Protection Vessels International was founded in 2008 in response to the increasing threat of piracy and maritime terrorism. For our Clients, it is a threat that must be dealt with in a cost-effective and efficient manner. It must also be dealt with professionally and reliably, grounded by ethical standards and governed by defined rules of engagement which comply with international law.
Our unique approach to armed maritime security has allowed us to become the world’s leading provider of embarked security and escort vessel security solutions. It is an approach founded on time-tested principles and supported by a substantial investment in high-quality personnel, responsive operations, company-owned escort vessels and modern weapons and equipment.
Core to our approach is an ethos of prevention. The primary aim is to prevent a situation occurring rather than be forced to react when a threat intensifies. With the appropriate resources, real-time intelligence, knowledge and awareness we believe that most threats can be eliminated before they escalate. Our Clients are as reassured by our philosophy and discipline as they are impressed by our credentials and performance.
PVI security teams comprise some of the most experienced operatives in the world, recruited exclusively from the British Royal Marines for both their competence and their character. They share the ability to work together to achieve success, no matter how intense the environment.
It also means they are accustomed to working in highly disciplined teams and to strict codes of conduct. This gives us a unique offering in terms of maritime experience and continuity of service. The reputation and ability of Royal Marine Commandos is well established and a key factor in our success. Royal Marines, after all, have defended merchant shipping interests from pirates for more than four centuries.
Our Clients believe in our ability to leverage our experience, skills and assets to protect their interests. Quite simply, our resources in personnel, specialist experience and mission-specific hardware are unsurpassed. They also seek comfort in our approach, one which is guided by integrity and driven by professionalism.
They entrust to our care the welfare of their people, assets and reputation in some of the most dangerous areas for maritime transit in the world. We understand what is at stake and pride ourselves on the service we provide.
Ours is an approach that is different in both ambition and reality. It is an approach which positions PVI uniquely as the leader in armed maritime security by most capably ensuring the protection of interests that matter most to our Clients - Master, crew, vessel and reputation.
"PVI are not noticed while on board, but they are missed
when they are not."
- PVI Client
Our Clients include some of the largest, most well-respected and prestigious commercial shipping companies in the world. Together, they operate thousands of vessels worldwide including VLOCs, VLCCs, PCTCs, tankers, chemical tankers, container ships, bulk carriers, general cargo ships, cruise ships, cable layers, tug-and-tow vessels and heavy lift vessels.
For them, we offer safe passage through high-risk transit regions including the Gulf of Aden, along the East coast of Africa to South Africa and into the Indian Ocean. Our Clients choose to work with us because we deliver a reliable, professional and efficient service from end to end. They continue to work with us because we create the sense of value that drives repeat business.
Our Clients entrust us to protect their interests and assets. This includes their personnel and vessels, as well as their reputation. It is a responsibility we are grateful to accept, and one which goes beyond the preparation, procedures and performance required to complete successful missions – it extends to everything we do. As such, PVI does not disclose the identity of Clients without prior written permission.
To learn more about PVI or discuss your requirements or concerns, please contact us at your convenience.
After a distinguished career in the Royal Marines as a mariner and intelligence specialist, Dom founded PVI in 2008. His familiarity with maritime intelligence and connection to the commercial shipping industry led him to recognise that there was an opportunity to provide safe passage to commercial shipping companies transiting high-risk waters around the world.
Dom's current role at PVI is to lend support to the critical area of operations, recruitment and training while also working closely with the management team and Clients to continue to refine and innovate the service offering. Prior to forming PVI, Dom served in the Royal Marines and Special Forces for more than 10 years. During his career, he served two tours of Northern Ireland and one in Northern Iraq in 1991.
He later joined the UK Special Forces where he specialised in intelligence for four years, with a particular focus on maritime terrorism and global maritime operations. For several years after leaving the armed forces, Dom continued to develop his expertise in maritime security and intelligence, working predominantly in the regions of the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean on behalf of commercial shipping companies.
Dom is today widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on piracy and maritime terrorism. He has advised numerous commercial shipping Clients on a wide range of maritime security matters over the years and his advice is widely credited with benefiting the commercial shipping industry at large.
Dom’s ability to interpret intelligence and to prepare and plan around the threat of maritime risk was the genesis of PVI. It is now part of PVI culture and integral to the UK operations centre to be able to anticipate future Client requirements in the area of maritime security.
In his limited spare time, Dom is an accomplished adventurer. His expeditions around the world include rowing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and kayaking solo through the Arctic’s Northwest Passage, the journey ventured by Sir John Ross in 1829. Dom was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2003 for his discovery of Sir John Ross’s vessel during his expedition.
