Security At Sea

By Steve Brand | November 17, 2019

Modern Day Pirates

For as long as there has been seafarers there have been security risks and crime at sea. Marine security risks are not only a danger to sea workers and leisure sailors; in extreme cases regional industries and economies might also be to some degree compromised.

The fact that ships and boats at sea are often isolated and temporarily cut off from state services and law enforcement agencies means that seafarers and vessels are exposed to a unique set of threats to safety and security.

Here is a list of some of the most serious security risks at sea:-

  • Modern Day Piracy.
  • Unauthorized Entry.
  • Smuggling Exotic plants and animals.
  • Drug trafficking.
  • Illegal Carrying of Weapons and artillery.
  • Tax evasion.
  • Sailing or fishing in unauthorized areas.
  • Discharging in Ocean Waters.
  • Human Trafficking.

As you can see, these threats are many and varied. When taken together, they present a formidable challenge to the authorities and also professional and leisure mariners concerned with maintaining safety and order at sea and in ports.

A lack of knowledge heightens one’s risk of falling prey to sea going criminals and ignorance is no defence in falling foul of maritime related legislation. Knowledge really is power when it comes to such matters.

Good training and well thought out, strictly adhered to policies and procedures are the best defence against security threats.

Generalised Marine Security Threats And Awareness

The main requirements imposed on the maritime industry in relation to security are set out in STCW Reg. VI/6, para 1 Sect.A-VI/6, para 4 of the STCW Convention and Code 1978 as amended (2010) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

There is a lot to know and this knowledge is important in safeguarding the well being of everybody in the maritime industry. Good awareness of and education in regard to the above standards and legislation comes through first class training. Competent mariners should have sufficient knowledge to:-

  • Contribute to the enhancement of maritime security through heightened awareness.
  • Recognise security threats.
  • Understand the need for, and methods of, maintaining security awareness and vigilance.

Marine Piracy

Marine piracy is a constant global threat and an increasingly difficult issue for the maritime industry to deal with.

Threat levels are elevated in impoverished and war torn regions of the world where the motives for marine piracy range from profiteering by way of stealing cargo to religious or political conflict.

Marine piracy is here to stay and many professionals within the maritime industry might at some time in their careers happen to sail through an at risk region. For this reason, we have a forthcoming article covering this subject in more detail. Be sure to look out for it in the coming weeks.

Our Maritime Training Courses

Seahaven Maritime Academy, based at The Port of Newhaven in East Sussex, is the ideal establishment for Maritime Training at all levels. The links below will provide you with more information:-

Professional Courses
RYA Courses

If you would like further information then please feel free to get in touch.

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About The Author

Steve Brand
Managing Director

Steve is a highly experienced instructor with a long and impressive track record in safety-critical working environments. Training is much more than a job for him, it is a vocation and his dedication and care for his valued students is second to none.


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