Maritime security professionals will be the first to admit that the MarSec industry has a serious problem. Some anti-piracy groups are peddling their services, yet lack proper training in sea security operations. And who hasn’t heard of pirate hunters? In light of this, we’re pleased to learn that UK-based Sea Marshals has gained ISO9001:2008 approval. The certification, it is said, came in a month when the company provided protection to a record number of ships (up 22% over the previous month) transiting the Gulf of Aden.
This isn’t the case of a MarSec player obtaining an ISO certificate for the sake of having one and displaying it in the visitors’ reception area. Said Sea Marshals chief of operations, Thomas Jakobsson: “We are busier than we have ever been, which demonstrates the industry’s recognition of the effectiveness of armed onboard security teams and is testament to the professionalism of our maritime operation. We are shipowners ourselves and we can easily understand the needs of our clients. That’s why we employ mainly UK security operators and team leaders and work according to IMO and BIMOCO-Guardcon standards, while complying with Flag State requirements.”
Sea Marshals, which provides armed as well as unarmed security teams, has just hired 20 additional ex-military British security operatives. Plans are also afoot to beef up the company’s 15-man OPS staff at its UK base in Cardiff. New personnel are to undergo intensive training at Sea Marshal’s expanded in-house training facility. The programme includes classroom instruction on international maritime conventions (e.g., STCW and dangerous cargoes). We salute Sea Marshals. May its tribe increase. ~Barista Uno