On the 30th March 2019, in the Gulf of Guinea, armed pirates boarded an anchored ship off the coast of Cameroon. They kidnapped four members of the crew and escaped.
The fact that the ship, a containership, The Oak, was anchored in the area shortly after a major anti-piracy exercise conducted by US forces, NATO and 20 West African nations, involving 95 vessels and 12 aircraft, seemed to be no deterrent at all to these determined and brazen criminals.
The remaining members of the crew were able to sail the ship on safely to Douala port and an investigation into the incident is said to be ongoing.
This attack is not an isolated incident and is part of an alarming increase in piratical acts, especially kidnapping, with growing levels of violence involved.
Vessels are particularly vulnerable while at anchor, so it is imperative that vessels have the right systems on board to warn against being boarded illegally, giving them the time to instigate their safety and security procedures, such as reaching their citadels (or saferooms).
At MARSS we produce a range of systems that provide early warning of any activity in the area of a vessel, above and below the waterline, but that may not always be feasible in a busy port or anchorage where there is a constant coming and going of waterborne traffic.
So, we developed CLIMBERguard specifically to detect any unauthorised movement of people anywhere near or on the external superstructure of a vessel.
Climber detection is achieved with our self-contained CLIMBERguard units that combine micro-radars, imaging sensors and processing to automatically detect, classify and track approaches close to and scaling the vessel sides.
Safety and security is our sole focus here at MARSS, so we provide an easy to use multi-touch command and control interface which presents a clear situational awareness picture to the crew via a fixed installation on the bridge or remotely via smart mobile devices, aiding decision-making and the rapid response, so critical in these dangerous situations.