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IMCA publishes security measures and emergency response guidance

Published on 6 May 2015

The threat to maritime security from piracy, terrorism, criminal acts, and hostage and kidnapping threats continues to pose challenges to ships’ owners, masters and crew members, and has resulted in the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) (Booth S16 at OTC) publishing ‘Security Measures and Emergency Response Guidance’ (IMCA SEL 037, IMCA M 226).

“Safety is of paramount importance, and our document aims to provide guidance to masters, company and ship security officers and other crew members and staff, on security measures and emergencies onboard vessels when underway, at anchor or alongside in their own or another country, and also for staff in shore side offices,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Jane Bugler.”It is intended to reinforce and support existing company and vessel security procedures or provide a framework around which these can be developed where they are not yet in place, such as for new build vessels.

“This is in line with IMCA strategic goals of promoting the tools and information to help members undertake all aspects of risk management across all areas of their operations. The guidance is based on a ‘layered defence’ philosophy which embraces the concept of using a number of different but collaborative and co-ordinated security measures to deal with security threats proportionately and effectively. The guidance is not only relevant to current existing high risk areas (HRA) as defined by government bodies, but can be applied at any stage where for whatever reason, security measures might need to be adopted.”

Running to nearly 40 pages, the Guidance covers general security guidelines and security levels; ship protection measures; STCW security training requirements; risk assessment; building security measures; and cyber security measures, before a six-page section on terrorism, piracy and violent criminal acts. This section encompasses the actual situation; layered defence, ships/installations, terrorism, piracy, security measures for ships, communications; vessel ship to shore; medical treatment; citadel procedures; and firefighting.

Moving on to hostage taking and kidnapping, there are specific sections on kidnap and ransom plan, kidnap process, confinement; family support; outside agencies; legal aspects; kidnap response strategy; and disclosure of information. Other sections deal with stowaways; bomb threats; and sources of information and guidance. And the appendices cover recommended cyber security measures; and an example of telephone bomb threat – aide mémoire.

The guidance can be downloaded free of charge from the IMCA website by members and non-members alike and printed copies are available for £5:00 for members; and £10:00 for non-members from [email protected] and from IMCA at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.