Suspicious object located – a Real Threat!

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Following on from Bomb Threat is to look at a procedure for when you find a suspicious object, and I don’t mean a drunken passenger slouched in the corner.

What is a suspicious object?

A suspicious object is defined as any item (e.g., package, bag, etc.) identified as potentially containing explosives, an IED or other hazardous material that requires bomb technician diagnostic skills and specialised equipment for further evaluation.

Suspicious object indicators

Suspicious indicators are based upon the prevailing and/or communicated threat, placement and proximity of the item to people and valuable assets. More tangible aspects include but are not limited to:

  • Unexplainable wires or electronics
  • Other visible bomb-like components
  • Unusual sounds
  • Vapours
  • Mists
  • Odours

What to do if you find a suspicious object!

If you find, or have reported to you that there is a suspicious object onboard or in your office, factory or other area follow the steps outlined below.

  1. DO NOT touch, move, cover or tamper with the object
  2. Report the object to the Master immediately
  3. Report the object to Police by calling 000
  4. Conspicuously mark the location
  5. Ensure there are no other suspicious objects in the vicinity
  6. Evacuate the immediate area
  7. DO NOT use mobile phones or radio communications within 30 metres of the object
  8. Be prepared to abandon ship if instructed to do so by emergency personnel

Shorlink’s Recommendation

If you carry passengers or cargo we recommend developing a procedure for what to do if a suspicious object is located onboard your vessel or in your premises.

This procedure should link in with your bomb threat procedure and be based on whether you carry passengers, cargo or both.


Consider your exposure level to the public and where you operate. Do you carry large numbers of passengers, cargo or both?

If yes then our tip is to not only have procedures for a Bomb Threat and Suspicious Object Located but also to develop a Counter Terrorism Plan.


Log Books   

What to do in an emergency, including finding Suspicious Object should always be recorded and yourselves and your crew should know exactly what to do.

Record all of your Emergency Preparedness Training (drills) in our Crew Training Log Book which also saves having to fill out forms in your SMS!

You can order online today with free postage – Click Here!