Our Services

General Maritime Security & Risk Management Services

  • Vessel Security & Safety Services
  • Yacht Security & Safety Services
  • Passenger Ship Security & Safety Services
  • Port Security & Safety Services
  • Offshore Risk Management Services

Consultancy & Risk Management Services

  • Safety & Security Audits, Inspections & Assessments
  • Crisis Response & Risk Management Services
  • Consultancy Services (contingency planning)
  • Risk Advisory Services

Sea Marshals & Security Personnel

SMS Ltd employs the most highly trained professionals, all from a British Armed Forces background. Our teams poses extensive knowledge of the maritime sector and have vital operational experience.

All our operational employees involved with piracy throughout Africa have knowledge on Maritime Crime, Piracy and Pirate Behaviour including being familiar with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) codes of practice and the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). In addition our staff are fully compliant with the International Ship & Port Facility (ISPS) Code.

Team Makeup

  • Team Leader (TL)
  • 2ic (Second in Command)
  • Sea Marshal (Level 7 Medic)
  • Sea Marshal (Comms/NAV Specialist)

Security & Crew Members

SMS Ltd believes it is essential that our Sea Marshals are able to interact with the crew members on-board each vessel. We take great pride in the way our security personnel apply this to every task.

These relationships usually go beyond the “working environment” forming a bond which will continue long after the task is completed.
SMS Ltd Sea Marshals have experience of working with multiple nationalities and speak a variety of languages, enhancing communication capabilities and at the comfort of the crew members.

Vessel Security & Safety Services

Armed/Unarmed Sea Marshal Services

Sea Marshals and Security PersonnelOur Sea Marshal Service is an on-board security service, where we place a number of highly trained Sea Marshals on-board a client vessel.

The Security Team may be armed and carrying weapons and ammunition at the client or ship owner’s discretion/approval. From our extensive experience and time spent in this role, we have found that weapons can be a great visual deterrent and in most cases they are the only way to successfully guarantee the safety of the crew and the vessel.

All our experienced Sea Marshals are highly trained and poses the necessary PCASP certificates and qualifications from STCW Basic Safety Training, STCW PDSD and SSO and CSO to the Maritime Security Operative (MSO) qualification in conjunction with the international standard for PMSCs ISO28007. In addition, each team member holds a valid UK Seamens Book and Discharge Card.

Armed Security Escort Service

Armed Sea Marshal ServicesOur Armed Security Escort Services are a popular and well trusted service. Operating from our own Security Vessels we provide a safe and secure passageway through some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

Our company fleet consists of:

Support Vessel & Patrol Boats

  • Support/Escort Vessels
  • 27 metre Patrol Boats
  • 10 metre Patrol Boats
  • Yamaha Patrol Boats

Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB)

  • MRC-1450 Cargo Rib
  • MRD-1230 Narrow hull
  • MRD-1130 Narrow hull

Unarmed Sea Marshal ServicesIn addition our Support Fleet includes the following Air Support Assets.

Available Helicopters

  • Eurocopter AS-365
  • MI-171
  • MI-8T
  • Mi-8MTV-1 / Mi-17
  • UH-60 Black Hawk
  • MH-60 Seahawk
  • MH-60 Jayhawk

SMS Ltd Africa’s Network within the HOA

Building a Network

C/S’s from our Maritime Intelligence Unit (MIU) have been working very closely with local authorities from the region in order to monitor the current threat of piracy within East Africa and the Somali Basin region. The MIU, who work alongside SMS Ltd.’s Somalia Unit have been running joint operations with ISRG Africa in order to monitor the activities of key Somali Clan & Pirate Militias.

Monitoring Somali Pirate & Clan Militia Activities

Throughout our time in operation, ISRG Africa has built solid and reliable networks throughout the continent, including developing key connections and relationships within the HOA, Kenya and Yemen.

Key links and sources leading to active pirate and clan militias have been established with our ISR units and teams forming strong relationships with local people and clan elders. Such relationships enable us freely operate within each respective region.

Due to networking among the local clans and communities, we are able to monitor some of the most notorious and active “Pirate Action Groups” and militias from the Garacaad, Hobyo and Harardheere regions.