Barry joined PVI in 2009 as Managing Director, after nine years building, operating and growing a leading UK support services business which he founded. Barry’s role at PVI is to manage and grow the business, but just as importantly to work closely with Clients, industry leaders and governmental and regulatory authorities to understand the market’s issues, needs and challenges and to shape the company’s priorities, resources and business model around them.
Barry is well recognised in the maritime security industry and a leading advocate for disciplined, strict operating controls for this emerging, fast-growing sector. As such, he is actively involved in promoting accountability and an "ethos of prevention", and in establishing accreditation and quality standards for the maritime security industry, including PVI’s involvement
in the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Companies. Prior to joining PVI, Barry served in the Royal Marines, including two tours of Northern Ireland and involving maritime operations and an operational attachment in South America.
After leaving the Royal Marines, Barry founded a support services business to target the facilities management sector, which he grew into a leading nationwide service supplier. The business he started was purchased by a multinational PLC in 2009 after which he remained on board to lead the integration process and to expand the business into new markets.
Mark joined PVI in 2009 as Operations Director, responsible for managing personnel, equipment and vessel deployment and logistics to areas around the world. Prior to joining PVI, Mark served in the Royal Marines for more than two decades.
During his service he was deployed, with distinction, on operations in areas around the world including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark’s expertise as a Royal Marine was honed through managing all aspects of communications and communications systems, including training for new communication and signal specialists entering the Royal Marines Signals Branch.
Since joining PVI, Mark has served on numerous PVI escort vessels, conducting more than 30 successful armed escorts through the Gulf of Aden and in parts of the Indian Ocean. Mark’s role at PVI is to manage PVI security team selection and deployment as well as equipment and vessel logistics.
Mark’s experience and understanding of vessel escort and embarked security team transit logistics, combined with his background in communications and training, makes the efficiency and reliability of PVI operations and service an industry standard.
David joined PVI in 2009 as Training Director, with responsibility for operative recruitment and training. Prior to joining PVI, David served in the Royal Marines for 24 years. He was deployed operationally in areas around the world, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
During his tenure as a Royal Marine, David’s area of expertise was as a Weapons Instructor. He was also the Warrant Officer in charge of the Commando Training Centre for the Royal Marines. His experience as an Instructor ensures that all PVI operatives are trained and maintained to the highest level of performance across a variety of weapon systems, equipment and conditions.
David’s competence as an Instructor, combined with his more than two decades’ experience in the Royal Marines, has been critical to developing and implementing PVI’s training procedures and to ensuring PVI’s equipment, techniques and service continue to evolve and innovate to keep pace with the changing face of maritime terrorism.
Andrew joined PVI in January 2009, with responsibility for financial reporting, planning and administration. Since joining PVI, he has played a key role in helping to deliver a Client-driven approach and reporting solutions and, importantly, to create efficient working capital management routines to support PVI’s growth, activities and operations in locations around the world.
Prior to PVI, Andrew worked for more than 25 years in various finance and accounting roles, beginning his career at Chartered Accountants Deloitte and Co., followed by three years at Donovan Data Systems, a supplier of media and accounting software.
Since then, Andrew has worked at his family-owned business, T.G. Lynes Ltd, a main distributor of industrial heating and plumbing equipment in the UK, where his roles have included Finance Director, Managing Director and Chairman.
Andrew has been instrumental in growing the company from a small Central London trade-counter operation into a £17.5 million distribution business, trading out of a 47,000 sq. ft. purpose-built distribution centre.
Simon joined PVI in 2009 with responsibility for business development and Client engagement among commercial shipping companies and insurance underwriters. His role includes helping prospective and existing Clients through the process of evaluating and engaging the services offered by PVI.
Prior to PVI, Simon spent more than 15 years developing new, market-leading businesses in a variety of sectors from insurance to recruitment to shipping services. Simon’s early career was spent working for different EU organisations in Brussels and Paris, before starting an Internet recruitment business which he sold to StepStone in 1999. He remained as UK Managing Director before joining the Executive Management board to head up the Group Business Development function after a successful IPO.
Simon’s experience in the insurance sector includes building a niche, FSA-authorised platform to develop and launch new insurance products. Simon’s experience in the shipping industry includes the role of International Sales Director for a shipping support services company, where he further developed his international relationship network.
Simon’s combined business and relevant shipping and insurance experience has played an important role in helping PVI develop, evolve and position its service offering to large, prominent commercial shipping companies around the world.
Tom serves as PVI’s General Counsel and has been a solicitor for more than 15 years. Tom has been a legal adviser to PVI since 2010 and advises at all levels within the business to identify, control and take advantage of legal and commercial risk.
