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This guideline describes the measures that vessels have to take during the transit in high risks of piracy areas. Nowadays the frequency of piracy actions has been increasing, most of them occurred in the Gulf of Aden and near the horn of Africa.

Section 1 – Risk Assessment

Before transiting through a High Risk Area the shipowner and the master shoulddo a risk assessment. This assessment should identify measures of prevention, mitigation and recovery,… attending to this factors:

• Crew safety: Care should be taken, when formulating measures to prevent illegal boarding and access to superstructure from the outside, that crew members are not trapped inside and so unable to escape in the event of another type of emergency, such as a fire.
•Freeboard: Vessels with less freeboard have more risk to board pirates than vessels with a greater freeboard.
• Speed: if a potential attack is detected early, there is more chance to escape. To date, there have been no reported successful attacks at speeds over 16 knots.
• Prevailing weather: because pirates operates with small crafts, during sea states 3 or above attacks from pirates aredifficult to happen.
• Time of transit: most of the piracy actions occur during the daylight, early in the morning and late at evening. There are exceptions of attacks during a bright moonlight.
• Piracy activity: The risk of a piracy attack appears to increase immediately following the release of a hijacked vessel and/or following a period of poor weather

Section 2 – Preparation

In a typicalpirate attack two or three high speed open boats are used, these open boats are deployed from a mother boat, usually a fishing vessel. Often they approach from either quarters. Usually before pirates gained control of the vessel, the sudden appearance of Naval force should persuade them to abandon the attack. Therefore, delaying the pirates at any stage of an attack buys additional time and cangreatly increase the chance of Naval Force intervention.
When pirates are close to the vessels if they look that protection measures are prepared may dissuade them from the attack. Physical preparations may delay boarding of the vessels.
Preparatory measures that should be done in a high risk area:

• Implementation of the Ship Security Plan (SSP): a supplement to the ISPS code.
•Watchkeeping and Enhanced Vigilance: vigilance must be increased by making arrangements to ensure additional lookouts for each watch, ensuring that there are sufficient binoculars for the bridge team and also night vision optics, if available.
• Closed Circuit Television: a closed circuit television provides information about the progress of the attack.
• Alarms: sounding alarms serves to inform the crewof the alert of a piracy attack and demonstrates that the vessel knows the attack.
• Upper deck lighting
• Deny use of ship’s tools and equipment: it is important to try to deny pirates the use of ship’s tools that may be used to gain entry.
• Protection of equipment stored on the upper deck: protection equipment in the form of sandbags or Kevlar blankets to gas bottles or containers offlammable liquids must be stored in these locations.
• Control of access to accommodation and machinery spaces: controlling the access routes is important to delay pirates, all doors providing access to accommodation and machinery should be secured. Where a door is locked, it is essential that a key is avaible in a clear position.
• Enhanced bridge protection: the bridge is the first target in a piracyattack, so these measures can be applied such as Kevlar jackets and helmets, security glass films against flying glasses, metal plates for the side and rear bridge windows, walls of sandbags, razor wire barricades,…
• Physical barriers: pirates usually use ladders and grappling hooks with rope attached, so physical barriers can be use to difficult pirates to board vessels. These barriers can...
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