This circular aims at bringing to the attention of shipowners, masters and crews the
precautions to be taken to reduce the risks of piracy on the high seas and armed robbery against
ships at anchor, off ports or when underway through a coastal State's territorial waters. It outlines
steps that should be taken to reduce the risk of such attacks, possible responses to them and the
vital need to report attacks. both successful and unsuccessful, to the authorities of the relevant
coastal State and to the ships' own maritime Administration. Such reports are to be made as soon as
possible, even if such acts are only thought likely, to enable necessary action to be taken.
These recommendations have been culled from a number of sources. Where conflicting
advice has been apparent, the reason for choosing the recommended course has been stated.
The pirates objective
The main targets of the South East Asian attacker appear to be cash in the ship's safe, crew
possessions and any other portable ship's equipment, even including coils of rope. When there has
been evidence of tampering with containers, it has been suggested that the raiders may initially
have gained access when the ship was berthed in port and then gone over the side, with what they
could carry. Thorough checking of ships' compartments and securing before leaving ports is
Reducing the temptation for piracyCash in the ship's safe4
The belief that large sums of cash are carried in the master's safe attracts attackers. On several
occasions this belief has been justified and substantial sums have been stolen. While carrying cash
may sometimes be necessary to meet operational needs and crew requirements and to overcome
exchange control restrictions in some States, it acts as a magnet for attackers and they will
intimidate the master or crew members until the locations have been revealed, Shipowners should
consider ways of eliminating the need to carry large sums of cash on board ship. When this need
arises because of exchange control restrictions imposed by States, the matter should be referred to
the ship's maritime Administration to consider if representations should be made to encourage a
more flexible approach as part of the international response to eliminate attacks by pirates and
The smaller crew numbers now found on board ships also favour the attacker. A small crew
engaged in ensuring the safe navigation of their ship through congested or confined waters will
have the additional onerous task of maintaining high levels of security surveillance for prolonged
periods. Shipowners will wish to consider enhancing security watchers if their ship is in waters or
at anchor off ports, where attacks occur. Shipowners will wish to consider providing appropriate
surveillance and detection equipment to aid their crews and protect their ships. Shipowners should
seek to verify the bona fide of any security personnel they may engage locally.
The recommended practices outlined below are based on reports of incidents, advice
published by commercial organizations and measures developed to enhance ship security. The
extent to which the recommendations are followed or applied are matters solely for the owners or
master of vessels operating in areas where attacks occur.
The recommended actions are defined as phases related to any voyage in a piracy threat area.
The phases define the main stages in all situations of non-piracy, attempted piracy and confirmed
piracy. Depending on the development of anyone situation, they mayor may not materialize.
The pre-piracy phase -Anti-attack plan8
All ships operating in waters where attacks occur should have an anti-attack plan. The
anti-attack plan should be prepared having regard to the risks that may be faced, the crew members
available, their capability and training, the ability to establish secure areas on board ship and the
surveillance and detection equipment that has been provided. The plan should, inter alia, cover:
the need for enhanced surveillance and the use of lighting, surveillance and detection
crew responses, if a potential attack is detected or an attack is underway;
the radio alarm procedures to be followed; and
the reports that must be made after an attack or an attempted attack.
Anti-attack plans must ensure that masters and crews are made fully aware of the risks involved
during attacks by pirates or armed robbers. In particular, they should address the dangers that may
arise if a crew adopts an aggressive response to an attack. Early detection of a possible attack is the
most effective deterrent. Aggressive responses, once an attack is underway and, in particular, once
the attackers have boarded the ship, could significantly increase the risk to the ship and those on
Routing and delaying anchoring9
If at all possible, ships should be routed away from areas where attacks are known to have
taken place and, in particular, seek to avoid bottle-necks.
If ships are approaching ports where attacks have taken place on ships at anchor. rather than
vessels underway. and it is known that the ship will have to anchor off port for some time.
consideration should be given to delaying anchoring by slow steaming or longer routing to remain
well off shore thereby reducing the period during which the ship will be at risk. Charter party
agreements should recognize that ships may need to delay arrival at ports where attacks occur
either when no berth is available for the ship or offshore loading or unloading will be delayed for a
Practice the anti-attack plan10
Prior to entering an area. where attacks have occurred. the ship's crew should have practiced
and perfected the procedures set down in the ship's anti-attack plan. Alarm signals and procedures
should have been thoroughly practiced. If instructions are to be given over the ship's address
systems or personal radios. they must be clearly understood by those who may not have fully
mastered the language in which the instructions will be given.