Tom practised corporate, banking and cross-border finance law in the City of London before joining Rolls-Royce Group plc as a senior in-house counsel. His role at Rolls-Royce spanned several years and eventually expanded to include the role of assistant group treasurer. Tom later advised Airtanker Limited on the financing aspects of a PFI contract with the Ministry of Defence and then served as Commercial Director and General Counsel for a mid-cap PLC business in the clean tech sector.
Tom currently runs his own legal practice, Victor Henry, which is dedicated to the legal requirements of growing businesses and to acting on behalf of fast-growing companies looking to outsource their in-house legal function.
Tom was educated at Cardiff University and Oxford University, where he attended the Said Business School. He also holds qualifications in corporate finance from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment.
Our success starts with our values. They underpin our beliefs and guide our actions. They define who we are, bring us together as a family and give us a common culture which inspires trust, promotes loyalty and reinforces the commitment of our people. Our values are shared by our people, our partners and the Clients with whom we collaborate and ultimately serve. They define the company we are today and the company we aspire to be in the future - one that not only stands for the right things, but does the right things. The application of our values is central to our commitment to protect our Clients’ interests.
"Remember, upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all."
- Alexander the Great
Our business is built upon the highest standards of integrity. We are committed to building open working relationships with our Clients based on honesty, trust and mutual respect. We recognise that protecting our Clients starts with discretion and confidentiality. We act ethically and legally as we work to meet their needs. We are committed to the highest standards of business integrity and to operating within recognised international frameworks and codes of conduct.
We accept full responsibility for our actions, behaviour and performance, which may require us to go beyond compliance to what is right as part of our core values. PVI employees, operatives and partners are expected to promote ethical good practice and to uphold the company’s high standards of integrity at all times.
Whether in our operations centre, regional logistics bases or in the field, our many teams comprise disciplined, principled, respectful professionals who, working together, are the catalysts for our ideas, actions and performance excellence. While hierarchy and established, clear lines of communication are critical to efficiency and productivity, every team member - starting with the Client - influences our collective success.
We accept this dynamic as both a privilege and a responsibility, for in collaboration is the opportunity to create safer environments and more predictable outcomes for Clients in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Throughout our organisation, we work as high-performance teams, trusting and respecting each other and sharing knowledge and experience. We honour the rights and beliefs of not only our Clients, partners and own personnel, but also those of other stakeholders, including the authorities which offer us safe passage, as well as those who do not.
We believe it is important to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated - with the highest degree of respect. As such, we are committed to understanding and respecting the cultures and beliefs of the authorities, governments, communities and people around the world in whose domains we operate.
Commitment is a common thread in the everyday interaction between our people, our partners and our Clients. We are committed to recruiting, training and retaining elite, specialised personnel, operatives and partners. We are committed to forging long-term relationships with our Clients. We recognise that they are the lifeblood of our company and we value them as key stakeholders in our future success.
Our commitment is to consistently deliver a market-leading service which is only ever as good as our most recent transit. At PVI, all our teams are committed to our Clients, to our values and to our approach - one characterised by a dogged determination to deliver service and operational excellence from end to end.
Excellence is the inevitable result of committing to our people, our Clients and our values. It is also about keeping our promises and exceeding expectations. We take pride in our work, are resilient in the face of setbacks and tenacious in achieving our goals.
We constantly seek to improve the quality and effectiveness of every aspect of our organisation - from the responsiveness of our administration, to the reliability of operations, to the quality of our hiring process and training procedures. To remain the market leader requires us to accept that change is inevitable and that our ability to recognise and swiftly adapt to that change will determine our success.
PVI pioneered a new approach to armed maritime security and is today the industry leader. It is the result of our focus on developing
a rigorous, disciplined and high-quality recruitment process and creating an operational competence few can match in our industry.
It is also the result of combining collective experience with historical best practice to refine and innovate an approach that delivers certainty in a world of uncertainty.
To our Clients, our performance is measured by the promises we make to them about the service we deliver. These promises - preparation, prevention, adaptability, reliability and accountability - are the reasons our Clients work with us. They are what our Clients value and what defines our success. It is our ability to keep these promises that keeps them working with us.
"Success depends upon previous preparation; without such preparation there is sure to be failure."
Our preparation is the bedrock of our operations and enables us to create solutions that address the specific concerns, requirements and priorities of our Clients. Our belief is that preparation leads to prevention which, in turn, enables the most effective form of protection. As such, PVI places great emphasis on operative, vessel and support team preparation.
