Risk Assessment of Damage & Control Measures after Stranding:
- Prior to transiting the HRA, ship operators and Masters should carry out a thorough Risk Assessment to assess the likelihood and consequences of piracy attacks to the vessel, based on the latest available information.
- The output of this Risk Assessment should identify measures for prevention, mitigation and recovery, which will mean combining statutory regulations with supplementary measures to combat piracy. It is important that the Risk Assessment is ship and voyage specific and not generic.
- Factors to be considered in the Risk Assessment should include, but may not be limited to, the following:-
- Crew Safety – When trying to prevent prate boarding, it must be ensured that crew members will not be trapped inside and should be able to escape in the event of another type of emergency, such as for example fire. A Safe Muster Point or Citadel should be considered. Adequate ballistic protection should be given to the crew who may be required to be on the bridge during a pirate attack, as pirates fire at the Bridge to try to force the ship to stop.
- Freeboard – Pirates try to board the ship at the lowest point above the waterline, making it easier for them to climb onboard. These points are often on either quarter or at the vessel’s stern. Experience suggests that vessels with a minimum freeboard greater than 8 metres have a much greater chance of successfully escaping a piracy attempt than those with less. This also depends on the construction of the ship. A large freeboard alone may not be enough to deter a pirate attack.
- Speed – One of the most effective ways to defeat a pirate attack is by using speed to try to outrun the attackers and / or make it difficult to board. Ships are recommended to proceed at Full Sea Speed or maximum safe speed throughout their transit of the HRA. If a vessel is part of a ‘Group Transit’ within the IRTC, speed may be required to be adjusted.
- Sea State – Pirates mount their attacks from very small craft (skiffs), even where they are supported by ‘Motherships’, which tends to limit their operations to moderate sea states. It is difficult to operate small craft effectively in sea state 3 and above.