Maritime Risk Solutions - specialized international risk management service
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'I would like to inform you that the Armed Guard Team, that escorted us through the high risk area, have been the best team that escorted the

The Team co-operated very well with the crew and with each other.'

- Vessel Master


Q: When do you execute Vessel Security Assessments?
Vessel security assessments are done before our teams go onboard (if time allows) or en-route for the purpose of best course of action for the guards, crew and passengers in the event of threat. Outcome of the assessment is passed onto the Master who needs to either brief the crew and passengers himself or arrange that the crew and passengers be briefed by our team leader. The last being the preferred option. Practice drills are done to ensure that everyone knows the actions to be taken.

Q: What physical preparations you do before passage?
Depending on the Owner/Master of the vessel and the time allowed, some physical preparations can be added to the vessel to strengthen the inherent ability of the vessel to fend off attacks. There is a complete menu of accessories that could be fitted on the vessel that ranges from CS gas, barbed wire ejectors to Laser guns. All to be presented to the Owner/Master and to be decided on.

Q: How do your operatives conduct themselves during passage?
Our teams follow a very strict code of conduct during passage. They will wear uniforms the whole time, won't fraternize with passengers, maintain their vigilance, even when not officially on duty, stay off the bridge while not on duty, and no alcohol shall be consumed.

Q: What is your watch and surveillance routine?
Watches rotate every 4 hours. The size of the vessel determines the number of guards to a team. Surveillance are done 24/7 by those on duty. It is necessary that the bridge and the guards on duty have close communication for surveillance purposes.

Q: What are your actions on encountering Pirates?
Ensure proper identification, action drills are executed as predetermined and practiced. Level of force by Pirates is met with similar force. Preferred situation is to show the armed ability of the vessel and deter the pirates from approaching the vessel without any force being applied. Warning shots can be fired if the range of the suspect vessel (Pirates) closest to the client vessel.

Q: What is your communication method?
Communication on the vessel is between the team leader and the Owner/Master to both their subordinates. External communication is done via the vessels communication equipment. The international Rescue Centre in South Africa is alerted of the passage and requested to specially monitor the progress of the passage as this Rescue Centre has proved to be most effective, even as high as Somalia.

Q: Explain your incident reporting approach?
 After any kind of incident a complete debrief is done amongst the team. It is preferred that the crew and passengers be subject to a directed debrief, there after a comprehensive report is written and sent to our office from  where it is distributed to the IMB and other interested parties. All incidents will be reported, be it suspected or visual sightings of attacks on other vessels. The incident report will be forwarded to 
UKMTO and other Maritime Military Navy Organizations e.g. NAVFOR.

Q: How do you manage a hostage incident?
In the event of hostages been taken, direct liaison with the Owner/Master/Manager of the vessel is done on the probability of having a release force deployed. There are effective Maritime Release Forces available for this purpose. This is a situation that has not happened. Armed vessels have never, to date, been hijacked with armed MarSec Operators on board.

Q: What is your approach to legal issues?
We work according to the Rules, Regulations and Guidelines of the IMO and as derived from the IMB. On International waters the scope is quite open on what one may and may not do. Within the waters of specific countries one needs to adhere to the laws of that specific country. The basic approach is to meet the force with equal force and only as much as is needed to solve the situation. Only legal firearms are used. The Rules of Engagement is actually only for the Military and in the Commercial Industry the Rules for the Use of Force is in place. We use the Rules for the Use of Force ad continuum which are incorporated into our Standard Operating Procedures and these play a major role in the briefing and practices onboard. 

Q: What is the standard of your staff
 Our management has a Special Forces Command background where Seaborne active operational tasks were executed. The Managing Director has an MBA and the Administrative Director has a M.Psy.D. They have hands-on active Anti-Piracy experience. The operatives are mostly ex Special Forces Seaborne members with many years for active seaborne operational experience. There are some that are not special forces, but have ample active operational experience and seaborne qualifications. All our Operatives are subjected to predetermined Personality Profile Analyses to ensure that only the required type of person is deployed. These Personality Profile Analyses have been designed and are done by the Administrative Director (M.Psy.D). Criminal record checks are conducted and certificate of non-criminal record is required.

Q: Explain your 'Use of Fire Arms Policy'?
 This is contained in our Standard Operational Procedures, but to sum it up in one sentence. Use as little force as possible to solve the situation; only shoot when you are being shot at; never shoot at any person or object unless you have the target confirmed in your sights. No weapon will be onboard any vessel unless it is completely legal.

Q: Do you supply escort vessels?
We use escort vessels where needed.