), including:Recognition, on a non-discriminatory basis, of characteristics and behavioral patterns of persons who are likely to threaten security.”“Although all ship personnel have a security responsibility, officers and crew in a position of authority or with access to certain areas have a higher degree of security responsibility and, consequently, should receive additional training so they can carryout those responsibilities.”The half-day seminar involves an interactive educational presentation, which includes audience participation, exercises, and the use of videos along with the PowerPoint presentation.Additionally, role-playing scenarios will be conducted during the course to meet the requirements of a “drill” per ISPS Code.Upon completion of the course participants will receive a certificate documenting their participation.2. There are a number of positive skills necessary to deal with difficult people. In order to address this issue, we must understand the mindset of the hostile individual, practice “Active Listening” and preserve the individual’s dignity by moving towards a “win-win” solution. Basic defusing techniques provide the “tools from the toolbox” which are necessary in dealing with a difficult verbal confrontation.This course incorporates the principles of Hostage Negotiation, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), and Traumatology along with thirty-one years as a Special Agent with the FBI and serving as the Employee Assistance Administrator at FBIHQ as well as recent contracts as Security Officer with Holland America Lines.By the end of the course, the attendees will be able to increase their safety awareness, and at the same time organizational liability will be reduced. Communication at the time of crisis is the skill to be provided during this seminar.3. It is important to have a format that the Captain and Hotel Management, on cruise ships, can rely on in times of need so that everyone is “on the same page” in addressing crisis situations.COURSE OBJECTIVES:Gain understanding of roots of violent and aggressive behavior.Identify risk factors associated with angry and violent individuals (stress, depression, suicide, PTSD etc.).How to utilize active listening techniques and acute traumatic stress management and how to assess violent behavior.Understand the dynamics of Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation, critical incidents, and trauma.Develop safety skills and techniques for working with hostile or violent individuals. Gain an understanding why the U.S. law enforcement (Customs, Homeland Security, USCG, F.B.I) interfaces with the cruise lines.Understand why inaction to minor incidents could cause bad publicity, loss of revenue, and even shutdown of the cruise industry. (What happens on one cruise ship affects the entire industry). 2. BE RESPONSIVE:After an accident or other critical incident or traumatic event, with or without injuries, an immediate response should be afforded the Captain of the cruise ship to help mitigate trauma. This would involve minimally a two-person Institute for Traumatic Stress team to provide the following assistance:1. Acute Traumatic Stress Management—helping those deal with the continuing ongoing trauma, if this is the case.2. Psychoeducational presentation to crew and guests separately concerning the trauma related incident.3. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing in small groups to assist those in transitioning through the trauma.4. Post Critical Incident Seminar which is a follow-up for those who have continued trauma symptoms after three months.SAFE AT SEA A CASE STUDY OF CRISIS NEOTIATION BYSecurity Officer Vincent McNally, MPS, CEAPIt was a warm summer night in August, and a day at sea ended quietly as the cruise ship with over 1300 passengers proceeded towards New York at the end of the journey on a weekly Bermuda voyage. As far as the security of the ship was concerned things were wrapped up for this voyage and reports of minor incidents had been filed and I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep. A little after 3:00AM a telephone call awoke me in my cabin and the Bridge officer advised me that there were two missing teenagers or young adults and the mother requested assistance. I proceeded to get dressed and another call came in which said that the boys had returned to their room. Great, back to sleep…..I thought! Fifteen minutes later another call came in whereby the Bridge Officer advised that the same mother was at the outside aft section of the ship, near the pool, and could not get her older teenager, age 19, back to their cabin and she was worried. The night security guard was at the scene and was unable to have the young adult comply with orders and the young man had locked himself in the public restroom and would not come out.I proceeded up to the area and met the mother and the brother of the individual locked in the bathroom, who we will call Tim (not real name), and interviewed the mother and the brother. The mother advised Tim would not talk to her and was angry at her, and the brother stated