Somali Clan Networks

Units from ISRG Africa have been able to successfully monitor key groups from the Daarood and Hawiye Clans and the sub-clans formed within. Links to the Majerteen Clan and the Dir have also be established. As a result of our ISR capabilities within East Africa we are able to provide live, accurate and vital INTEL and information on primary pirate and clan militia activities.

Hawiye Clan

ISRG Africa has strong ties to the Noor family and share the same networks as the Hobyo based family and senior Sa’ad clan members.
ISRG Operations extend beyond the shores of Hobyo and the Sa’ad clan territory within the southern regions of Galkacyo and deep into the Hawiye sub-clan of the Salebaan where our units have been monitoring the activities and movements of key figures within this extremely influential and dominant clan.

SMS Ltd Somalia Unit

SMS Somalia UnitSMS Ltd Africa has established a strong footprint within East Africa and the HOA and now provides a wide range of services from within the mainland of Somalia. We are the first anti-piracy service provider to tackle piracy from a ground level, this giving us an advantage in the fight against maritime crime and piracy throughout East Africa.

From our secure compounds in Mogadishu and Galkacyo we have become familiar with the Somali Clan structure and the influence and importance these tribal groups have on the local people. Through this, we have been able to acquire detailed understanding of piracy and the reasons behind its activities.

In addition our compounds are used to house and train our teams along with playing a major role in our Military Training Programs.

Somalia Unit –Services

SMS Ltd are proud to announce that the following services are available within mainland Somalia.

  • Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR)
  • Personal Security Detail (PSD) –Available Country-Wide
  • Quick Reaction Services
  • Port Security Services
  • Static Guard/Manned Security Services
  • MTP (Military Training Program)

Area of Operation

Our Somalia Unit operates within the following key locations:

Mogadishu: Region-Wide

Galmudug State: Region-Wide with an emphasis on Galkacyo, Garwaan and Wisil Additional access to the Hobyo and Harardheere Regions is also available

In addition our services are available in the Somaliland and Puntland regions.

Ransom Negotiation Services

Over the years SMS Ltd has developed a solid and reliable reputation within the maritime sector, participating in a number of ransom negotiations to release hijacked vessels and crew members that have been taken hostage by active pirate crews and groups in operation throughout Africa.

Our Influence

At SMS Ltd we have the ability to assist with resolving key cases and situations smoothly and professionally. Our extensive experience of providing the following valuable information and services is second to none.

  • Locating a Specific Clan or Sub-Clan, Group or Gang (Including a Specific Member)
  • Locating a Hijacked Vessel or Group of Hostages
  • Providing Proof of Life (PoL) Videos, Pictures & Communication
  • Establishing Key Communication-Links between the Vessel Owners/Charterers, the Pirate Crew & Lead Negotiators
  • Ensuring that Communication is maintained throughout the Negotiation Phase & to re-establish if lost or broken down

SMS Ltd has assisted and contributed in some key cases where we were able to successfully track and locate hijacked vessels prior to providing a vital communication link and arranging proof of live.

To date, SMS Ltd has supported the following:

  • MV Suez
  • MV Dover
  • Savina Caylyn
  • Rosalia D’amato
  • Olib G
  • MV Liquid Velvet

MV Dover

SMS Ltd Africa assisted owners of Greek vessel M/V Dover with the successful release of the hijacked vessel.

In addition to establishing and maintaining a critical communication link, SMS Ltd Sea Marshals safely escort the vessel from the immediate region, along with safeguarding the ships final transit before being decommissioned.

MV Leopard Incident

Members of SMS Ltd.’s Special Support Group (SSG) and Maritime Intelligence Unit (MIU) successfully locate the Danish and Philippine crew members of the M/V Leopard.

In cooperation with our Somalia Unit we were able to track and locate the hostages, which were removed from the vessel and taken to the mainland where they remained captive for 838 days until a ransom was finally paid.

SMS Ltd Africa was able to arrange a Proof of Life (POL) video and establish a vital communication network and links. A specialist Hostage Rescue Unit was also deployed to Galkacyo and placed on standby.

ISR Services (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance)

Our Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Services focus on the following key areas:

  • Smuggling Networks
  • Piracy
  • Kidnapping & Hostage Taking
  • Clan & Militia Activities
  • al-Shabaab & Extremist Activity
  • Other

Maritime Intelligence Unit (MIU)

Maritime Intelligence UnitThe MIU specialise in marine and maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. In addition to covert observations, the MIU is responsible for safeguarding “High-Risk” Projects within the Offshore and Oil & Gas Industry.

