Deciding on the right gear for maritime security comes with an increased level of difficulty due to the variety of body armor available on today’s market. SafeGuard ARMOR, a premium body armor designer and manufacturer, advises on choosing the right body armor and other measures that need to be taken into consideration when purchasing protective gear.
There are 3 types of body armor available to maritime personnel: covert, overt and covert/overt.
Overt body armor is worn above clothing and is mostly seen worn by the military as well as SWAT teams. It offers a greater level of protection (level IV) than covert body armor and therefore is the ideal choice for high risk situations that involve weapons of a larger caliber.
Covert body armor is worn beneath clothing and is thus concealable. It’s available in levels II and IIA which are effective at stopping rounds from common firearms. Covert gear is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Covert/Overt body armor is very versatile in that it can be worn either above clothing or beneath clothing. It’s typically lighter than overt protective gear (but not as light as covert protective gear) and offers greater protection than a covert vest.
What is best suited for maritime security?
Because of long hours on the job where the need for protection is high, maritime security should opt for a covert vest. It has lightweight features meaning that it won’t become bothersome to wear after only a few hours and therefore the urge to remove the vest and go unprotected will be rather low. Features such as Coolmax also increase the comfort of covert protective gear as its moisture wicking fabrics are designed to keep the wearer cool during higher temperatures.
How should body armor fit?
Being one of the most important things to ascertain when selecting body armor the fit of a vest should not be overlooked. The purpose of protective gear is to provide protection without restricting movement. Due to this, body armor is intended to cover the vital organs rather than the entire torso. In doing so, correct fitting body armor will stop slightly above the navel region, offering the wearer the ability to exercise a full range of motion. Stretching, sitting, jumping, bending and crouching should be attainable with ease. Vests that are either too small or too large may restrict movement and can put the wearer in further danger during an attack. As a result, it is imperative that the proper measures are taken when deciding on the size of body armor for maritime security. Size guides can be made use of in order to ensure that the accurate fit is accomplished.
It is important that when purchasing body armor, reputable merchants are utilized. Failure to do so may result in the purchase of faulty gear, which will not be able to withstand the intended level of attack in a high risk situation.
Additionally, each time before body armor is worn, it needs to be carefully examined. Vests that show signs of extreme wear and tear or damaged vests should not be worn as the protection may be compromised.
Of course, maritime security spend the majority of time on the job around water and as a result, the body armor chosen needs to be suitable for this particular work environment. A vest that is water resistant won’t be damaged (and lose its ability to protect) after having come in contact with water. Another very essential reason for choosing a water resistant vest is that if the maritime security personnel needs to be in the water at any given time, the vest will not fill with water and become weight bearing. Through this, the maritime security personnel will be able to stay protected both in water and on land.
Press Release, August 27, 2014; Image: SafeGuard ARMOR