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Robbery at gunpoint

Working ashore or going ashore from vessels in various locations around the world has its own dangers. A member reports a recent event where an employee was robbed at gunpoint. The incident happened while the individual was at the roadside and in need of motoring assistance. He engaged an offer of support from strangers who subsequently produced a firearm and demanded his cash and wallet. At the time of the incident the employee did not possess a mobile telephone/cellphone and was only able to obtain assistance from a local service station.

The company concerned has issued the following advice to its employees:

  • Never solicit help from strangers for roadside assistance;
  • When travelling on company business, a company ‘pool’ mobile ‘phone is required;
  • Plan your travel in advance (routes, stopovers, etc.) in order that you are familiar with your surroundings should you be stopped unexpectedly (e.g. by mechanical breakdown). In addition, ensure you are familiar with the vehicle you are using ,whether personal, company or third-party hire; . Be extra careful when travelling in poor weather conditions.

The company has also repeated the following advice from the local police department on action to take during a robbery:

  • Remain calm and do not resist – don’t try to be a hero, take no action that could jeopardise your own safety;
  • Follow the robber’s directions, but do not volunteer more than asked for;
  • Advise the robber of any unusual moves you must make in advance and assure them that you will co-operate;
  • Make mental notes on:
    1. the robber and accomplices (including number) – approximate height, age, build, sex, race, clothing (colour, brand, material, etc.), complexion, hair (colour, length, style), eye colour, etc.
    2. what they may have touched (for fingerprints);
    3. how they left the scene (direction of travel, vehicle used, vehicle registration/license plate number, etc.)

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.