What is Ship Security Alert System (SSAS)?

The Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) is one safety measure for strengthening ship security and subduing acts of piracy and/or terrorism against shipping. Widely Acknowledged as a part of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS code), the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) complements the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s attempts to increase maritime vessel security.

Cospas-Sarsat, with International Maritime Organization’s cooperation, came up with this project of Ship Security Alert System (SSAS). The basic idea is that in case of an attempted piracy effort or terrorists act, the ship’s SSAS beacon would be activated, responding to which an appropriate law-enforcement or military forces would be dispatched for rescue. The Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) beacon and the Aircraft Transponder Emergency Code 7700 are operated on the fundament of similar principles.

How SSAS works?

  • When the maritime security staffs comprehend probable danger from pirates or terrorists a Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) alert is triggered.
  • The beacon transmits a specific country code, reacting to which the Rescue Coordination Centres (RCCs) or SAR Points of Contact (SPOCs) of that particular region is notified discreetly.
  • Once receiving the signal the national authorities of the area notified dispatch appropriate military or law-enforcement forces to deal with the terrorist or pirate menace.

Legislation on Ship Security Alert System (SSAS)

In December 2002, International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted some changes within which Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), as was determined in Regulation 6. It also required IMO to produce guidance on the implementation and instructions on the handling of covert alerts from SSAS instrumentation.

The SSAS alerts are to be sent by the security staff, necessarily at routine priority, from the ship to its Administration directly or other proper recipient designated by the Administration.

These routine priority SSAS alerts might be chosen by Administrations to have from their flag ships addressed to Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres in their own region or to other targets such as ship owners or managers.

Satellite service of Inmarsat C, mini-C and D+ would help affirm the full accessibility of processing the messages of Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), while the existing outdated GMDSS would require an update provided by its manufacturers or agents.

SSAS solutions which are available on the Inmarsat network inevitably render more flexibility in the routing of SSAS alerts. In accordance with the requirements of the IMO, these alerts could be sent to any destination, which might be a rescue co-ordination centre, or a national security organisation or the ship owner or any other third-party organisation but necessarily selected by the flag administration.

The security stuff can deliver the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) to fax, email, telex, GSM phone, or even to other Inmarsat terminals for the sake of ship security complying with the legislation specified in Regulation 6.

Benefits

  • Fully maritime focused
  • Use of the Inmarsat C, mini-C, D+ satellite service
  • Upgradation over older GMDSS version.
  • Global coverage
  • Suitable for asset tracking
  • Daily reports at routine priority
  • Web based tracking
  • Conforms to IMO standards and full compliance with the requirements of SOLAS XI-2/6
  • Installation, testing, and instruction on usage by professionals.

You may also like to read-What is “Citadel” Anti-Piracy Method?

Referencesinmarsat, itekmobile, marine-netguide

Image Credits: navarino, blogspot

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