With improvements in security training requirements and little news in the media, it’s fair to presume that our industry sees little criminal activity. But, the fact of the matter is, it does happen; we just don’t hear about it. In a preview of issue 69, Carl Fereday, operations manager at Veritas International, outlines the various causes of intrusion and how crew can improve their own safety and that of their yacht.



Information about yachts, their owners and, to a certain extent, their movements is undoubtedly becoming more readily available as access to the internet and social media continues to grow. Despite this, so far it appears that most high-profile yachts have managed to protect unauthorised access to their confidential information; or have they?

To plan a detailed intrusion into a yacht without a little extra insight from within those floating walls would take expertise and time. A would-be assailant could spend weeks or even months monitoring a yacht and its movements, in a tiresome and labour-intensive reconnaissance operation. Much easier would be to ask someone who already has the relevant information: a crewmember.


A would-be assailant could spend weeks or even months monitoring a yacht and its movements, in a tiresome and labour-intensive reconnaissance operation. Much easier would be to ask someone who already has the relevant information: a crewmember.



The general public will always take an interest in a superyacht arriving in port. They are fascinating vessels whose crews generally project a friendly, approachable demeanour; it’s hard, particularly for those less privileged, to ignore such an intriguing spectacle. To someone with a more devious and criminal mind, however, certain information gained in a seemingly innocent conversation with crew or support staff can be very useful. It may simply assist in getting the assailant in or out of the port and close enough to make a further assessment of security measures or, in the extreme, that conversation may provide enough information to actually get on board, to steal, blackmail or extort from the yacht.

The discovery of an intruder is an unnerving situation for any crewmember and, although not widely reported, it is certainly one of the most common security breaches encountered by Veritas. Whether it be a drunken prankster or an opportunist thief, these incursions happen in even the most affluent ports. One example, and the most satisfying in testing the efficacy of a security training regime, came a few months ago when a 100m-plus superyacht was boarded at night by two male intruders in port. Unfortunately for the intruders, the security crew had just finished an intensive three-day restraint course and subdued the two inebriated intruders with relative ease and confidence. Although this incident was reported to the chain of command, many similar incidents are not. As well as bringing unwanted media attention, they can mean trouble for crewmembers who are responsible for security should the problem not be dealt with in a swift and discreet manner.

Find the full article in issue 69 of The Crew Report – out 24 June, 2014.