Another threat always on any modern Captain’s mind is that of piracy. Although Hollywood films often romanticize pirates, they are a very real danger, both to crew safety and cargo. In 2020, 195 ships were attacked by pirates2 across the world. In fact, insurers estimate the price of piracy as $12 billion in a year3.
Pirates often use boats that are too small to be detected by radar. If they attack at night, this reduces the ability of the ship’s crew to discover them until it is too late. Low-light functionality in cameras, like Hikvision’s DarkFighter technology can help a lot with this. In some cases, the crew also carries out patrols around the deck to check for approaching vessels. At night, they can use thermal handheld cameras to help see through the dark. They need no light at all to function, and so can be effective on even the darkest, and stormiest night.
Many large modern ships have a citadel built into the design, in case boarding is unavoidable. This is a ‘safe room’ where the crew can go to protect them against a pirate attack. This is also where video cameras around the ship come in handy. All the feeds can be diverted to the citadel in times of attack, so the Captain and the crew monitor the situation. This means they can better inform rescue agencies for a peaceful and effective outcome.
Fit for purpose
The sea is an inhospitable environment for equipment. High salt content in the air, driving rain, and high winds are constantly present. Cameras need to be fit-for-purpose to withstand this. Hikvision cameras for external maritime use are all anti-corrosive to NEMA standards. The stainless-steel casings provide protection against the elements, and optional wipers also counteract spray.
A ship can occasionally be ‘disconnected’ from power and networks. To increase availability of evidence the camera can store locally on SD card in case anything happens to the HDD or NVR. If one of these failed the SD offers the backup recordings.
Many ships operate on analog systems, and refitting a ship entirely to update this is time and cost-heavy. So, Hikvision maritime solutions offer hybrid devices, which can be used with both analog and digital systems. This provides a flexibility whether a ship is being fitted while being built, or retrofitted on a maintenance layover.
With increasing responsibilities on the shoulders of a ship’s Captain, the addition of smart technology can give a great deal of peace of mind. From guiding a ship into dock to avoiding fire and even pirates, an integrated maritime solution can be worth its weight in gold. It gives the Captain the tools to monitor ship security throughout its operations.