Global Marine Security – GLOMARSEC

Rules of Force

Global Marine Security, LLC (hereinafter GLOMARSEC) is a licensed private maritime security company (PMSC) registered in the State of Florida, United States of America. We provide privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) for use aboard merchant vessels, oil drilling rigs, yachts and in other situations for the purpose of preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery against ship, crew and cargo.

In agreement with the:

  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) and their circular MSC.1/Circ.1443 of 25 May 2012;
  • The International Association of Maritime Security Personnel (IAMSP-2011-01-UOF-001 v 2.0); and
  • BIMCO’s Guidance on Rules for the Use of Force (RUF) by Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) in Defense of a Merchant Vessel (MV);

GLOMARSEC states below their Rules for the Use of Force (RUF). This Use of Force Agreement has been agreed to and signed by Captain Fred Mastin, President and Ernest W. Cathy, II, Vice President of Operations of GLOMARSEC and by every employee working for the company (copies upon request).

GLOMARSEC’s Rules for the Use of Force is

  • Consistent with the aim of protecting and defending the vessel, crew and cargo;
  • Consistent with the use of force only being used when essential and then using the minimum level necessary;
  • Part of a detailed and graduated response plan which is reasonable and proportionate;
  • Clear in setting out the roles of the Master and the Team Leader of the PCASP;
  • Documented, agreed and signed by the Owners and the Contractors as an Annex to any contract/agreement for the provision of security services on board a ship;
  • Recommended to be submitted by the Owners to the Flag State prior to embarkation of the PCASP;
  • In accordance with Flag state law; and
  • In accordance with regulations of any port and any Port and Coastal state laws which govern the storage and use by PCASP of their weapons and Security Equipment.

PMSC and PCASP Obligations

This Rules for the Use of Force reflects the obligations imposed and agreed under any contract and ensures that the PMSC Team Leader (TL) and the PCASP confirm that they understand these obligations. GLOMARSEC’s Rules for the Use of Force contains guidance that PCASP:

  • Are trained and qualified to relevant documented PMSC standards in the appropriate use of force in accordance with Flag state law;
  • If they use force it is in a manner consistent with applicable law;
  • If they use force it does not exceed what is strictly necessary;
  • Use of force is proportionate and appropriate to the situation;
  • Have clear and unambiguous instructions and training on when and how force may be used; and
  • Take all reasonable steps to avoid the use of lethal force.

Self-Defense and the Inherent Right to Exercise It

This Rules for the Use of Force reflects that each of the Security Personnel shall always have the sole responsibility for any decision taken by him for the use of lethal force, including targeting and weapon discharge, always in accordance with the Use of Force Agreement and applicable national law. Under most national laws individuals have a right to use reasonable force to prevent a serious crime and the right to use force in their own personal self-defense.

In English common law a defendant may seek to avoid criminal or civil liability by claiming that they acted in self-defense. This requires the jury to determine whether the defendant believed that force was necessary to defend themselves, their property or to prevent a crime, and that the force used was reasonable. While there is no duty to retreat from an attacker and failure to do so is not conclusive evidence that a person did not act in self-defense, it may still be considered by the jury as a relevant factor when assessing the merits of a self-defense claim. Please note that the common law duty to retreat was repealed by the Criminal Law Act 1967. This duty never existed when a person is somewhere they have a lawful right to be (their own vessel), but due to the repeal, now extends to public places, etc.

The “Castle Doctrine” is a long-standing American legal concept arising from English Common Law that provides that one’s abode (in this case, the vessel) is a special area in which one enjoys certain protections and immunities; that one is not obligated to retreat before defending oneself against attack, and that one may do so without fear of prosecution.

Israeli law allows property owners to defend themselves with force. This law was introduced in response to the trial of Shai Dromi, a farmer who shot Arab intruders on his farm late at night.

Even the Bible: “If a thief be found breaking in, and be smitten that he dies, there shall no blood be shed for him.” (NKJV Exodus 22, 3)

Chain of Command

This Rules for the Use of Force acknowledges and confirms that the Master has overall control of the vessel and that any decisions made by the Master shall be binding. It is envisaged that once the Team Leader has decided that there is an actual, perceived or threatened attack he will advise the Master or the Officer of the Watch that he intends to invoke the Rules for the Use of Force. It is recognized that consultation with the Master may not always be possible, but there is always a responsible officer on the bridge of the vessel with whom the TL should be able to communicate. This agreement also confirms that once the Rules for the Use of Force have been invoked, the TL is responsible for all decisions on the use of force, save that the Master maintains the right to order a ceasefire.


GLOMARSEC believes in using only the amount of force reasonably necessary to complete our mission of safeguarding the lives of seafarers, the assets of our clients, and ensuring safe passage through hostile waters. GLOMARSEC is able to effectively accomplish its mission by employing well-trained, skilled dual law enforcement and military personnel who are additionally versed and trained in the areas of vessel security, vessel hardening, maritime operations, vessel construction and the Rules for the Use of Force.

Guidelines are established for all GLOMARSEC’s PCASP concerning the Rules for the Use of Force, reflecting GLOMARSEC philosophy and established GUARDCON, IMO and BIMCO guidance. A GLOMARSEC PCASP is trained and expected to select the most effective, reasonable and legal force options in a verbal or physical encounter.

Rules for the Use of Force continued. Interested parties desiring a complete copy may obtain one by requesting the document in writing to GLOMARSEC.