Safe Places

BMP4 places great emphasis on the role of citadels…which is great, but far too few people know what they really are. The guidance states that professional input is necessary to create these hardcore safe havens.

There have been instances where crews have foiled pirates because they could not gain access to the vessel or individual crew members but the benefits of having a locked-down place of refuge are lost if it is not possible to get all personnel inside.

On some vessels, they can be an excellent security solution and work well as part of a layered defence. This depends partly on a genuine and functioning security culture within the company and onboard the vessel.

Reports are, however, emerging that in addition to their usual piracy paraphernalia, pirates are taking plastic explosives on their missions with the aim of blasting their way into citadels and strongholds.

There is a considerable degree of misunderstanding of the citadel concept in merchant shipping. Given this need for greater knowledge we were pleased to hear of an interesting event being held in London next month, in which the industry will look at the issue of citadels in more depth.

With so little actually known or understood about the creation of a citadel, the systems which it must support and of the requirements of the navies to come and rescue you this event could be hugely significant.

The event will see speakers from the maritime security industry, BIMCO and EUNAVFOR looking at this very specific topic in great detail.

The event is being held by the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) Email gmf@seasecurity.org for more details.

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