Over the past decade, the worldwide threat of sea piracy has increased significantly, and a large number of shipping companies now provide their crews with body armour. Transport vessels are particular targets for pirates and other criminal gangs, as they may be loaded with cargo worth millions of pounds. This naturally puts crew members at extreme risk. Shipping companies can ease this risk, helping protect crew and cargo, by providing all staff with body armour. This affords each employee significant threat protection should an attack at sea occur.
Increased trends of piracy at sea have been accompanied by an upgrade in the weapons the pirates employ, which now extend beyond knives and handguns to include high-powered rifles. It is essential that shipping companies provide all crew members with sufficient body armour protection to cover all possible threats. While multi-threat vests are heavy and bulky, these effective pieces of body armour do not need to be worn on an everyday basis, only when emergency situations occur.
The NIJ Level IIIa bullet proof vest, which offers wearer protection from high velocity Magnums, can be utilised with NIJ Level III or NIJ Level IV hard armour plates to defeat rifle rounds. Additional upgrades shipping companies may want to incorporate include arm, groin, neck, and throat protection, ensuring that crew are well prepared for any possible threat.