Each transit is well planned, with team leaders receiving specific risk assessment and route analysis based on real-time intelligence from the UK operations centre. Team leaders brief their security teams who, in turn, brief the Client vessel’s Master and crew before transit, a process that is respectful yet consultative, to ensure that each vessel is most ably prepared for transit.
Prior to each transit, PVI equipment and vessels undergo routine and transit-specific maintenance checks to ensure that they are mission-ready. During transit, security teams perform daily checks on PVI equipment and weaponry. Real-time intelligence updates on regional activity are monitored by our UK operations centre.
Personnel deployment and equipment logistics also require detailed preparation. The efficient transfer of weapons, obtaining required government permits and arranging their movement across multiple ports and regions is logistically complex. Planning, attention to detail and persistence are required to ensure that personnel and weaponry arrive where they need to be, when they need to be there, mitigating disruption to Client operations.
We understand that our Clients operate in complex environments. So it is incumbent upon us to prepare for a wide variety of risk scenarios. Our preparation starts long before any mission briefing. It starts with recruiting high-quality individuals, developing comprehensive procedures and ensuring thorough training. We are also rigorous with the selection and maintenance of our vessels and equipment so we know we can rely on them when it counts.
Security teams are trained to never rely solely on their experience, but to appreciate and respect every transit mission as unique, and to prepare for and anticipate any possible outcome. That requires work, because preparation is the work that enables our Clients to maintain their productivity.
Preparation promotes productivity.
"Forewarned is forearmed. To be prepared is half the battle."
- Miguel Cervantes
Prevention is a philosophical approach at PVI that drives everything we do. The experience of our security teams, combined with crew training and real-time intelligence, allow us to prevent a situation occurring rather than simply reacting when a threat intensifies. We believe that with the appropriate resources, intelligence and preparation most threats can be avoided. An uneventful mission is a successful mission.
At PVI, prevention is led from the top of the organisation down and starts with our approach to recruitment and training. Our hiring procedures are rigorous and disciplined.
We recruit exclusively from the Royal Marines those with exemplary military service records, but also those who share our values. Operatives are expected to uphold strict rules of conduct and to adhere to our Rules of Engagement (ROE), which govern escalation procedures and prioritisation, with prevention and deterrence as the aim throughout.
Any escalation is based on a strict protocol as defined by our ROE, and is designed to minimise loss of life and damage to property. Escalation to use lethal force is deemed a last resort, with training, preparation, discipline and accountability key tenets.
Should a situation arise, however, our security teams possess the skills, training, discipline, determination and operational support to efficiently, reliably and professionally engage and resolve it.
An example of prevention is illustrated by an incident in the Indian Ocean in 2010. PVI’s Client, a large international commercial shipper, had a container vessel in transit from Suez to Muscat. The PVI-embarked security team of four were strategically situated on board the vessel per the mission briefing. At 5.45 am, with visibility of five miles, the PVI team positioned on the bridge notified the ship’s Master and other security team members regarding "suspicious formations" approaching from three directions. There were 22 skiffs approaching at 20 knots.
Initiating the first order of the ROE, with the goal being to prevent escalation, flares were fired to notify the Pirate Attack Group (PAG) that they had been spotted. In this instance, the PAG was initially undeterred and continued to form an attack formation of considerable size. Using high-powered, long-range sniper rifles, additional warning shots were subsequently fired in close proximity to the lead skiff on each flank formation. After a total elapsed time of less than 30 minutes, the attack was repelled without further incident, harm or damage.
Strict, controlled protocols were followed, including clear communication and incident documentation, to successfully disband the pirate attack and restore order.
Prevention inspires peace of mind.
By adaptability, we refer to two things: 1) from a service stand-point - understanding a Client’s requirements and delivering a solution to meet those needs; and 2) from an operations stand-point - being responsive, agile and determined to deliver solutions that work, even at short notice.
We understand that maritime operations are busy, diverse and complex. It is for this reason that we first seek to understand the requirements of our Clients, and then tailor our services to their particular needs. In most cases, we will have a proven, time-tested solution to our Client’s needs. If we do not, we will build one.
This was the case for one of our large commercial shipping Clients, who required a bespoke solution to accommodate certain regulations relating to their flag state. PVI was committed to finding a solution, and worked closely with the Client and authorities to deliver an approach that accommodated their specific needs and also ensured safe passage.
It is also sometimes the case that a Client’s commercial requirements need to take priority with short notice. In such circumstances, we are unique in our ability to quickly respond to change. It is our adaptability - without ever compromising our professionalism or performance - that characterises some of our more noteworthy Client relationships and successes.
