HLSS645 Forum

Please answer original forum with a minimum of 250 words and respond to both students separately with a minimum of 100 words each

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page 2 Lyle response with references 
page 3 jason response with references 
Original Forum 
Describe how you would develop a comprehensive Vessel Security Assessment for a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Tanker. What elements should the elements have? Why are these elements important? What vulnerabilities concern you the most? Why are they important?

Student Response 
I think the most important part of the Vessel Security Assessment would be looking to prevent a spill or fire aboard a Liquid Natural gas Tanker (LNG). Fire detection and suppression systems need to be in good working condition and tested frequently or at least annually. A spill or fire can happen on accident or on purpose, both need to be addressed. The equipment that people use who are working aboard the ship, needs to be safe as well. Such as flashlights that are safe for a flammable environment. “All the types of equipment used to form the LNG carrier should be intrinsically safe” (JHA, 2019). Making sure that employees understand what kind of equipment they may have aboard that is personal and going through the equipment that is issued to the workers. 
Measures to keep people out of restricted areas needs to exist and it needs to work. Not every crew needs access to the engine room or the tanks that are carrying the gas, having a system in place such as keys and identification cards for different levels of access for the workers. Fire detection and suppression systems, checking workers gear and ensuring the workers who don’t need access to critical areas of the ship, do not have that access, are all ways to prevent an accident or an attack internally. 
To prevent accidents or attacks externally, close coordination with the Coast Guard and Captain of the Port will be the best bet. The Coast Guard can provide an armed escort of the ships to prevent terrorist attacks as well as keep civilian boaters out of the way of the ship. Private boaters tend to not know what they are doing most of the time and will have no problem cutting off a large ship like an LNG, not realizing that the LNG has no room to maneuver in the channel. This type of problem can cause a large ship to have to slow down and be at the mercy of the current until the situation is resolved. 
Finally, looking for any weak areas with he ships security and the port that it will be docking with (Hiteshk, 2019). Even little things like making sure the fence at the port that is around the ship has no openings or damage. Review any past inspections and make sure that discrepancies that were noted have been fixed. If they have not been fixed, find out why and note it on the new assessment.  
Usually the most concerning problem with any ship is fire or flooding at sea. With an LNG, my biggest concern is the fire due to the risk of explosion. LNG can pose a risk to the local population as they transit to their berth. They sometimes go under busy bridges or get very close to land. If an LNG were to explode near a populated area, it would likely impact everyone in that area. 
Hiteshk. (2019, October 11). What is ship security assessment (ssa)? Retrieved May 05, 2021, from https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/what-is-ship-security-assessment-ssa/
Jha, B. (2019, October 20). LNG tankers – different types and dangers involved. Retrieved May 05, 2021, from https://www.marineinsight.com/types-of-ships/lng-tankers-different-types-and-dangers-involved/
Good Evening Class,
There are many factors to consider when creating a Vessel Security Assessment. There are even more when you are developing an assessment for a vessel that carries liquid natural gas. Now the basics of the assessment do not drastically change, just specific factors do. The biggest factor thats  different is the type of cargo. Other than the cargo being extreme dangerous, liquid natural gas can only be handled at specific ports. After reading the details on marine insight, author Hiteshk, states multiple keys points that should be required for a vessel assessment. The first is identifying shipboard operations and the security measures that they need. Now, I conduct security inspections for the Coast Guard, and all of these vessels need the same security measures. Some of these measures are that they need to have someone watching the brow at all times while in port. They need to have all restricted spaces locked. The also have anti pirate equipment, such as barbwire. Some vessels have mannequins with air soft guns taped to them to look like security to deter pirates. Due to the factor of having dangerous cargo, I would request to have an escort from the Coast Guard to shoulder the vessel while it enters port. This way it would help prevent other vessels from getting to close.
            Next, Hiteshk states that you need to identify weaknesses. A big part of this is understanding not only the vulnerabilities of the boat. but the issues of the port. Many ports around the world do not have the same level of standards as we do in the United States. My Lieutenant Commander was a Merchant Marine and he said that in many African ports there are people lined up waiting for the boat to moor just to try to climb up the lines. They would just use long poles to push them off. Also, there is corruption in many ports where the tug and dock workers need to be bribed to work. During my inspections, I have found rooms that are full of cigarettes. This is a clue that they need to pay people off.
            Next in the human factors, which include the vessel workers. As the Vessel Security Officer, you create policies and put plans into place. You need to make sure that the workers are following those policies.  Finally, you need plan for different scenarios. Now that you have plans in place, the vessel workers need to practice. There should be table top and practical exercises to make sure that the plans not only work but the workers know what to do. To use my earlier example of the barbwire to assist in a pirate situation, the crew needs to know where the barbwire is and how to mount it.
            All of the elements are very important. In my last weeks post, I stated that our greatest threat is that we have so many. You will never be able to prevent or plan for every situation. However, as a Vessel Security Officer, you can identify to most potential threats, make a plan, and practice it.
Hiteshk. (2019, October 11). What is Ship Security Assessment (SSA)? Retrieved from https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/what-is-ship-security-assessment-ssa/