It cannot be emphasized enough that all possible access points to the ship and any key and
secure areas on it must be secured or controlled in port, at anchor and when underway. Crews
should be trained in the use of any additional surveillance or detection equipment installed on the
ship. Planning and training must be on the basis that an attack will take place and not in the belief
that with some luck it will not happen. Indications to attackers that the ship has an alert and trained
crew implementing an anti-attack plan will help to deter them from attacking the ship.
Precautions at anchor or in port12
In areas where attacks occur it is important to limit. record and control those who are allowed
access to a ship when in port or at anchor. Photographing those who board the ship can be a useful
deterrent or assist the identification of attackers who may have had access to the ship prior to their
attack. Film need only be developed in the event of a subsequent attack. Given that attackers may
use knowledge of cargo manifests to select their targets. every effort should be made to limit the
circulation of documents which give information on the cargoes on board or their location on the
Prior to leaving port the ship should be thoroughly searched and all doors or access points
secured or controlled. This is particularly important in the case of the bridge. engine room. steering
space and other vulnerable areas. Doors and access points should be regularly checked thereafter.
The means of controlling doors or access points which would need to be used in the event of an
onboard emergency will need careful consideration. Ship or crew safety should not be
Watchkeeping and vigilance14
Maintaining vigilance is essential. All too often the first indication of an attack has been
when the attackers appear on the bridge or in the master's cabin. Advance warning of a possible
attack will give the opportunity to sound alarms. alert other ships and the coastal authorities,
illuminate the suspect craft. undertake evasive manoeuvring or initiate other response procedures.
Signs that the ship is aware it is being approached can deter attackers,
When ships are in, or approaching areas where attacks take place, bridge watches and
look-outs should be doubled. Additional watches on the stern or covering radar "blind spots"
should be considered. Companies should consider investing in low-light binoculars for bridge staff
and look-outs. Radar should be constantly manned but it may be difficult to detect low profile fast
moving craft on ship's radars. A yacht radar mounted on the stern may provide additional radar
cover capable of detecting small craft approaching from astern when the ship is underway. Use of
an appropriately positioned yacht radar when the vessel is at anchor may also provide warning of
the close approach of small craft.
It is particularly important to maintain a radar and visual watch for craft which may be
trailing the ship when underway but which could close in quickly when mounting an attack. Small
craft which appear to be matching the speed of the ship on a parallel or following course should
always be treated with suspicion. When a suspect craft has been noticed, it is important that an
effective-all-round watch is maintained for fear the first craft is a decoy with the intention to board
the ship from a second craft while attention is focused on the first.
Companies owning ships that frequently visit areas where attacks occur should consider the
purchase and use of more sophisticated visual and electronic devices in order to augment both
radar and visual watch capability against attackers' craft at night, thereby improving the prospects
of obtaining an early warning of a possible attack. In particular, the provision of night vision
devices, small radars to cover the blind stern arcs. closed circuit television and physical devices.
such as barbed wire, may be considered. In certain circumstances non-lethal weapons, such as CS
gas projectiles, may also be appropriate. Infrared detection and alerting equipment may also be
A suitable qualified radio operator should be on duty at all times when ships are in, or
approaching, areas where attacks occur. This duty should not be performed by the master though,
on occasions, this may be unavoidable.
Prior to entering areas where attacks have occurred, radio operators should practice and
perfect all appropriate radio operational procedures and ensure all transmitters, including satellite
Ship Earth Stations, are fully operational and available for immediate use on distress and safety
frequencies. When a GMDSS installation is provided and "ship's position" data are not
automatically updated from an associated electronic navigation aid, radio operators are strongly
recommended to enter the ship's position at regular intervals into the appropriate communications
equipment manually. Where an INMARSAT Ship Earth Station is provided, it may prove useful to
draft and store "standard messages" (see paragraph 27) for ready use in an emergency in either the
equipment's memory or on computer disk. Masters should ensure that all procedures to generate a
distress alert on any communications equipment are clearly marked on, or near. the equipment and
all appropriate crew members briefed on their operation.
Masters should bear in mind the possibility that attackers are monitoring ship-to-shore
communications and using intercepted information to select their targets. Caution should. therefore,
be exercised when transmitting information on cargo or valuables on board by radio in areas where
Radio watchkeeping and responses21
A constant radio watch should be maintained with the appropriate shore or naval authorities
when in areas where attacks have occurred. Continuous watch should also be maintained on all
distress and safety frequencies. particularly VHF Channel 16 and 2,182 kHz. Ships should also
ensure all maritime safety information broadcasts for the area are monitored. As it is anticipated
that INMARSAT's enhanced group calling system (EGC) will normally be used for such
broadcasts using the SafetyNET service. owners should ensure a suitably configured EGC receiver
is continuously available when in. or approaching. areas where there is risk of attack. Owners
should also consider fitting a dedicated receiver for this purpose. i.e. one that is not incorporated
into a Ship Earth Station used for commercial purposes to ensure no urgent broadcasts are missed.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommends in MSC/Circ.597. issued in
August 1992. that reports concerning attacks by pirates or armed robbers should be made to the
relevant Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) for the area. MSC/Circ.597 also recommends that
Governments should arrange for the RCCs to be able to pass reports of attacks to the appropriate
law enforcement agencies or naval authorities. This action should be taken as quickly as possible.
If suspicious movements are identified which may result in an imminent attack. the ship is
advised to contact the relevant RCC. Where the master believes these movements could constitute
a direct danger to navigation. consideration should be given to broadcasting an "All Stations (CQ)"
"danger message" as a warning to other ships in the vicinity as well as advising the appropriate
RCC. A danger message should be transmitted in plain language on a VHF working frequency
following an announcement on VHF Channel 70 using the "safety" priority. All such measures
shall be preceded by the safety signal (Securite).
When. in his opinion. there is conclusive evidence that the safety of his ship is threatened. the
master should immediately contact the relevant RCC and. if considered appropriate. authorize
broadcast of an "All Stations" "Urgent Message" on VHF Channel 16. 2.182 kHz. or any other
radiocommunications service he considers appropriate; e.g. 500 kHz. INMARSAT. etc. All such
messages shall be preceded by the appropriate Urgency signal (PAN PAN) and/or a DSC call on
VHF Channel 70 and/or 2.187.5 kHz using the "all ships urgency" category. If the Urgency signal
has been used and an attack does not. in fact. develop. the ship should cancel the message as soon
as it knows that action is no longer necessary. This message of cancellation should likewise be
addressed to "all stations".
Should an attack occur and. in the opinion of the master, the ship or crew are in grave and
imminent danger requiring immediate assistance, he should immediately authorize the broadcasting
of a distress message, preceded by the appropriate distress alerts (MAYDAY. SOS. DSC. etc.).
using all available radiocommunications systems. The appropriate RCC should acknowledge
receipt and attempt to establish communications. To minimize delay. if using a ship earth station,
ships should ensure the coast earth station associated with the RCC is used.
Masters. should bear in mind that the distress signal is provided for use only in case of
imminent danger and its use for less urgent purposes might result in insufficient attention being
paid to calls from ships really in need of immediate assistance. Care and discretion must be
employed in its use, to prevent its devaluation in the future. Where the transmission of the Distress
signal is not fully justified, use should be made of the Urgency signal. The Urgency signal has
priority over all communications other than distress.
Standard message formats27
The standard message formats given in appendix 1 should be used for all piracy alert reports.
In all cases of suspected or actual pirate attack, IMO and 1MB should invariably be informed so
that a reliable set of statistics is compiled and action is taken. as appropriate.
Ships should use the maximum lighting available consistent with safe navigation, having
regard in particular to the provisions of Rule 20(b) of the 1972 Collision Regulations. Bow and
overside lights should be left on if possible. Ships must not keep on deck lights when underway, as
it may lead other ships to assume the ship is at anchor. Wide beam floods could illuminate the area
astern of the ship. Signal projector lights can be used systematically to probe for suspect craft using
the radar guidance if possible. So far as is practicable crew members on duty outside the ship's
secure areas when in port or at anchor should avail themselves of shadow and avoid being
silhouetted by deck lights as this may make them targets for seizure by approaching attackers.