One such example is that of a large, prominent commercial shipping company with more than 300 vessels in operation worldwide. This shipping company approached PVI with an urgent request for a next-day deployment. Our response was swift and decisive. The first priority for PVI was to understand the Client’s requirements.
The next step was to determine mission feasibility, starting with preparation assessment and mission briefing, and the ability to deploy the appropriate security team for the mission. In this instance, the assessment was cleared by the UK operations centre in less than 24 hours, with the appropriate personnel, equipment, weapons and an intelligence briefing delivered in time for the deployment. PVI now services all of this Client’s armed maritime security requirements.
PVI works diligently to streamline administrative functions to make them versatile and adaptive. Our support processes are robust and responsive to change.
Together, our back-office and support personnel make it possible for security teams to deploy at short notice, assess the situation and deliver the appropriate maritime security solution for the circumstances. What matters most to us is that we never compromise the professionalism, reliability or efficacy of our service in the process.
Adaptability puts our Clients in control.
Maritime operations today operate with greater efficiency than ever. That means disruptions to planning and scheduling can have a significant impact on both operations and profitability. It is for this reason that we engineer reliability into every aspect of our business.
PVI was the first maritime security provider to own and operate its own vessels. Well-maintained vessels and equipment and robust procedures have always been a critical part of our operational strategy. When things go wrong, we adjust, recover and resolve the situation. It is at these times that the true value of our investment in people, process and infrastructure becomes most apparent.
Many of our Clients operate just-in-time delivery schedules. They are particularly sensitive to the financial cost of disruptions and delays. We ensure that their transits are uninterrupted and their vessel arrives on schedule. This, in turn, enables optimal productivity and drives profitability.
An example of the importance of reliability in this context comes from a large international commercial salvage operator. This Client previously used another armed maritime security provider who, like many others, did not own or operate its own vessels.
During a particular transit, the engines of the armed escort vessel failed, requiring our Client to tow the escort vessel and crew to the next port. Understandably, this was an irritant to the Client, whom PVI now counts as one of its own.
We maintain our vessels and equipment to military standards to mitigate the risk of vessel failure. As mariners ourselves, we understand the stakes.
Reliability enables efficiency.
Providing armed maritime security solutions carries with it significant responsibility. Our people - from operations, administration and logistics staff to security teams in the field - understand that beyond protecting a Client’s Master, crew and vessel during transit, they are also entrusted with protecting reputation. Our Clients’ as well as ours.
Professionalism is therefore a theme that runs throughout our organisation, and it begins by maintaining the highest levels of conduct both on board and on shore. Our values are shared, and reinforced in those we hire and how we train and prepare for each mission.
Our Rules of Engagement are tried and tested, and grounded in established, widely accepted international maritime law where prevention is the ethos and deterrent the goal. Our escalation routines and procedures are robust and transparent. Our priorities are clear, consistent and shared - namely to avoid conflict and to actively engage hostiles only as a last resort.
We are a member of the British Association of Private Security Companies (BAPSC), an organisation for British security companies who operate with weapons. We are also an inaugural signatory of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Companies (ICCPSC).
Both of these organisations have strict sets of procedures and audit processes for their members which sets a standard in an industry which has been evolving without them.
Setting visible standards and creating benchmarks for performance are important to PVI. This is something we do internally, but also something we are eager to promulgate externally through association with organisations such as BAPSC and ICCPSC. What is important is to ensure that others operating in our field uphold the highest standards of conduct so as to better serve our industry and, by association, our Clients.
Since inception PVI has provided armed security on more than 1,000 transits. During this period, we have encountered numerous incidents, some of which have escalated to attacks. As of writing, we are proud to say that we have neither relinquished a vessel nor seen harm find its way to our Clients’ interests in any way. In fact, disruption to our Clients’ missions during this period has been minimal. We are also proud to say that during this period no harm has come to Client personnel or property.
Accountability results in risk reduction.
The purpose of this website is to introduce Clients to PVI and to our proven approach to armed maritime security.
It is to be clear about the promises we make about the service we deliver and to help prospective Clients gain comfort in how we will deliver on these promises, starting with our substantial investment in our key assets including personnel recruitment and training, our operations and logistics centres, vessel and equipment acquisition and maintenance, and the scale which creates a service offering capability that few others can rival.
"The most important single ingredient in the formula
of success is knowing how to get along with people."
- President Theodore Roosevelt
At PVI, we invest in the very best people. Our benchmark isn’t just the best in the security business, but the best in any business. We have outstanding individuals at every level of our organisation - characterised by their commitment and responsiveness to our Clients and each other alike, but also by their extreme competence, respectful manner and determined nature.
