Ever notice those signs around the island that read:
This facility is currently operating at MARSEC Level 1. (Hopefully that’s what it said)
Entering this facility is deemed valid consent to screening or inspection. All vehicles are subject to inspection.
Failure to consent or submit to screening or inspection will result in denial or revocation of authorization to board or enter.
There’s one over on the ferry dock near the Visitor’s Center and a few more over at Caneel Bay. So we were curious – what exactly is a MARSEC Level and what does it mean?
Well, it turns out that the MARSEC Level relates to Homeland Security, so the fact that we here at News of St. John have only seen a MARSEC Level 1 posted around the island is good thing. Here’s what we found on the U.S. Coast Guard’s website:
The Coast Guard employs a three-tiered system of Maritime Security (MARSEC) Levels designed to easily communicate to the Coast Guard and our maritime industry partners pre-planned scalable responses for credible threats. If the Secretary of Homeland Security issues an NTAS Alert, the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard will adjust MARSEC Level, if appropriate, based on the commensurate risk, any maritime nexus, and/or Commandant consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security.
So here’s a quick breakdown of the three levels, according to the Coast Guard:
Level 1: The level for which minimum appropriate security measures shall be maintained at all times.
Level 2: The level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a transportation security incident.
Level 3: The level for which further specific protective security measures shall be maintained for a limited period of time when a transportation security incident is probable, imminent, or has occurred, although it may not be possible to identify the specific target.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution breaks it down in simpler terms. Here’s what they had to say:
Level 1: The threat of an unlawful act against a terminal or vessel is, though possible, not likely.
Level 2: An unlawful act against a vessel or terminal is possible, and intelligence indicates that terrorists are likely to be active within a specific area, or against a type of vessel or terminal.
Level 3: An unlawful act against a vessel or terminal is probable or imminent and intelligence indicates that terrorists have chosen specific targets.
Here are a couple more images from around the island:
News you can use. News of St. John.