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02 September 2009

Surviving Piracy and Armed Robbery


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Piracy has a hardware–centric view?

Prevention is better than cure

Counter piracy focus has been largely on the physical aspects of security
Company Procedures
Crisis management
Hard security measures

02 September 2009

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Out of sight – out of mind?

But what happens when the hardware does not prevent a hijacking?
Seafarers have thick skins……. but are often reluctant to seek help post-
Because of the diverse nature of seafarers, figures for Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder are hard to come by…. BUT…….

02 September 2009

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Prevelence of PTSD

”The prevalence of PTSD in the first year after human-made/

technological disasters has been documented to range between
approximately 25 percent and 75 percent. For example, the prevalence
of PTSD was 29 percent among persons exposed to the mass shooting
episode in Killeen, Texas, in 1991 …………………….. At the other
extreme, the prevalence of PTSD was 73 percent among survivors of
the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster in 1988, where a gas leak induced an
explosion and fire took the lives of 167 men. All …. of these
assessments were carried out during the first 3 months after the
disaster in question. Most studies of adult survivors of disaster have
found a PTSD prevalence of 30–60 percent after a disaster”
The Epidemiology of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Disasters
Sandro Galea, Arijit Nandi and David Vlahov
Oxford Journals
Epidemiologic Reviews
Volume 27, Number 1 2005
Pp. 78-91

02 September 2009

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Seafarer Recalls 110 Days in Pirate Captivity

MV YENEGOA OCEAN By David Axe December 16, 2008 |
Somali Pirates Terrorised Nigerian Crew MOMBASA, KENYA — Captain Edward Kalendero, 51,
commands a skittish crew. While Kalendero so far has avoided
Captain Graham Egbegi said his crew was treated kidnapping, many of the nine seafarers serving under him aboard
the small coastal cargo ship Semlow have been captured and
appallingly, confined to cabins and seeing no sunlight
Somali Pirates Terrorised Nigerian Crew ransomed by pirates during their years at sea. Semlow herself
was hijacked back in 2005 during a mission to deliver U.N. food
aid to Mogadishu. Now the unlucky ship and her tense-as-Hell
crew are getting ready to sail back into pirate waters, for the
for the first three months. umpteenth time. Semlow will sail alongside the HMS
Northumberland frigate to carry hundreds of tons of split peas and
Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, or at least the other humanitarian cargo to Somalia.
Kalendero’s chief engineer for this run is 50-year-old Juma Mvita.
psychological after effects of a life threatening He was on Semlow three years ago when the ship was grabbed
by 10 armed men riding in three speedboats. The pirates took
over the bridge and steered the ship to a small port. “Under the
episode, will probably be experienced by every circumstances, they treated us well,” Mvita recalled on
Wednesday while preparing for the Mogadishu run on Semlow’s
sailor least once in his working life. These may well cramped bridge. “We used our own food for while … but they kept
us in captivity for 110 days, so we ran short of food and fresh
cause him severe problems at work and in human water and fuel. They begin to feed us by bringing us food from the
relationships for a while. The Chief Engineer I met “They assured us if we behaved, we would be safe,” Mvita added.
He stood over a stack of charts depicting the waters around
was probably suffering from PTSD, which is a Mogadishu. His face was marked with worry — as was his
captain’s. Despite the heavily armed frigate anchored just across
recognised medical condition with approved
the harbor, the vibe aboard Semlow was bleak.
The pirates who had grabbed Semlow three years ago insisted
medical treatment. He took a long break while he
their beef was with the ship’s owner, and not the crew, Mvita said.
“If the ransom was paid and nobody tried to be a hero, we would
be safe,” he recalled his captors saying.
struggled to overcome PTSD; with proper Did he believe them? Mvita laughed. “No.”

counselling, he would have been back on his feet

But after more than three months, the ransom was paid and
Semlow sailed back to Mombasa… only to resupply, refuel and
head right back to Somalia, with some of the same crew aboard.
much faster, and would have been available for What keeps men like
Kalendera and Mvita at sea when the risks are so great? Simple,
work sooner. And maybe not have been divorced. Kalendero said.
“I need the money.”

02 September 2009

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..those identified as suffering from PTSD are

generally stigmatized and rejected by their peers
………... Members with symptoms of PTSD are
reluctant to seek help because of the stigma
associated with the disorder and the fear that, if
they are identified as having PTSD, they will be
pushed toward release (CF Report)

02 September 2009

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A stiff upper lip does not help when it comes to PTSD

Analysing how many service personnel and veterans suffer from mental disorders is
difficult. Ian Palmer, a former lieutenant-colonel …… recently admitted: “We have no
idea of the size or scale of the problem.” Many servicemen and women often only
see a doctor years after the originating cause. The military stiff-upper-lip culture
does not help.
Every year 4,000 new mental disorders are diagnosed within the Armed Forces
(based on 2007 data), which may or may not be service-related. However, what is
known is that 180 service personnel develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
every year - a condition with proven links to experience on the battlefield…….
American studies, based on 2006 data, found that up to 19 per cent of US troops
returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had symptoms of PTSD…..
Anecdotal evidence suggests that more veterans are seeking help. Charities such
as Combat Stress are swamped with new referrals. Whatever the exact numbers,
health professionals agree that demand for mental healthcare is outpacing supply.

