Secure@Sea: by Corey D. Ranslem
Yachts have an ability unlike almost any other type of vessel in the world to visit some of the most remote and breathtaking locations in the world. As you plan to take guests or your owner to those parts of the world, there are always a slew of items to consider – including the security of the guests, crew and vessel.
The first step in planning for those off-the-beaten-path destinations is to work with an agent who has experience in those parts of the world. So, I had a conversation with Lisa Greenberg from Pacific Bound Yachts about how to plan and secure your vessel when traveling to remote locations. Lisa and her company specialize in helping clients develop unique itineraries for remote places.
“Security is also a high priority and consideration when developing these types of itineraries, especially for remote locations,” commented Lisa as we discussed some of the destinations for which she has provided itineraries to clients around the world. Her process typically starts with the owner or captain deciding where they want to go. Sometimes itineraries can put the boat in unique locations, such as trips up the Amazon River, The Galapagos Islands and Patagonia.
When developing their itineraries, Lisa and her company work through a number of other issues – including the availability of logistics support, excursions and medical support – along with security. She has worked with a range of clients, from those who have no security experience to those who have very high levels of security experience and some of the most up-to-date information.
They also work on diversion plans and the availability of security teams and support when they might be necessary. During the trip, Lisa and her team serve as ground support for clients to help manage last-minute issues or changes in itineraries, along with monitoring the security situation if necessary.
When you are putting together this type of trip, there are always security-related issues to consider. The events in the world continue to change on a daily basis. What is safe today, might not be safe or even accessible tomorrow. The starting point is to always work with someone who understands the dynamics of the situation where you want to go.
It is a great idea to find an agent with experience in your destination, along with a security or risk management company that can provide the most up-to-date information. Information is power – and it’s always the starting point for determining where to go.
Once you have the destination and the plan coming together, you should work with an experienced security professional who can provide you with the most up-to-date information and a good security plan with diversion options for your locations.
There are locations and destinations where a security team might be necessary, but for the most part, they shouldn’t be necessary for an entire trip.
Security teams can add an extra issue when it comes to berthing and client relations, but a security company that works with large yachts typically has experienced personnel who understand how to work in these types of environments. When you are working with a security company, you should make sure they have actual large yacht experience, as well as experience in the region and the ability to provide additional assistance.
Before you decide on hiring a security company, you should speak with some of their past clients to ensure they understand large yacht operations.
Once you have the itinerary together with your agent and the security plan together with your security company, you should make sure the crew is trained on the security plan and understands what parts of the trip are high risk.
Corey D. Ranslem, CEO at International Maritime Security Associates (www.imsa.global), has more than 24 years of combined Coast Guard and maritime industry experience. Comments are welcome below.