The MIU has two divisions, MIU Africa and Latin America. MIU Africa is based within Galkacyo, Galmudug State, Somalia and is tasked with monitoring maritime crime and piracy within East Africa and the Somali Basin region whilst MIU Latin America is located in Paramaribo, Suriname and focused on maritime crime within the offshore sector.

Other active units operate within Port of Spain, San Fernando and Point Fortin, Trinidad & Tobago and La Paz, Mexico.

Joint Air Support Services (JASS)

SMS Ltd launches our Joint Air Support Services (JASS), a project dedicated to strengthening our clients’ interests via the use of aircraft. With a large fleet readily available, we are able to support service users worldwide.

Key Focus Points

  • Private Military Operations & Movements
  • Emergency Services
  • Search & Rescue
  • Disaster Relief Operations & Crisis Response

JASS Services includes

  • Close Air Support (CAS)
  • Deep Air Support (DAS)
  • Observation Aircraft (ISR Services)
  • MEDEVAC/ Air Ambulance Service
  • Air Patrol Services
  • Air Escort Services
  • Transportation Services (Unit Transfer)
  • Maritime / Offshore Operations
  • Humanitarian Missions

The Fleet

  • Eurocopter AS-365
  • MI-171
  • MI-8T
  • Mi-8MTV-1 / Mi-17
  • MH-60 Seahawk
  • MH-60 Jayhawk

SMS Ltd is pleased to welcome 22 UH-60A Blackhawk Helicopters to our fleet. These assets are now available for service for both short and long terms contracts/deployments.

SMS Ltd Divisions

SMS Ltd Africa

SpecialistMarineServicesLtdAfricaSMS Ltd Africa was launched January 2009 to accommodate our interests and activities throughout the continent.

Africa, one of the largest and most active SMS Divisions has a large focus on maritime crime, piracy and smuggling operations and conducts a number of key projects and services to combat and minimise the threat of piracy and related activities.

In addition SMS Ltd Africa is responsible ISR Operations, including MI (Maritime Intelligence) Services on behalf of our military and corporate service users. The division also conducts a number of training programs and services throughout Africa.

SMS Ltd Asia

SMSLtdAsiaSMS Ltd Asia was formed in 2012 to accommodate service users and key interests from Asia.

Located in Singapore, SMS Ltd Asia is responsible for overseeing a large area of operation which includes Asia Minor, Asia Pacific and the Australasia regions.

SMS Ltd Copenhagen

SMSLtdCopenhagenSMS Ltd Copenhagen is formed to accommodate our service users and interests from within the Danish Shipping sector.

Our Copenhagen Division is responsible for Scandinavia, covering key clients from:

  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Iceland

SMS Ltd Latin America

SpecialistMarineServicesLatinAmericaSMS Ltd Latin America was created in support of key projects and interest throughout South and Central America.

From our regional Headquarters in Suriname, we are able to manage a portfolio of around 38 clients and 55 partner companies which all fall under our care. SMS Ltd Latin America has a large area of responsibility which includes North, Central and South America with an extended interest within the Caribbean.

SMS Ltd Shipping Agency

SMSLtdShippingAgencySMS Ltd Shipping Agency, a franchise of Specialist Marine Services Ltd, a leading Maritime Security & Risk Management company was formed in response to the high demand and requests for “agency” related services. In 2012 the Agency started out as a small division in this highly competitive sector, competing with the like of GAC, ISS-Salalah and other leading agencies. We have since expanded our operations and now provide our services at the following key locations:

  • Salalah & Muscat, Oman
  • Fujairah, UAE
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Galle & Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Durban, RSA

The Agency aims to incorporate further locations and services into our operations.

Training Services

Security Academy, Cape Town

Security Academy CapetownSSS & SMS Ltd have launched a Security Academy located in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.

The Security Academy aims to be a leading training facility available to Government Agencies, Military and Police Units and Private Contractors/Operators. Private Security Companies and Private Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) are also welcome.

The facility can also cater for Maritime Security and Risk Management Training, including Vessel Safety Operations and Anti-Piracy.