Ships Security Alert System

The Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) is again not a GMDSS communications system but it may be associated with GMDSS equipment installed on a ship. Carriage of SSAS is a requirement under the regulations of chapter XI-2 of SOLAS. The ship security alert system is fitted to a ship for the purpose of transmitting a security alert to the shore to indicate to a competent authority that the security of the ship is under threat or has been compromised.

SSAS  is a system that contributes to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO)’s efforts to strengthen maritime security and suppress acts of terrorism and piracy against shipping. The system is a joint project between Cospas-Sarsat and the IMO. In the case of attempted piracy or terrorism, the ship’s SSAS beacon can be activated, and appropriate law-enforcement or military forces can be dispatched.

Unlike the GMDSS distress alert, which is designed to be received by all possible stations, the SSAS is intended to allow a covert activation to be made which alerts the competent authority ashore and does not raise an alarm on board ship nor alert other ships. It comprises a minimum of two activation points, one of which is on the navigation bridge.