that Tim had, a drink or two, and alcohol affects him badly. The brother also stated he had punched Tim in the mouth because he kept coming in and out of their cabin interrupting his sleep, and was just being a pain in the neck. I asked the mother if Tom was on any medication or depressed, and she stated that he was not on medication or depressed but was worried about his erratic behavior. I asked both of them to enter the restaurant area and have a cup of coffee while I would attempt to institute a dialogue with Tim.My initial assessment is that we had a white male who may be under the influence of alcohol, who did not have a weapon or appear on the surface to be suicidal, who was mad at the world and mad at his brother, and was probably embarrassed about being punched in the face by his brother. Thus, we have a non-hostage situation whereby we have an individual with no specific goals, and no specific demands but barricaded in a bathroom with a high emotional anger level. To me this is a negotiable incident which I thought could be quickly resolved, but first I must initiate communication with Tim.My first comments were to introduce myself as Vince with Security and that I was here to help him, and at the same time I realized that he would not let me in the bathroom as he was holding the lock so the master key I had would not work. Plan A did not work, so it was time to move to crisis negotiation which would take a little bit of time. I tried to get Tim to come out as the principle is to always ask the individual to come out and offer a safe place to do it. Tim responded, “Leave me alone…just leave me alone…go away!” Tim, then stated, “You’re the night guard and you’re paid to be here tonight.” I responded that I was the Security Officer for the ship and that I had been woken up to talk to him. Tim stated that he just wanted to be alone and to go away. I responded that I was going to stay here at the location until he came out, as he was in a public area, and I needed to make sure he was safe. Tim then went into how he wanted to be alone and that he acknowledged being hit by his brother, and that his mother did not understand him, and that he needed time to think about the situation. I offered a safe place outside where we could sit at a table together and talk about his difficulties. Tim was adamant the he wanted to be alone in the bathroom and that he stated that I had no idea of what he was going through. After about 20 minutes of our back and forth conversation I felt that I had started to make some headway when I explained that I had previously dealt with individuals that had gone through difficult times and that they ultimately worked things out. Tim asked how I dealt with people who were going through a hard time. At this point I felt I needed to cement our relationship and I advised Tim that I had retired from the FBI after 30 years and had done service in Vietnam and Iraq. Now I started to resolve the situation. I kept saying “when you come out we can sit down and discuss things.” I also did some emotion-labeling, “You really sound upset at your mother and brother and are angry at them.” After time and gaining trust of Tim, and the fact that there was no one else outside the bathroom door he felt not threatened enough to open the door and come outside where we talked for about fifteen minutes whereby he apologized for his actions and promised he would go back to his cabin for the remainder of the evening. After 45 minutes of crisis negotiation, and a brief conversation with his mother and brother Tim was accompanied to his cabin by the Security Guard and me. Case closed….Yes, and a good resolution. How did we accomplish this crisis intervention? First, we did an assessment of the situation and gathered background information of Tim. Second, we used empathy and skills involving active listening and problem solving. Third, we set boundaries in that we are not leaving until Tim comes out, and assurances that it is safe to come out. Fourth, we allowed time for Tim to ventilate, and a peaceful resolution was accomplished. Below is a new program for cruise line first responders in Crisis Response based on the FBI’s Hostage Negotiation, Critical Incident Stress Management and Acute Traumatic Stress Management. This is a first of a kind proactive training as well as reactive program to address crew and passengers after a major critical incident aboard a cruise line. This crisis preparedness and response program offers a platform for emotional and mental stabilization during and in the aftermath of a critical incident. As a retired FBI Agent and Ship Security Officer I have teamed up with clinical psychologist Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D. to offer this program to Cruise Lines. Cruise Line CRISISBe Prepared. Be Responsive.Cruise ships are cities within themselves with elaborate security measures to protect employees and guests. Add into the equation a rogue wave, an accident, a serious altercation, a fire, a swine flu epidemic or even piracy … now we have a serious problem. Cruise lines are prepared to address the physical and safety needs of people during times of crisis. Now they can raise their level of care, for guests and employees, by additionally addressing the “hidden trauma”— traumatic stress. This trauma compromises peoples’ ability to function, leaves the deepest scars and changes lives forever.   