Responsibilities of a Port and Maritime Security Specialist and Security Officer

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A maritime or port security specialist and or security officer has a very important job keeping the public safe along with the buildings, vessels, and cargo they are protecting. Maritime ports can be used for the illegal trafficking of drugs, people, weapons, and other contraband. Therefore, port security officers must have a very strict protocol to keep things safe and secure. Below we outline a few of the responsibilities of a maritime security officer or security specialist.

Monitor for Port Threats Such As:

  •  Stowaways or illegal immigrants
  •  Drug smuggling Illegal trafficking of weapons, people, or other contraband
  •  Theft of cargo
  •  Terrorist attacks
  •  Organized crime
  •  Hazardous materials or biological weapons

Monitor for Safety Hazards Such As:

  •  Spills that could cause slips or trips
  • Falls off a dock
  •  Heavy machinery
  •  Crush or impact dangers
  •  Overhead cargo load
  •  Oil or other flammable spills

Examples of Incidents

Maritime security officers may experience various emergency issues while on the job. Some examples of incidents that may take place are:

  •  Fire
  • Container/cargo collapse
  •  Hazardous material spillage
  •  Armed robbery
  •  Capsized vessel
  •  Vehicle accident
  •  Explosive devices (bombs) or bomb threats
  •  Passenger injury or death
  •  Criminal activity

Specific Duties Performed by Maritime Security Guards

Security specialists posted at marine ports or on ships will be tasked with patrolling the property, monitoring surveillance equipment, inspecting cargo, buildings, vehicles, equipment, and keeping an eye on all access points. Some of the objectives of the role are:


  •  Prevent any losses and damages.
  •  Report any suspicious activity, unsafe conditions, or criminal acts they witness.
  •  Monitor any threat to the property, people, clients, guests, or staff.
  •  Work with other security personnel to resolve all safety and security concerns.
  •  Engage with clients, customers, or the public to answer questions and secure any dangers.
  •  Report any violations of policy and procedures.
  •  Inspect cargo.
  •  Vehicle and personnel searches.
  •  Supervise parking areas.
  •  Clear passengers through port entries and exits.
  •  Work with local police and other law enforcement agencies as needed.
  •  Keep visitor logs.
  •  Opening/closing of public facilities, lock-up.
  •  Vehicle patrols of the grounds.
  •  Radio, CCTV, and other communications.
  •  Keyholder.
  •  Incident response.
  •  Maintaining and implementing a ship security plan (SSP).
  •  Vessel security inspections.
  •  Training for crew members and other security personnel.
  •  Devise a cargo handling procedure.
  •  Coordinate with port authorities on all security matters.
  •  Calibrate, maintain, and test all security equipment.

Port security is a mixed bag of opportunities. The list above is just a short outline of what may be required from a maritime or port security specialist. The duties are subject to change based on the specific location and circumstances of the post.

If you are interested in a career in security or specifically maritime/port security, contact DMAC today.

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