After reading your recent survey about security cameras on yachts [“Smile, you’re on camera, inside and out,” page C1, August issue], I was compelled to write.
Most yachts have some type of camera system onboard to help enhance safety, security and vessel operations. Exterior cameras provide great coverage and help during mooring. I rarely recommend cameras on the interior of a vessel, especially in private staterooms, private crew areas, hallways or guest areas.
Unfortunately, there are few laws or regulations — and in some cases none — that regulate the invasion of privacy with a closed circuit television (CCTV) system onboard a yacht. This area was also not addressed within the MLC regulations. Most flag states don’t even have laws that address this.
However, it was good to see in the survey that less than 2 percent of respondents had cameras in private areas onboard. I wouldn’t work for a captain/owner who had cameras within the private areas of the vessel. Most remote-access CCTV systems are easy to hack and therefore can be monitored by almost anyone, especially if the system is connected to a wireless network.
When determining the placement of cameras onboard a vessel, put them in locations to enhance safety, security and to assist with vessel operations. Cameras should provide adequate coverage of the exterior so crew members can monitor it while in port. Low light, infrared, or night-vision cameras should be considered to enhance security and safety during low-light operations.
A good CCTV system can greatly enhance the crew’s ability to do their duties. It can also help enhance vessel security in port to detect an unwanted boarding. I’ve been able to get onboard a number of large yachts and make it deep into the interior without being detected. A simple camera system could easily help prevent that.
Consult a maritime security professional when designing or upgrading a CCTV system to help address any potential technical or installation issues.
Corey D. Ranslem is the owner of International Maritime Security Associates in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact him at +1 954-558-8128.