Mercy Ships holds the security of its crew as our highest priority. We do not serve in conflict areas, although it has served in post-conflict venues, such as Sierra Leone and Liberia, after the cessation of hostilities. Our country security protocols are developed from evaluations conducted by an assessment team, various embassies, other NGOs and multilateral agencies, on-the-ground surveys, and government officials. Each ship is provided with dedicated security guards and a Ship Security Officer, who provide continuous watch-keeping and access control. While the ship is in the host nation conducting its field service, the Ship Security Officer maintains a working relationship with local embassy staff and other relevant contacts and the local security situation is carefully monitored with security protocols in place as necessary. At times a host nation may experience varying degrees of political and ethnic tension, requiring such protocols as avoiding certain routes or areas, or otherwise ensuring the safety of crew and patients, and the controlled delivery of services. While a Mercy Ship is capable of sailing away from a port in an emergency situation, none has been required to do so in its 40+ year history.
Mercy Ships complies with the International Ship & Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and has a regulatory approved Ship Security Plan (SSP) for its vessel, Africa Mercy. Mercy Ships Company Security Officer (CSO) is responsible for compliance and administration oversight of the approved SSP. The CSO or his designate is available 24/7 to respond to any incidents identified by the ship’s Captain. In accordance with the signed protocol with a host nation, its government is responsible for providing port security.