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  • Writer's picturePalaemon Maritime

5 Things You Should Have in Your Citadel

During a pirate attack, the citadel onboard your ship is your last and final line of defence, and should you have taken the tactical decision to fall back and occupy this space, then be prepared to stay there for a long time.

When preparing your citadel, time, care, and proper planning should be given. Here are five things that you should have in your stronghold.

1. Medical Supplies

First and foremost, a well-stocked trauma kit should be permanently stationed here. It would be best if you went well beyond band-aids and paracetamol; an extensive array of battlefield dressings, tourniquets, intravenous giving sets and plasma could be life-saving along with training for the crew.

Do you take any personal medication? Then a couple of days' rations of personal medicines should also be kept here as there would be little opportunity to return to your cabin to collect it during a piracy attack.

2. Two Types of Communications Equipment

You must communicate with the outside world to ensure that you have both VHF and satellite phone connections in your citadel. You may have to instal a fixed line from the antenna array directly to the citadel. Test both sets of equipment before entering the high-risk area.

3. Fire-Fighting Equipment

There is a heightened risk of fire during an attack. The crew should prepare to fight a fire when exiting the citadel as pirates have set fire to vessels in the past. If you have spare BA sets, it would be a good idea to keep them here.

4. Rations

It would be best to have a stockpile of food and water for each person to last at least 48 hours. Choose foods that can be eaten without cooking or require rehydration, such as dry noodles. Cans of food are probably best, don't forget the can opener!

As a guide, you should have an absolute minimum of two litres of water per person per day.

5. Training

Okay, this is not an item, but good training will be critical to your defence's success. Your crew should regularly train on the lock-down procedures with everyone knowing their responsibilities and be ultra-efficient at carrying them out. For example, a reinforced door can be tricky to open and close, so a team dedicated to this task should train together.


Good preparation can mean the difference between kidnap and safety. The citadel is just one part of a multi-layered approach to your anti-piracy preparations. Pirates look for a quick, easy target, so spend equal time and dedication to your ship's hardening and demonstrate that you are ready and well prepared for any attacker.

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