Shipping lines prepare to repel pirates

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International Maritime Security Network has conducted first phase testing of its new Triton Shield anti-piracy system using a container vessel operated by Horizon Lines, a US flagged container ship operator serving US domestic routes and Asia.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks in 2008 increased more than 200 per cent from the previous year. Now, with monsoon season coming to an end in September, the maritime community is expecting pirate attacks to increase due to the calmer conditions at sea. Given that approximately 90 per cent of all goods are shipped by sea, piracy is a serious threat to the world economy.

IMSN conducted anti-piracy system tests and safety drills aboard the container vessel Horizon Crusader with Horizon crew members. The system uses the most abundant resource available to a ship – water. The use of water is nothing new, but maximising the protective potential without risking the lives and safety of the ship’s crew is.

The system was developed with maximum deterence in mind. IMSN provides several options to harden vulnerable areas by updating passive security measures on board a ship. The innovative Triton Shield device is designed to create an active deterrent around the perimeter of a ship. While the IMSN team will monitor the initial installation aboard every ship, the device is simple, easy-to-use, and easy-to-maintain.

The system also includes an armed hard security team as the last line of defence should deterrence fail. IMSN hard security team members are fully vetted and come from military and or law enforcement backgrounds. IMSN hard security teams will operate under the guidelines of force continuum which provide them with the tools and training needed to evaluate a potential threat and determine the proper amount of force needed for any given situation.

Mike Bohlman, director of marine services at Horizon Lines, said: “Working with IMSN has provided valuable insight for Horizon Lines and allowed us to take immediate action to enhance our vessel and facility security posture and our ability to mitigate the risk of either a pirate or terrorist attack.”

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