Jun 3, 201411:23 AM
A private armed guard protecting a ship from pirates does not enjoy the same legal immunity guaranteed to military personnel, including this joint U.S. Navy and Coast Guard patrol that boarded a suspected pirate vessel in the Gulf of Aden, below.
Courtesy Security Association for the Maritime Industry
In protecting merchant ships from pirates, private armed guards have become a favorite tool. The guards and their weapons, however, present legal risks for the shipowner and master if something goes wrong. The liability exposure and desire to defend ships safely have led to various efforts to establish professional standards and best practices for the deployment of the gun-toting guards. An international certification program has been created to vet the security