It has been suggested that ships should travel blacked out except for mandatory navigation
lights. This may prevent attackers establishing points of reference when approaching a ship. In
addition, turning on the ship's lights as attackers approach could alert them that they have been
seen, dazzle them and encourage them to desist. It is difficult. however. to maintain full blackout
on a merchant ship. The effectiveness of this approach will ultimately depend in part on the level of
moonlight. but primarily on the vigilance of the ship's crew. While suddenly turning on the ship's
light may alarm or dazzle attackers, it could also place the crew at a disadvantage at a crucial point
through temporary loss of their night vision. On balance, this approach cannot be recommended.
In accordance with the ship's anti-attack plan. all doors allowing access to the bridge, engine
room, steering gear compartments, officers' cabins and crew accommodation should be secured and
controlled at all times and should be regularly inspected. The intention should be to establish
secure areas which attackers will find difficult to penetrate. Consideration should be given to the
installation of special access control systems to the ship's secure areas. Ports, scuttles and windows
which could provide access to such secure areas should be securely closed and should have
laminated glass. if possible. Deadlights should be shut and clipped tightly. The internal doors
within secure areas which give immediate access to key areas such as the bridge, radio office,
engine room and master's cabin, should be strengthened and have special access control systems
and automatic alarms.
Securing doors providing access to, and egress from. secure or key areas may give rise to
concern over safety in the event of an accident. In any situation where there is a conflict between
safety and security, the safety requirements should be paramount.. Nevertheless, attempts should be
made to incorporate appropriate safety provisions while allowing accesses and exits to be secured
Owners may wish to consider providing closed-circuit television (CCTV) coverage and
recording of the main access points to the ship's secure areas, the corridors approaching the
entrances to key areas and the bridge.
To prevent seizure of individual crew members by attackers -seizure and threatening a crew
member is one of the more common means of attackers gaining control over a ship - all crew
members not engaged on essential outside duties should remain within a secure area during the
hours of darkness.. Those whose duties necessarily involve working outside such areas at night
should remain in constant communication with the bridge and should have practiced using
alternative routes to return to a secure area in the event of an attack. Crew members who fear they
may not be able to return to a secure area during an attack, should select places in advance in which
they can take temporary refuge.
There should be designated muster areas within the ship's secure areas where the crew can
muster during an attack and communicate their location and numbers to the bridge.
Alarm signals, including the ship's whistle, should be sounded on the approach of attackers..
Alarms and signs of response can discourage attackers. Alarm signals or announcements which
provide an indication at the point at which the attacker may board, or have boarded, may help crew
members in exposed locations select the most appropriate route to return to a secure area.
Use of distress flares36
The only flares authorized for carriage on board ship are intended for use if the vessel is in
distress and is in need of immediate assistance. As with the unwarranted use of the Distress signal
on the radio (see paragraph 26 above), use of distress flares simply to alert shipping rather than to
indicate that the vessel is in grave and imminent danger may reduce their effect in the situations in
which they are intended to be used and responded to. Radio transmissions should be used to alert
shipping of the risk of attacks rather than distress flares. Distress flares should only be used when
the master considers that the attackers' actions are putting his ship in imminent danger.
Evasive manoeuvring and use if hoses37
Provided that navigational safety allows, masters should consider "riding off" attackers craft
by heavy wheel movements as they approach. The effect of the bow wave and wash may deter
would-be attackers and make it difficult for them to attach poles or grappling irons to the ship.
Manoeuvres of this kind should not be used in confined or congested waters or close inshore or by
vessels constrained by their draught in the confined deep water routes found, for example, in the
Malacca and Singapore Straits.
The use of water hoses should also be considered though they may be difficult to train if
evasive manoeuvring is also taking place. Water pressures of 80 lb per square inch and above have
deterred and repulsed attackers. Not only does the attacker have to fight against the jet of water but
the flow may swamp his boat and damage engines and electrical systems. Special fittings for
training hoses could be considered which would also provide protection for the hose operator. A
number of spare fire hoses could be rigged and tied down to be pressurized at short notice if a
potential attack is detected.
Employing evasive manoeuvres and hoses must rest on a determination to successfully deter
attackers or to delay their boarding to allow all crew members to gain the sanctuary of secure areas.
Continued heavy wheel movements with attackers on board may lessen their confidence that they
will be able to return safely to their craft and may persuade them to disembark quickly. However,
responses of this kind could lead to reprisals by the attackers if they seize crew members and
should not be engaged in unless the master is convinced he can use them to advantage and without
risk to those on board. They should not be used if the attackers have already seized crew members.
