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On Board Security Teams

In addition to the provision of training and assistance in security planning Idarat Ltd. also provides teams of security operatives for vulnerable vessels transiting high risk areas.

Examples of vessels which may require such security teams include slow vessels with low free-board, like tugs, high value vessels such as super-yachts, and vessels carrying very high value cargoes.


bulk carrier

Idarat believes that most merchant vessels do not require the presence of security teams and that Idarat''s package of training, procedures and equipment will ensure vessel resilience.

Our security teams work on the basis of avoiding trouble by using predictive intelligence, excellent watch-keeping and planning.
All Idarat''s security personnel are ex-Royal Marines (British Special Forces) who are trained seamen as well as trained soldiers.

Our security teams are able to protect almost all vessels without using firearms, and we are very aware that there may be serious legal issues if anyone is killed by a security operative. There are very few exceptions, but each vessel and it's transit is assessed before making any recommendations as to the level of protection required. In normal circumstance IML therefore believes that armed guards are not required onboard merchant vessels.

There may be a question as to whether the man killed was actually a pirate, and if he was whether it was reasonable in the circumstances to kill him. Any and all persons on board a vessel will come under the law of the Flag State. If the Flag State has the death penalty then any persons committing a 'violent' crime will face the possibility of the death penalty, or otherwise a term of imprisonment.

In other words if you kill people without reasonable cause it may be murder or manslaughter, in the same way that householders in most countries cannot just kill burglars.  The Captain and the ship-owner could also face legal problems before the courts of the Flag State and also before the International Court of Human Rights. Even pirates have human rights in the 21st century.

It is important to remember that the Somali pirates appear to avoid killing crews if possible, and carry a handbook which instructs them NOT to harm their hostages. The situation off Nigeria is far more dangerous, but it is illegal for a foreign vessel to use armed guards in Nigerian coastal waters. Many states also have strict rules on the carriage of weapons aboard vessels and some security guards were arrested in Kenya in 2008 when they tried to take guns onboard a ship. We believe that the waters of the South China Sea are potentially more hazardous than the Gulf of Aden, because of the history of murder by pirates, who wish to remove crews from vessels.

fishing boat

in the news: Gulf of Aden

A Swedish warship captured seven pirates after they tried to attack a cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, Swedish armed forces said.

The Swedish ship fired warning shots using cannon, machine guns and sniper fire to force the pirates to abort the attempted hijacking, the Swedish military said in a statement.

The Swedish corvettes HMS Malmo and HMS Stockholm, were ordered to help the cargo ship M/V Antonis after it radioed it was under attack early on May 26th.


Reuters. 26 May 2009

Shipowners require resilience, not merely security

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Operations: +44 7946 476398

Our Aims

1. To provide effective Systemic Resilience at sea by taking a holistic, helicopter view to solve an increasingly challenging international problem.


2. To design, provide and service a fully integrated, but flexible, package of equipment, intelligence data and personnel which will enable merchant vessels to safely transit high threat areas, or to safely visit high threat ports.