It is easy to forget that the use of Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) has only become commonplace in the last few years and that the selection and deployment of armed guards is still an unknown quantity for many operators and crew. In response to this, Videotel has made a new addition to its armoury of training materials with the creation of a brand new programme – Working with Maritime Security Guards – which has been developed in conjunction with the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI) and BIMCO. Produced in association with Steamship Mutual, the training programme had its launch on board the HQS Wellington yesterday evening.
As part of their anti-piracy measures, many shipping companies now employ armed security guards aboard vessels that transit pirate waters. It is essential however that any company that takes this route understands the importance of selecting the right operators for its requirements and understands how best to work with the team to ensure maximum efficiency and integration with everyday operations on board ship.
“There are legal and safety risks associated with the use of armed guards and so it is vital to choose a PMSC that offers highly competent and professionally trained guards who have demonstrable experience in protecting ships against pirate attacks, ” explains Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel.
“Once the guards are on board they must be successfully integrated with the crew on both a personal and a professional level. To reinforce this message we have used first-hand accounts from a Company Security Officer (CSO), a PMSC Operations Manager and a guards’ Team Leader.”
The course provides shipping companies and personnel on board ship with useful guidance on how to engage and work successfully with armed guards, from selecting the PMSC through to the guards’ disembarkation at the end of their deployment. It is a companion programme to Videotel’s Piracy and Armed Robbery, Edition 3, which deals with piracy prevention on board ship.
Primarily targeted at CSOs and also Masters and senior officers, Working with Maritime Security Guards is presented in a documentary style and is available as VOD (Videotel on Demand); VOD Online; DVD; eLearning CBT and workbook. It covers the following topics: selecting a PMSC; planning the guards’ deployment; working and living together and responding to a threat.