A Motoryacht is also known as a power vessel. It is used primarily for pleasure cruising and has amenities that guests can use overnight.
Cruising on a yacht is quite a luxury. Although movies romanticize pirates, and it all seems like fiction pirates do exist. In real life, a pirate attack can be quite traumatic.
When pirates attack a yacht, they rob guests of their money and passports, and often they have guns. Piracy rates have increased dramatically, so before you set off on a cruise, you need to ensure that the area you are visiting is safe. Ensure that you also have security.
Since piracy is on the rise nowadays, new amenities and technology are being added to yachts to ensure guests’ safety and comfort on board. The shipping industry continues its fight against piracy.
Yacht owners are spending millions to set up military-style technology on their yachts, and they train their crew on how to avoid conflicts. The security on vessels ensures that the guests, assets, and staff are well protected.
Most yachts are now equipped with some of the best non-lethal weapons, hidden armed panic rooms, and secret escape pods for the utmost safety. Listed below are ways to protect your yacht or catamaran against pirate attacks.
1. Citadel Armored Escape Room and Escape Pods
The concept of hidden citadel rooms is gaining popularity and being incorporated in both new and existing superyachts these days. They are fully equipped with their water, ventilation systems, communications, and food supplies.
In case of a pirate attack, people on board can get into the hidden citadel room and stay put until help arrives. The advantage is that the room has the amenities mentioned above while ensuring that everyone is safe.
As a yacht owner, you can have a sense of peace knowing that everyone aboard your yacht will be safe and protected in case of an unforeseen pirate attack. Ensure that this room is only used during an emergency.
A citadel escape room can only be installed in a yacht that is 60m in size and above since it requires a lot of space. You should note that you are more likely to be a target if you have a large vessel compared to a regular-sized yacht.
Some developers are in the process of attempting to create emergency escape life pods. The pods feature high impact resistance with a global positioning system, temperature control, air purification, fire barrier control, and watertight.
2. Anti Drone Protection
It is essential to have anti-drone protection because it identifies and detects drones up to 20km plus within your range. It also provides the drone’s speed, where it is heading, and the GPS position of both the pilot and the drone.
If the drone spotted is established as a threat to your yacht, the anti-drone protection system will enable a 500m plus electronic zone to be created around the yacht. This zone is an exclusion zone, which means if the drone approaches the exclusion zone, its video or control signal will be blocked by it.
Once it is blocked, it will be forced to go back to its operator, or it will have to land. There are various anti-drone protection systems in the market that you can choose from depending on your needs. Some offer features such as capturing and recovering rogue drones while they are intact and with their payload safe.
It is essential to have an anti-drone protection system since you can prevent pirates from spying on your yacht, which helps prevent your crew and guests aboard from getting attacked. The use of drones for spying purposes has been on the rise since anyone can buy and learn to operate a drone.
While shinning a bright light at a drone to prevent it from getting any footage is also a solution that could work, you may not always be aware of drones capturing footage from your yacht. Understand the system so you can tell when you are being attacked and how to retaliate.
Pirates can use drones to deploy explosives or poisonous gases, so you need to ensure that you can defend yourself against such an attack. With a unique system, you will be able to identify a threat in good time. Therefore, ensure you get a protection system that will best protect your crew and guests from any danger.
3. Underwater Sonar Detection Systems
Underwater sonar detection systems can detect, identify, and track divers or any underwater vehicles that could be approaching your yacht. It does not matter which direction they are coming from.
Once they are detected, the security personnel will be alerted of the imposing threat. Underwater detection systems can identify any impending targets or threats for up to 1200 meters range.
An example of an underwater sonar detection system is the sonardyne sentinel. It is lightweight and small. It can quickly deploy off a boat, install in a fix, or port along a coastline. This gives your yacht an underwater security shield instantly. There are various underwater sonar detection systems, but some can only be used by the Navy.
Underwater sonar detection systems also give out the position, distance, and type of underwater threat that they detect in real-time. It is essential to know the intruder’s position because it is easier to deploy the right security measures.
You could either emit acoustic signals or send a boat to the position the diver is located. An element can be incorporated into the system to send a message to the diver, letting them know they have been detected.
You could either send this message in real-time or pre-record it. However, note that underwater detection can be complex and complicated as it is affected by an environment. For instance, sonar surveillance tends to be more complicated in warm waters.
If you find the right underwater sonar detection system, it will offer you a comprehensive detection system even in warm waters. Ensure you consult with an expert so they can help you pick the best underwater sonar detection system.
4. Long Range Acoustic Device
Long range acoustic device (LRAD), also known as sound cannons, is a non-lethal anti-piracy device. It drives away any intruders by using pain-inducing sound beams. An LRAD is a sonic weapon that produces a high-pitched noise that is higher than the average tolerance level of a human being.
Initially, LRADs were only used in cruise and cargo ships. However, they are now being incorporated into yachts to ensure that any intruders are kept at bay.
There are various models to choose from, and they can be heard for up to a distance of 5km. An LRAD also allows your vessel to warn, notify and hail to any approaching ships at closer ranges with either a pre-recorded or clear voice message in any language you choose.
It ensures that the voice command messages are understood and heard unmistakably by approaching vessels that may not have responded to the radio call. This helps in creating a large standoff zone around your yacht. LRADs can inflict severe permanent harm such as tinnitus, hearing loss, barotrauma, and vestibular dysfunction.
5. Dazzle Gun
A dazzle gun is a laser weapon. It uses green light to temporarily blind and disorients pirates. Its concentrated green light blast can be used both during the day and at night. GLARE HELIOS is a non-lethal visual disruption laser or dazzler that the FDA has approval.
It can be used by both maritime and yachts. It can be used in various configurations such as rail-mounted, integrated into non-lethal systems like remote station operation, and being hand-held.
When an individual approaches the restricted area, the laser will hail to give off a warning to them before shots start getting fired.
A dazzle gun also has a red dot laser that can be used at night and in broad daylight. To ensure that the beam is eye-safe at any distance, it uses the following technologies:
- Near field detection, which shuts off the laser emission if a person is too close to the laser output.
- An infrared laser rangefinder determines the distance to a person, and the closer they are, the lower the laser output.
- A motion detector that shuts the laser off if there is sudden movement and will turn it on when stability has been regained, and the accurate distance between the person has been re-established.
6. Cloaking System
If you are a first-time yacht owner, you may need to consider getting a cloaking system to protect your assets, crew, and guests from a pirate attack. A cloaking system is essentially designed to offer protection during a limited time, from when the alarm is activated to the time the response team arrives on the scene.
When the alarm goes off, the cloak emits a mist that will confuse the intruders or pirates, forcing them to retreat until help comes in.
The smoke is organic and is created using a special glycol solution, which reduces visibility to less than one foot. A cloaking system can also allow the guests onboard to safely get into an escape room if a yacht has one while the pirates are confused by the emitted smoke.
This way, if the help does not arrive soon, the pirates will not harm anyone on board, since they will be safely hidden in a citadel.
7. Robots for Surveillance
Technology has brought about the creation of a throw-able micro-robot known as a throwbot. A throwbot has a microphone fitted to it to ensure it records audio, and it also has a color camera that captures imagery at 30fps. Therefore, it allows the yacht operators to get instant audio and video footage both outdoor and indoor.
A throwbot is appropriate to use in anti-pirate operations since it is quite helpful. It can be deployed to board a ship then send footage back since it is remote controlled. It has infrared illuminators that help it see in darkness, so low light will not be a problem.
It can also locate objects, whether they are injured or armed, and reveal a room’s layout. It can also allow the operator to see around corners.
The video and audio of a throwbot can be transmitted up to 45m distance through the door, windows, and walls to reach the operator control unit. It is dust and water-resistant and can crawl over various terrains.
Depending on your need and requirements, you can integrate a throwbot with a range of equipment. Several builders have also developed robotic skiffs, which are used to send out distress calls. This is often a strategy used by pirates to bait their target.
If you are a new yacht owner, it will help if you attended safety seminars and consulted with experts in yacht security. You do not have to employ all the listed security measures. Only use those that make sense to your yacht’s size and the routes you plan on cruising.
You must do proper research before setting out on a cruise to ensure that your chosen route is safe. Ensure that you also work with professional and experienced crew members whenever you are going on a long cruise.
You could get bodyguards if you deem it necessary to increase the security on your yacht. Ensure that everyone is walked through the security measures and precautions to take when you set out on a cruise. Walking everyone through steps to follow in case of an attack ensures that they are well prepared and know what protocol to follow.
It is essential to protect your yacht because you will be protecting everyone aboard, and you will also be protecting your asset. There are various other security measures you can employ to ensure your yacht is protected against pirate attacks.
As mentioned earlier, get in touch with a security expert so they can guide you on what the best security measures are and which ones will best suit your yacht. Make sure that the security measures you employ are legal.