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Captain James Staples is a master mariner in the U.S. Merchant Marine and holds his seventh edition Unlimited Tonnage-Oceans Master License. He has been at sea for 30 years, with 17 years command experience, operating worldwide. He has spent extensive time operating in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean area, Malacca Straits, South China Sea, and the Gulf of Aden off Somalia. Staples has carried cargo to and from the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and has carried cargo recently for Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He is certified as company security officer, ship security officer, hazardous material, and is a small arms expert with tactical shipboard training, as well as contingency planning and media response. Staples has written procedures for the ISM and ISPS code concerning operational and safety matters, including anti-piracy drills and procedures.

In 1998 he was presented the American Merchant Marine Seamanship Trophy for the rescuing of four sailors in a sailboat while he was carrying a cargo of military ammunition and encountering severe weather conditions. This was the second incident he had been recognized for saving lives at sea.

Staples has lectured and taught at the collegiate level on ship security and piracy, and been interviewed concerning piracy and vessel security by major networks and newspapers.

Last Updated: July 8, 2017