PVI operatives are recruited exclusively from the British Royal Marines. Requirements for selection include: 1) that they have all served as ship’s company and understand shipping operations; 2) that they are able to integrate effortlessly with the ship’s crew, and respect and serve the vessel Master;
3) that they have the necessary military skills and experience; and 4) that they possess the right moral fibre and can uphold our values. Other key elements of the process include full disclosure of military record and UK criminal record, analysis of credentials, and both physical and medical assessment.
Our thorough personnel selection and screening process ensures that only the highest standard of operative is recruited, trained and made part of PVI’s service delivery to Clients. Not only must all operatives demonstrate an exceptional military record, the recruitment process requires that all incoming PVI operatives are recommended by an existing PVI operative.
This maintains a high level of accountability within our service, which our Clients value and which is a unique part of our culture.
Our emphasis on a disciplined, rigorous recruitment process is a key reason we are market leaders. The importance of finding the right people cannot be overstated. As such, it is an area of investment for PVI which is prioritised and ongoing. What we have learned in the early years of building our service and operations is always under review to refine and improve our approach.
Recruitment criteria for operatives include:
-minimum of five years’ service in the Royal Marines
-ship detachment deployment
-valid Seaman’s Card
-pass Sea Service Medical
-pass security vetting process
-written recommendation from active PVI team member
-written testimonial from a senior officer in the Royal Marines
Team leaders require additional officer and advanced training certification. They also must have completed at least 25 transits with PVI and receive three formal recommendations from existing team leaders. PVI’s Operations Director personally interviews and assesses new team leaders to ensure cultural as well as technical fit.
The service we provide relies on the skills, experience and training of our administration, operations and management. We employ highly trained individuals with extensive professional experience and/or exemplary military or intelligence backgrounds. As with our operatives, all recruits must demonstrate unwavering integrity, cultural fit and the ability to work seamlessly as part of a team.
The hub of our operations network is the PVI operations centre in the UK. This is supported by regional logistics bases and tactical mobile command centres, which are Client-, circumstances- and/or mission-specific. Everything we do is set up to suit our Clients’ purpose.
From our UK operations centre, we organise more transits per month than any other maritime armed security provider. Our operations centre comprises five teams of dedicated specialists - organised by function from Operational Planning to HR to Specialist Equipment - to oversee the initial mission briefing and planning, security team selection and deployment, equipment and weapons transfer and necessary international, governmental and local authority approvals for the transited area.
Together, they manage and ensure the execution of all safety, logistics, operational and technical considerations. The operations teams take great pride in what they do, as they recognise the impact of their preparation, organisation and planning on the success of each mission.
Team leaders from the operations centre meet daily to review upcoming Client transits and to highlight and address noteworthy issues. With expertise represented from every aspect of the operations team, they forecast factors that may disrupt a transit or a deployment, and put plans in place to avoid or minimise potential impacts to efficiency, reliability or safe passage.
As part of this process, factors including type of vessel, recent intelligence, transit routing and weather limitations are evaluated and coordinated to create the optimal Client outcome. A key part of this process is keeping open, clear lines of communication in place with Clients so as to keep them well informed and best meet their objectives and serve their interests.
In addition to the UK operations centre, PVI also has smaller, regional operations and logistics which offer local presence in Djibouti, Muscat, Galle and Durban. PVI’s local presence facilitates closer ties with local shipping and logistics partners as well as authorities and governments.
They give PVI access to local knowledge and the knowledge of locals, both of which enhance the quality of our intelligence capability, positively impacting on our ability to deliver on our Commander’s Intent - the protection of our Clients’ interests.
PVI’s operational capacity is worldwide. The primary focus of our activities, however, is today the Gulf of Aden, East Africa and the Indian Ocean serving destinations/ports which include Suez, Muscat, Salalah, Djibouti, Galle, Dar es Salaam, Durban and Cape Town.
Since 2008, PVI has completed more transits for more Clients than any other armed maritime security provider in the regions of operation. In 2010, it is estimated that PVI accounts for more than 40% of all armed escort vessel and embarked security transits operating in the Gulf of Aden, East Africa and Indian Ocean. Our experience, expertise and position as the industry leader gives us an unmatched platform to continue to refine and evolve our approach, procedures and offering around armed maritime security to best serve our Clients.
PVI’s expertise in provisioning armed escort vessels and embarked security teams combined with the experience of successfully doing so over the years is a substantial advantage to Clients.
