Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Maritime Security and Piracy: Effects of Armed Guards on Board

  • Yarin EskiEmail author
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_89-1


Armed private security guards aboard ships protect ships and their crews against pirate attacks at sea by using nonlethal and lethal force.


Armed private security guards on board of ships for protection against piracy have a long history. It dates back to Ancient Greece when hired groups of mariners were tasked by city-states to capture and hand over ship crews of enemy forces but also share captured booty (Ormerod 1997: 34). During the age of colonization, in particular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, naval wars between rivaling colonizing European countries peaked. Governments made use of privateers (or buccaneers), which was actually a sort of licensed piracy since these privateers held a “letter of marque” from a sovereign nation to attack the sovereign’s enemies (Renwick and Abbott 1999). They were considered maritime mercenaries that had their own vessel, hired and fighting for their respective governments for financial gain. The use of...

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Knowledge Hub Security and Societal Resilience/Political Science and Public AdministrationVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands