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OCIMF releases new information paper Guidelines to Harden Vessels

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Layers of defence figure

25 July 2018 – London – OCIMF has released a new information paper that recommends a layered defence methodology for hardening vessels to help prevent unauthorised boarding. These are:

  • First layer: prevents unauthorised access to the vessel.
  • Second layer: prevents or delays access to the accommodation block, stores and machinery spaces.
  • Third layer: prevents or delays access to the citadel, which is a safe location for crews to retreat to if all other defences are breached.

The paper also recommends using a Vessel Hardening Plan and provides an example plan to help ensure vessels are prepared for operations in areas of increased security. Although the focus is on vessels when underway, measures are also examined for vessels at anchor and alongside.

OCIMF Director Rob Drysdale said “This guidance complements the recent industry publication Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers  and regional best practices such as BMP5: Best Management Practices To Deter Piracy And Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf Of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. Based on lessons learnt and shared best practice, this information paper will give those involved in the design and operation of tankers the tools they need to make an informed decision about security measures for their fleet.”

Rob Drysdale

Guidelines to Harden Vessels also complements the OCIMF information paper Ship Security – Bridge Vulnerability Study, released in 2014.


The paper is free to download from www.ocimf.org/library/information-papers

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