The Institute for Traumatic Stress, Inc. has developed the first comprehensive crisis preparedness and response program for cruise lines.  The program’s primary objectives are to:        • ease emotional pain        • keep people functioning        • mitigate ongoing suffering, and         • restore “human stability” on the vessel. The same principles being utilized by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security are now available to the cruise line industry—taught by the men who trained these national and international organizations, Security Officer (SO) Vincent J. McNally and Dr. Mark Lerner.PROGRAM OVERVIEWIn the event of an internal or external crisis that impacts a cruise ship, officers and management on the ship will be prepared and be responsive for the emergent needs of employees and guests. The following describes how this will be executed: 1. Be PreparedSO McNally and Dr. Lerner will conduct a half-day interactive seminar with a selected group of officers and management (e.g., Captain, First Officer, Deck Officers, Front Desk Manager, Guest Relations Manager, Security, etc.). These individuals may find themselves in escalating crisis situations that demand immediate assessment and response; whether the problem emanates from a passenger, crew member, or other individual(s). Prompt action by trained officers and management can facilitate a smooth transition to law enforcement and/or military responders, when necessary.The Institute’s crisis preparedness program will provide attendees with the basic tenets of the FBI’s First Responder Crisis Negotiation Course and the Acute Traumatic Stress Management model used in training U.N. personnel and federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security. While not intended to take the place of highly trained and skilled negotiators and mental health clinicians, this program will provide a realistic and effective response protocol for cruise line personnel. Attendees will: 1.  Learn about the impact of a traumatic event and traumatic stress on          individuals, groups and organizations.    2.  Understand the roots of violent and aggressive behavior.    3.  Identify risk factors associated with angry and violent individuals.      4.  Understand the dynamics of Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation.    5.  Learn basic skills associated with Acute Traumatic Stress Management.    6.  Develop safety skills and techniques for working with hostile or violent             individuals.     7.  Learn how to deliver bad news.    8.  Gain an understanding of why U.S. law enforcement (Customs,          Homeland Security, USCG, FBI) interfaces with the cruise lines.     9.  Learn about secondary victimization, “compassion fatigue,” and the          importance of caring for oneself.   10. Understand how inaction in the face of minor incidents could cause bad                                                                              publicity, loss of revenue, and even shutdown of the cruise industry. 2. Be Responsive:The vast majority of crisis situations can be effectively addressed by trained officers and management. However, if an event taxes and overwhelms ship personnel, the Institute for Traumatic Stress will deploy a two-person team (i.e., SO McNally and Dr. Lerner, when available) to provide the following assistance:    1.  Acute Traumatic Stress Management—to address emergent needs.    2.  Large group information, education and support for crew and guests.     3.  Small group crisis support.    4.  Referral to mental health providers.     5.  Post critical incident seminar—for ongoing discussion and support, when                            needed, months after the incident.Why Cruise Lines Need This Program  This course exceeds the recommendations of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 by offering techniques and FBI course material which can mitigate situations which could lead to criminal activity by offering a format in dealing with crisis situations.  It is of utmost importance to recognize that whatever happens on one cruise ship can adversely impact the entire cruise industry.The Institute’s program meets the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) mandatory requirements and guidance for security training, to include security drills (role-playing scenarios) and exercises for Levels 1-4      REQUIREMENT:  The ISPS Code provides guidance at Part B, Paragraph 13.4:            “All other shipboard personnel should have sufficient knowledge of            and be familiar with relevant provisions of the SSP (Ship Security Plan),           including:     (4) Recognition, on a non-discriminatory basis, of characteristics and              behavioral patterns of persons who are likely to threaten security.”           “Although all ship personnel have a security responsibility, officers and                                                    crew in a position of authority or with access to certain areas have a                            higher degree of security responsibility and, consequently, should            receive additional training so they can carryout those responsibilities.”2.  The acquisition of specific skills will facilitate interaction with difficult and challenging people. For example, by having an understanding of the mindset of the hostile individual, practice in “active listening,” learning how to   preserve an individual’s dignity by moving towards a “win-win” solution, and acquiring basic defusing techniques, ship personnel will have a “toolbox” to empower themselves and others in dealing with a difficult confrontation.3. Attendees will increase their safety awareness and, at the same time, organizational liability will be reduced. Communication, at the time of the crisis, will be emphasized.4. In line with the “The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010” a proactive approach in preparing officers and management on the cruise ship to deal with crisis situations is to have all crew “on the same page” in the skillful use of Crisis Negotiation.   5. Upon completion of the course, all participants will receive a Certificate of Participation by the Institute for Traumatic Stress.How to Arrange for the ProgramAt this time, SO McNally and Dr. Lerner are providing all pre-crisis training and post-crisis response services for the Institute. For further information, please email the Institute at or telephone (631) 673-3513.www.CruiseLineCRISIS.orgTRAUMA REDUCTION INC.SERVING THOSE WHO SERVE IN EMERGENCY SERVICESVincent J. McNally MPS,CEAP,FAAETS-President813 802 8086TRAUMAREDUCTION@AOL.COM McNally has provided over 100 workshops, seminars, and keynotes throughout the world. He is an author, lecturer, and consultant. A Navy Investigator in Vietnam, and a volunteer in training the Iraqi Police in Baghdad in Hostage Negotiations he continues to research the area of Post Traumatic Stress in returning veterans and contractors in Iraq. After 31 years as an FBI Agent has conducted and led investigations in general criminal violations, espionage, terrorism, white-collar crime, organized crime, and drug violations. He is also an instructor in Crisis (Hostage) Negotiations. Vince retired after serving as Unit Chief of the Employee Assistance Unit (EAU) of the FBI in Washington D.C. after being the Program Manager for the FBI ‘s Critical Incident Stress Management teams at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The EAU includes the critical incident stress, peer support, employee assistance, and chaplain’s program. Vince was instrumental in establishing the suicide response program in the FBI, eliminating suicide for three consecutive years. In September 2001 Vince and others responded to New York City. He continues to assist first responders throughout the United States. He also directed and provided FBI Employee Assistance to TWA Flight 800 and numerous responses throughout the U.S.. Vince serves on the Board of Scientific & Professional Advisors of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (National Center for Crisis Management). He is a Compassion Fatigue Specialist, Board Certified in Acute Traumatic Stress Management (ATSM), Board Certified in Emergency Crisis Response (B.C.E.C.R.) and is a Certified Member of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. He is also a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP). He is a Vietnam Veteran and voluntarily taught the Iraqi Police in Baghdad.His focused presentations on stress and trauma have been shared with thousands of emergency service personnel, and other care givers. His expertise and reputation as a speaker has found him presenting to the military in Switzerland and most recently as a presenter on hostage negotiations for the cruise industry addressing piracy on the high seas as he is a Certified Ship Security Officer (SSO).Workshops, Presentations and Seminar Topics Below is a partial list of presentations offered by Vincent J. McNally, CEAP, FAAETS. These presentations are made according to the audience and utilize reality based training concepts. FBI’ Employee Assistance Program: An Advanced Law Enforcement ModelFBI’s Critical Incident Stress Management Program and Peer Support ProgramFederal Bureau of Investigation’s Response to SuicideThe Impact of September 11 highlighting the risk of Compassion Fatigue on the Caregiver and Emergency services. Are we prepared for what comes next?Maintaining Emotional Fitness After 9-11----A Journey to IraqThe Role of Contractors in IraqFirst Responders Course in Crisis (Hostage) NegotiationBasic and Advanced Courses in Crisis (Hostage) NegotiationFirst Responder: Crisis (Hostage) Negotiations for the Cruise and Shipping Industry10 Steps to Emotional Stability and Maintaining Vision After 9-11Acute Traumatic Stress Management (ATSM)Trauma Resiliency in Disaster Management <br />