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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

August 19, 2009

Liberia produces computer based antipiracy training

The Liberian Registry has produced a computer-based program to train seafarers and company security officers in the practices necessary to avoid, deter or delay acts of piracy. You can check out a demo here:

http://www.ictseuropesystems.com/flash/BMP-Demo/index.html

The decision to produce the Best Management Practice (BMP) program follows a New York meeting in May of the UN Contact Group on Somalian Piracy, at which the Republic of Liberia signed "The New York Declaration"--an agreement between flag states that recognizes the effectiveness of self-protection measures taken by vessels. Signatories require all vessels flying their flags to adopt and document self-protection measures as part of their compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

Scott Bergeron, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the U.S.-based manager of the Liberian Registry, explains, "The IMO Maritime Safety Committee has deemed that guidance specific to the waters off the coast of Somalia is warranted and has agreed to promulgate Best Management Practices for use by shipowners, operators, managers, shipping companies, ship masters, and ship security officers.

As part of the Liberian Administration's efforts to disseminate industry BMP, says Mr. Bergeron, the Liberian Registry has teamed up with ICTS Europe, a UK-based security company to develop a computer-based training program specifically designed for the use of merchant ships in the waters off Somalia.

"Training crews in how best to avoid and deal with incidents of piracy is a necessary but highly emotive issue in today's shipping industry." says Mr. Bergeron. "The Liberian Registry believes in being proactive wherever possible in the interests of owners, operators and crew, and we are satisfied that providing practical training for crews is in this case the best and safest way forward."

The BMP package uses computer-based tools to offer a concise, interactive self-learning course. Whether on land or at sea, the BMP program can run on any PC, providing an effective tool to improve the competence, confidence and preparedness of masters and crews.

The training program includes a certification test, using multi-choice questions to assess understanding of the training material. Printable, recognized certificates are automatically generated upon successful completion of the course, as is a printable report for the ship master or chief security officer which summarizes the status of training and certification for each crew member.

The program has been developed to help users comply with industry recommendations. It is approved by insurance companies as a measure for active risk reduction. Each crew member can proceed with the course at his or her own pace, and training can be carried out on board, without interfering with the daily routine of the crew.

The program is extremely user-friendly, and implementation is straightforward. There is no need for software installation because, once the CD is inserted in the PC drive, the program runs automatically.

For further information or to order a copy of the program, please contact publications@liscr.com or +1-703-251-2440


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