How Merchant Navy Ships Protect Themselves From Pirates

safeguarding naval ships from pirate attack


Have you seen the movie Captain Phillips? If not, I will recommend you to watch it. You will get a clear picture.

If a pirate attack takes place, the merchant vessels have only few options with them in the absence of security forces, some of them are:


  1. Use of charged fire hoses which are rigged all around the vessels, in case of an attempt to board by the pirates, the water running down from fire hoses will deter the pirates, it will act as a barrier.
    How merchant navy ships protect themselves from pirates
    Image Source: Internet

2. Use of evasive maneuvers also called zig zag maneuvring as the pirate boat approaches. This makes it difficult for the pirate boats to set the ladder on to the vessel’s side.

3. Proceeding at the maximum possible speed.

4. Informing naval vessels, if any of the naval vessels are around by means of VHF.

5. Sending distress alert and informing UKMTO (United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations).

6. Onboard splinter proof jackets and helmets are provided for the guys who are on look out duty, this acts as a security for chest and head of the crew who is on watch and gives protection against splinters.

7. As shown in the movie Captain Phillips, use of rocket parachute flares to attack the pirate boat, though this is not very common.

8. There is a citadel or we can say a safe room onboard which is pre-decided. In case of a pirate attack, the alarm is sounded and all crew musters themselves in the citadel. Citadel has a food and water supply of atleast 3 days, it also should have a satellite phone for communication. Citadel helps when a navy attacks the pirates who have already boarded the ship. If the navy is sure that the whole crew is already in citadel, they can launch an offensive against the pirates, as citadel walls are of steel construction and can take up bullets.

9. The use of barbed wire all around the ship, this makes the boarding difficult.

How merchant navy ships protect themselves from pirates
Image Source: Internet

10. Lastly, if the pirates boards the vessel, the sailors don’t have any option but to cooperate and offer no resistance to the pirates.

So, this is how unarmed Merchant Navy Ships Protect Themselves From Pirates.

Do you think we missed any point? Let us know your views in the comments section. We will be glad to hear from you..!!


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