They benefit from our experience in the field, our offering innovations with other Clients and our intelligence capability via local partners. Our track record delivering professional, reliable maritime security solutions for Clients with high expectations and performance standards continues to strengthen the quality of the service we deliver.
While our professionalism, performance and ability to protect our Clients’ interests at sea are time-tested, we continue to evolve our service offering and capability to adapt to what is a fluid and ever-changing maritime and geopolitical environment.
We see continuing to develop our operative competence, operational effectiveness and engagement protocols as key to our continued success, especially as we grow.
To maintain our high standards of service, PVI is making substantial investments in people, operations and equipment to keep pace with industry demand. This is where our rigorous, disciplined approach to recruitment and training becomes an advantage. In 2010, we deployed more than 300 operatives on transits in the regions where we operate. Together, they represent some of the most competent former Royal Marines in the market today, supported by a cohesive and efficient operations infrastructure.
Our investment is ongoing, and includes the procurement, refitting and maintenance of the largest owned and operated vessel fleet for armed maritime security in the world.
As the leader in armed maritime security, with more transits, operatives and respected, prominent Clients than anyone else in the world, we are able to offer complete, proven solutions to regions of high risk all over the world. Our scale, experience and investment in operational competence means we are capable of managing the deployment of personnel, vessels and equipment to areas of the world where our Clients need us most. Few others are better equipped, more capable or dedicated to delivering the level of service, reliability and professionalism offered by PVI.
PVI security teams are equipped with modern, fit-for-purpose tactical armour, weaponry and equipment. Our standard equipment list continues to evolve with the changing requirements of the region and as more suitable, sophisticated equipment becomes available.
Some flag states have specific equipment requirements and limitations. In most cases, we are able to adapt to these limitations without compromising mission effectiveness. Armed embarked security teams are typically deployed with helmets and body armour; radio and satellite communications; high-powered binoculars; third-generation night vision apparatus; long-range sniper and/or assault rifles; "and preventative measures including razor wire and other best-practice vessel-hardening methods."
Escort vessels are outfitted similarly. They are also equipped with fully automatic 7.62 and 0.50 belt-fed mounted machine guns. Additional weaponry and equipment may be selected and deployed based on mission-specific requirements.
Our primary offering comprises armed embarked security teams and armed escort vessels. Intelligence and training programmes are offered to a limited number of Clients.
Around these offerings, the goal is first to understand our Client’s particular needs, and to offer a recommendation based on that understanding. In most cases, we will have a solution that is proven and time-tested.
If we do not, we will tailor our services around the Client’s requirements. The important thing for us is to find a solution that best safeguards our Clients’ interests.
Our operational capacity is worldwide. The primary areas of our activities today, however, are in the Gulf of Aden, East Africa and the Indian Ocean serving regions and ports where we have formal permission to operate including Suez, Muscat, Salalah, Djibouti, Galle, Dar es Salaam, Durban and Cape Town.
For information on pricing, please contact us to discuss your requirements. All enquiries and correspondence are handled in strict confidence. We will endeavour to reply within 24 hours.
"Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent
an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge
them after they have got possession."
- General George Washington
PVI has performed more armed embarked security missions than any other company in the regions where we operate.
Our security teams are highly experienced, competent and PVI-trained. Our operatives are fully licensed UK nationals recruited exclusively from the ranks of former British Royal Marines, each with five years’ minimum service, including sea and ship experience, and with exemplary military service records.
Among other criteria, their selection also requires a written testimonial from a former Commanding Officer as well as a formal reference on their behalf from an existing, active PVI operative or employee. Security teams are equipped with new and modern weapons systems.
During transit, and depending on the Client’s requirements, we provide a fully licensed and equipped security team of four operatives, including a team leader; a detailed mission briefing, which is developed in consultation with our Client prior to mission; intelligence and activity monitoring by our operations centre during transit; Client crew training drills and preparation; installation of physical defence and transfer of best-practice deterrence schemes; regular in-transit rehearsal to ensure crew preparedness.
The procurement and movement of weapons requires exceptional logistics and planning with approval at the highest governmental levels.
We have a thorough understanding of maritime law and our Rules of Engagement, operating procedures and Code of Conduct are well vetted and fully compliant with international law.
PVI is licensed with governmental approvals from Djibouti, Oman, Sri Lanka, and South Africa to operate in a maritime security capacity and to do so with weapons. PVI is also a member of the British Association of Private Security Companies, a government-backed association set up to ensure UK armed security companies operate to a strict charter.
PVI was also an inaugural signatory to the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Companies and is actively contributing to the development of the Maritime Annex to this code. We have even assisted some of our Clients in their negotiation with the ever-changing position of flag states.
