Due to the rising piracy activities, a vessel at sea has become highly vulnerable to attacks. Moreover, there are also other forms of dangers both natural and manmade that a ship at sea has to deal with. However, undoubtedly, maritime piracy remains one of the biggest concerns for both ship personnel and owners.
Dealing with armed human attack is a big challenges faced by maritime industry today. An earlier system that existed to deal with such attacks – Ship Security Alerting System, enabled a ship to send distress signals to a ship’s control center. Seemingly an efficient system, it has many drawbacks, the biggest one being that it cannot offer enough security.
This system of maritime security is slow and slightly inadequate for handling immense security breach situations that arise from pirate attacks. As an upgrade for this system, the ship security reporting system is a more precise system that allows quicker backup for a ship in distress.
What is SSRS and how does it work?
SSRS is the ship security system which derives its roots from the earlier existing ship security alerting system. Under SSRS, a distress signal from ship is sent directly to Maritime Security Center- Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).
This system has been introduced especially to curb increasing pirate attacks in region of Gulf of Aden and off Somalia Coast. As such, along with the above mentioned centers, a distress signal is also sent to the naval forces responsible for maritime security in these regions.
This system is better as opposed to SSAS where the signal is sent to the ship security officer and the flag alone. Since it’s not always possible to ensure full security of ship through this system, SSRS offers a much better option for maritime security.
The effectiveness of ship security reporting system is a multifaceted advantage offered to vessels against maritime piracy. For one, this system allows a continuous monitoring of the vessels within the specified range i.e. there is a continuous reception of signals. When the MSHAO or UKMTO receives a distress signal, there is a verification of the signal as genuine. Then the vessel information is retrieved like the vessel name, IMO number, MMSI, location etc. and further transferred to the task forces associated. The forces spring into action immediately.
Benefits of SSRS
The need for a better system to thwart maritime piracy in hotspots of piracy like Gulf of Aden and Somalia coast was imminent. As such, with introduction of ship security reporting system in January 2010, the maritime security has gone up a notch. Some of the major benefits of this system are:
- This is a system developed especially to curb maritime piracy – Thus it’s a dedicated system
- The localized task forces offer an impressive backup
- The transmission of signals is quick. The mercury system through which signals are transmitted from the SSRS center to the task forces takes less than five minutes for transmission of signals
- Naval forces assigned for this job can reach the spot quickly and offer a much better chance at warding off a pirate attack or hijack
- The maritime security is at an all time high especially in the most vulnerable regions
- The economic setbacks especially due to maritime piracy in these regions can be lowered
- This is a cost effective system with an operating cost as low as $500 per ship per year. The ship owners can conveniently bear this cost
- It is a very effective hassle free system
- Integration with SSAS and other database centers like UKMTO allows wider access
- This system is an upgrade of an earlier existing system. As such, it can easily fit into the already in use ISPS ship security plan and other management systems
The ship security reporting system allows ships to sail through the most vulnerable channels with a reassurance of much better maritime security than was offered before.