Ship security alarm system (SSAS)

The ship security alarm system is a part of the ISPC code and is a system that contributes to the strengthen Maritime security and suppress act of terrorism and piracy against shipping.
The SSAS is used by the ship to transmit a security alert to a competent authority when the security of the ship is under threat or has been compromised. Ship security alert can be sent using Inmarsat C & Mini C & relevant hardware and software can be added to are also available. The ship security alert system allows transmission of silent security alert to a flag state authority when the security of the ship is under threat or has been compromised.


when the ships security officer comprehend probable damage from pirate or terrorist a ship security alert system is triggered. The beacon transmits specific country code, reacting to which the rescue coordination centre or SAR points of contact (SPOCs) of that particular region is notified discreetly. Once receiving the signal the national authority is of the area notified dispatch appropriate military or law enforcement force to deal with the terrorist or pirates.

The message cell contains the following information

1)A clearly distinguishable header indicating ship security alert (which should be testing usable from a GMDSS alert)
2) The Identity of a ship which must include the IMO member.
3) The location of the ship for a descriptive position together with time.
4) An indication of the type/ make/model of the system used.
1. name of the ship
2. IMO number allotted to the ship
3.the call sign of the ship
4. global navigation satellite system position of the ship in lat and long
5.Maritime mobile service in identity
6. date and time of the alert accordingly to the GNSS position.


1)Only two SSAS switches on a ship. It is possible that during the attack these two locations are not accessible.
2)The regulation does not make it mandatory to have an independent source of power to the ship security alarm system in case of failure of main power or fault in the emergency backup power the ship security alarm system will not work.
3)Switches are provided in two locations which include bridge as one location. It is important for the master to ensure the ship’s crew know the location of the switches the familiarisation of the location in drill is not practised in many ships.
4)The alert comes to the CSO who may not be available always and can miss a call.