PVI provides an armed escort vessel service to a number of commercial vessels, including tug-and-tows, oil rig moves, seismic survey vessels, cable layers and cruise liners transiting through high-risk waters around the world. Our primary area of focus is the Gulf of Aden, the East coast of Africa and the Indian Ocean, including the Gulf of Oman.
Escort vessels are equipped with the fully licensed personnel, equipment and weaponry required for the mission based on the Client’s requirements and concerns. As with the embarked security teams, PVI escort vessel operatives are recruited exclusively from the ranks of former British Royal Marines, each with exceptional small craft service and with exemplary military service records.
PVI escort vessels are also equipped with the appropriate kit and weaponry for the mission including sniper rifles, assault rifles and up to three mounted 0.50 calibre machine guns.
During transit, PVI escort vessels stay in close proximity to the Client’s vessel, with range depending on weather, circumstances and Client requirements. Our experience is that the visibility of escort vessels is itself a deterrent, helping to ensure uneventful transits and the protection of our Clients’ interests. For more detail of our vessels, please see the 'Our Vessels' section.
PVI pioneered the armed vessel escort offering and was not only the first to offer the service but also the only provider to own and operate its own fleet. Our vessel escort service, however, is not for every Client. It is requested by Clients who have specific requirements and/or concerns. For them, it has proved to be the most effective way to protect more vulnerable vessels in transit - the slower-moving and/or lower-profile vessels.
PVI provides real-time intelligence, risk assessment, security and route analysis to mitigate the risk of encounter and escalation during transit.
With more armed transits in the regions where we operate than anyone else, our operating procedures, training and incident experience are unrivalled. We have a thorough knowledge of the requirements and implications of legislation and have extensive experience providing maritime security solutions that address specific Client needs.
Our intelligence and training offering includes compliance with the ISPS Code; anti-piracy and maritime terrorism prevention, monitoring, response; vessel security assessments, which form part of mission briefing; incident and rescue response strategy; and security awareness and security officer training. Qualified instructors are available to provide instruction at our UK operations centre.
For existing Clients, we are also able to investigate and deliver bespoke maritime security intelligence and training initiatives on a case-by-case basis.
PVI is the only maritime security company to own its own fleet of ships. By owning and operating our own ships, we ensure the vessels are properly maintained and operate at peak performance.
We operate in some of the harshest and saltiest environments in the world. We must choose our vessels and our equipment on the basis of effectiveness and reliability.
Proper care is essential to avoid a technical failure during a crisis. We have different vessels depending on the requirements for speed, range, crew and equiptment.
The AL 345 is a high-performance vessel operating throughout the region, conducting primarily medium-to-high-speed escorts. Prior to PVI, the vessel was used as a fast interceptor engaged in coastguard duties in the region.
The AL 345 was commissioned to PVI in 2010 and, after extensive refit and maintenance, has proved to be a great asset to the PVI patrol fleet. With a top speed of 35 knots, the AL 345 is suitable for all escort duties, but particularly suitable for the cruise ship market.
-LOA: 22.0 metres
-Top speed: 35 knots. Cruise: 18-22 knots
-Engines: twin MTU
-Range: 800 nautical miles
-Crew capacity: 7-10
-Refuel at sea capability
-Weaponry: up to three mounted 0.50 calibre
Our two S 200 vessels are proven vessels operating throughout the region, having conducted more than 100 escorts through the Gulf of Aden and Southern Indian Ocean.
PVI's selection of the S 200 is also based on its presence as a strong visual deterrent. The vessels are operated and maintained by some of the most experienced mariners in the industry, for escorting a wide range of vessels typically transiting at 12 knots or less.
-LOA: 23.4 metres
-Top speed: 19 knots. Cruise: 12-16 knots
-Engines: twin Volvo
-Range: 2,000 nautical miles
-Crew capacity: 6-8
-Refuel at sea capability
-Weaponry: up to three mounted 0.50 calibre
At PVI, we pride ourselves on the services we provide and enjoy building strong long-lasting relationships with Clients.
These relationships are based on openness, integrity, commitment and a shared pursuit of excellence, and values. We take very seriously the responsibility and trust which our Clients place with us and establish clear lines of communication throughout the delivery of our service.
What defines PVI as the market leader in armed maritime security is our exceptional people, our disciplined approach, and the efficiency of our operations.
We invite you to learn more about each, as there is only so much a brochure can convey about the experience of working with PVI. To learn more about our approach to armed maritime security, or to discuss your requirements or concerns, please contact us to arrange a meeting.
Founder & Vice Chairman
Protection Vessels International Ltd
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
- Winston Churchill