The carrying and use of firearms for personal protection or protection of a ship is strongly
Carriage of arms on board ship may encourage attackers to carry firearms thereby escalating
an already dangerous situation, and any firearms on board may themselves become an attractive
target for an attacker. The use of firearms requires special training and aptitudes and the risk of
accidents with firearms carried on board ship is great. In some jurisdictions, killing a national may
have unforeseen consequences even for a person who believes he has acted in self defence.
The phase of suspected or attempted piracy attackSuspected piracy vessel detected42
Early detection of suspected attacks must be the first line of defence. If the vigilance and
surveillance has been successful, a pirate/armed robbery vessel will be detected early. This is the
stage at which the law enforcement agencies of the nearest littoral or coastal State must be
informed. The ship's crew should be warned and, if not already in their defensive positions, they
should move to them. Evasive manoeuvres and noses should be vigorously employed as detailed in
the preparation phase.
Being certain that-piracy will be attempted43
If not already in touch with the law enforcement agencies of the littoral coastal State, efforts
should be made to establish contact. Crew preparations should be completed and NUC lights
should be flashed to warn other vessels in the vicinity that an attack is about to take place.
Vigorous manoeuvring should be continued and maximum speed should be sustained if navigation
Pirate vessel in proximity to. or -in contact with. own vessel44
Vigorous use of hoses in the boarding area should be continued, It may be possible to cast off
grappling hooks and poles, provided the ship's crew are not put to unnecessary danger.
Pirates start to board vessel45
Timing during this phase will be critical and as soon as it is appreciated that a boarding is
inevitable all crew should be ordered to seek their secure positions.
The piracy attack stage46
Pirates have succeeded in entering vessel. Early detection of potential attacks must be the first
line of defence, action to prevent the attackers actually boarding the second, but there will be
incidents when attackers succeed in boarding a ship, The majority of pirates and armed robbers are
opportunists seeking an easy target and time may not be on their side, particularly if the crew are
aware they are on board and are raising the alarm. However, the attackers may seek to compensate
for the pressure of time they face by escalating their threats or the violence they employ.
When attackers are on board the actions of the master and crew should be aimed at:
securing the greatest level of safety for those on board the ship;
seeking to ensure that the crew remain in control of the navigation of the ship; and
securing the earliest possible departure of the attackers from the ship.
The options available to the master and crew will depend on the extent to which the attackers
have secured control of the ship, e,g. by having gained access to the bridge or engine room, or by
seizing crew members who they can threaten, to force the master or crew to comply with their
wishes. However, even if the crew are all safely within secure areas, the master will always have to
consider the risk to the ship the attackers could cause outside those areas, e.g, by using firebombs
to start fires on a tanker or chemical carrier.
If the master is certain that all his crew are within secure areas and that the attackers cannot
gain access or by their actions outside the secure areas they do not place the entire ship at imminent
risk, then he may consider undertaking evasive manoeuvres of the type referred to above to
encourage the attackers to return to their craft. The possibility of a sortie by a well-organized crew
has, in the past, successfully persuaded attackers to leave a ship but the use of this tactic is only
appropriate if it can be undertaken at no risk to the crew.
For an action like this to be attempted the master must have clear knowledge of where the
attackers are on the ship, that they are not carrying firearms or other potentially lethal weapons and
that the number of crew involved significantly outnumbers the attackers they will face. If a sortie
party can use water hoses, they-stand an increased chance of success. The intention should be to
encourage the attackers back to their craft. Crew members should not seek to come between the
attackers and their craft nor should they seek to capture attackers as to do so may increase the
resistance the attackers offer which will, in turn, increase the risk faced by members of the sortie
party. Once outside the secure area, the sortie party should always stay together. Pursuit of an
individual attacker by a lone crew member may be attractive but if it results in the crew member
being isolated and seized by the attackers, the advantage turns to the attackers. Crew members
should operate together and remain in constant communication with the bridge and should be
recalled if their line of withdrawal to a secure area is threatened.
If the crew do apprehend an attacker, he should be placed in secure confinement and well
cared for. Arrangements should be made to transfer him to the custody of law enforcement officers
or naval authorities of a coastal State at the earliest possible opportunity. Any evidence relating to
this activities should also be handed over to the authorities who take him into custody.
The pirates begin to gain control and take one or more 0f the ship's crew into their custody51
If the attackers have gained control of the engine room or bridge, have seized crew members
or can pose an imminent threat to the safety of a ship, the master or officer in charge should remain
calm and, if possible, seek to negotiate with the attackers with the intention of maintaining the
crew's control over the navigation of the ship, the safe return of any hostages they may hold and the
early departure of the attackers from the ship. There will be many circumstances when compliance
with the attackers' demands will be the only safe alternative and when resistance or obstruction of
any kind could be both futile and dangerous.
In the event of attackers gaining temporary control of the vessel, crew members should, if it
is safe and practicable, leave Close Circuit Television (CCTV) records running.
As there have been occasions when entire crews have been locked up, consideration should
be given to secreting equipment within areas in which the crew could be detained to facilitate their
The pirates have stolen property/money. etc.54
At this stage it is essential that the pirates are assured that they have been given everything
they demand and a strong reassurance that nothing has been secreted may persuade the pirates to
The pirates start to disembark from the vessel55
If the crew are in their secure positions, it would be unwise of them to leave this security until
it is confirmed that the pirates have left the ship. A pre-arranged signal on the ship's siren will alert
the crew to the "all clear".
The pirates have disembarked from the vesselAction after an attack and reporting incidents56
An immediate post attack report should be made to the relevant RCC and. through them. to
the law enforcement agencies or naval authorities of the coastal State concerned. As well as
information on the identity and location of the ship. any injuries to crew members or damage to the
ship should be reported as should the direction in which the attackers departed together with brief
details of their numbers and. if possible, a description of their craft. If the crew have apprehended
an attacker. that should also be reported in this report,
If an attack has resulted in the death of, or serious injury to. any person on board the ship or
serious damage to the ship itself. an immediate report should also be sent to the ship's maritime
Administration. In any event a report of ah attack is vital if follow-up action is to be taken by the
ship's maritime Administration.
Any CCTV or other recording of the incident should be secured. If practicable. areas that
have been damaged or rifled should be secured and remain untouched by crew members pending
possible forensic examination by the law enforcement agencies of a coastal State. Crew members
who came into contact with the attackers should be asked to prepare an individual report on their
experience noting. in particular. any distinguishing features which could help subsequent
identification of the attackers. A full inventory, including a description of any personal possessions
or equipment taken. with serial numbers when known. should also be prepared.
As soon as possible after the incident. a fuller report should be transmitted to the authorities
of the coastal State in whose waters the attack occurred or. if on the high seas. to the authorities of
the nearest coastal State. Due and serious consideration should be given to complying with any
request made by the competent authorities of the coastal State to allow law enforcement officers to
board the vessel. take statements from crew members and undertake forensic and other
investigations. Copies of any CCTV recordings. photographs. etc. should be provided if they are
Any report transmitted to a coastal State should also be transmitted to the ship's maritime
Administration at the earliest opportunity. A complete report of the incident. including details of
any follow-up action that was taken or difficulties that may have been experienced. should
eventually be submitted to the ship's maritime Administration.
The report received by maritime Administrations may be used in any diplomatic approaches
made by the flag State to the Government of the coastal State in which the incident occurred. This
will also provide the basis for the report to IMO.
The format required for reports to IMO is attached at appendix 1. Indeed. at present the lack
of adequate and accurate reporting of attacks is directly affecting the ability of secure governmental
and international action. Reports may also contribute to future refining and updating any advice
that might be issued to ships.
Reports to the RCC, coastal State and the ship's maritime Administration should also be made
if an attack has been unsuccessful.
It is hoped that using RCCs, as recommended by IMO in MSC/Circ.597, will eliminate
Jurisdiction and interventionCriminal jurisdiction65
Piracy is an offence committed on the high seas or in a place outside the jurisdiction of any
State. A pirate who has been apprehended on the high seas, therefore, falls to be dealt with under
the law of the flag State of his captors.
On leaving piracy threat areas66
On leaving piracy threat areas, shipmasters should make certain that those stowages that need
to be unlocked for safety reasons are unlocked, unring hoses and revert to normal watch
A summary of the piracy phases and how they may, or may not, develop is given in appendix