Alexi Mostrous: Analysis, The Times March 28, 2009

02 September 2009

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Best Practice as defined by the IMO – MSC 86/18/8

The specific areas of concern that need to be addressed are:

• Guidance that puts the seafarer at risk;
• Additional protection for operational areas;
• Advice to seafarers on how to handle the hostage situation and to masters on how
to minimize the stress on crew or confrontation with the pirates;
• Information and support for families in a hostage situation;
• Access to counselling or ongoing support;
• The merits of some form of kidnap and ransom insurance when entering a high
risk area; and
• Learning lessons from the debriefing of the crews.

02 September 2009

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Best Practice as defined by the IMO 2 – MSC.1/Circ. 1334

The shipowner should be aware that the seafarer may suffer from trauma or similar
condition after being victimized under an attack from pirates or armed robbers. The
shipowner should offer advice from professionals if the seafarer wishes such
assistance. An important first step in reducing the risk from trauma is for masters to
debrief crew immediately after the attack or release of a vessel in order to get crew to
confront their experiences. An important second step is for counselling professionals
to debrief crew as soon as possible after the attack or release of the vessel in order to
assist the crew to manage their experiences. (para 94)

02 September 2009

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What is SPAR?

SPAR is an intensive three day course

for seafarers who are working in or
transiting waters with a potential
security risk such as:
Horn of Africa/Gulf of Aden
West Africa
South America
South China Sea/Malacca Straits
South America
Anywhere there is a risk of
piracy, hostage taking or threat
of physical violence

02 September 2009

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Developed as Advanced Security
Training (AST) for Maersk crews
operating in Nigeria and now covers
crews transiting troubled waters.
AST introduced 4 years ago and trained
approx 300 Maersk seafarers from all
over the world.
Is an aid to management to regain control
of the ship using onboard assets
Assists seafarers in dealing correctly
with an incident
Enables crew to help themselves when
help is at a premium
Lessens the long term effects of
PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

02 September 2009

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Target Group

Owners, Masters, officers and senior

Senior Offshore staff
Key shore staff such as Company
Security Officers (CSOs)
Personnel who regularly visit
vessels such as Inspectors,
Surveyors and Auditors
Company Crisis Team members
Delivery can be worldwide and to
mixed cultures

02 September 2009

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Course is divided into 2 elements

which progress concurrently:
Psychological First Aid

02 September 2009

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To enhance the prospects of survival by acting appropriately

Own behaviours during attack, in hostage and kidnapping situations
Introduce crisis and catastrophe psychology to deal with an acute
critical situation
To recognize the symptoms of psychological trauma
Provide basic Psychological First Aid to colleagues

02 September 2009

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SPAR Survival

Behaviour and reactions to an armed

attack, group, hostage-taker and
individual behaviours
Survival in captivity from minutes, to
Organizing captivity, time and leadership
Communicating with hostage-takers
The ins and outs of escape
Hostage rescue

02 September 2009

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SPAR - Psychological First Aid (PFA)

Aspects and characteristics of the

“acute critical situation”
Immediate and post event physical
and psychological reactions on an
individual and group level
Mental First Aid on a buddy level,
psychological debriefing and
professional intervention
Psychological aspects of piracy and
armed robbery

02 September 2009

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SPAR Trainers

Training is delivered by and MTC Security Instructor and one (of two psychologists)
Lead Security Instructor Jon Davies MA, BA(Hons)
Over 24 years in the Royal Navy and over 10 years experience at sea
Extensive worldwide operational experience at sea and in military intelligence, including
war, peace support operations, counter piracy/narcotics/terrorism
Lead security instructor on ISPS, survival and crisis management
Psychologist Michael Linde Cand.psych., Aut.
Institute for Military Psychology (training, selection)
University of Copenhagen (teaching and training)
Falck Health Care A/S (ERT, crisis response & intervention)
SOS International A/S (CRT, consultancy)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (teaching, ERT)
Psychologist Ivan Doulgerof Cand.psych., Aut
Institute for Military Psychology (consultancy)
Special School of the Army (consultancy, training)
High Command of The Danish Defence (training)
Reserve Army Officer

02 September 2009

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SPAR is available as:

Closed courses for companies

Several companies have adopted SPAR into their training matrixes
Optimum course size is 12 (minimum 6 maximum is 16 attendees)
Discounts available for multiple courses
Can be delivered worldwide

Open courses for individuals

In Denmark and the UK
Subject to (minimum 6 maximum 16 attendees)

02 September 2009

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SPAR is also a Computer Based

training programme to support
SPAR Course graduates
Used for training Ship’s crew in
basic Survival and Psychological
First Aid
Comprises 40 interactive scenarios
and supporting library of material

02 September 2009

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02 September 2009

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The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following:.
The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or
The person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behaviour.

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in one (or more) of the following ways:

Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or
aspects of the trauma are expressed.
Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.
Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and disassociative flashback episodes, including those
that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In young children, trauma-specific re-enactment through play may occur.
Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolise or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma.

Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma.
Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma.
Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others.
Restricted range of affect. (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
Sense of a foreshortened future. (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)

Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma) as indicated by at least two of the following:
Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Irritability or outbursts of anger.
Difficulty concentrating.
Hyper vigilance.
Exaggerated startle response.
The symptoms last for more than one month. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

02 September 2009