Buccaneer Anti Piracy Protection System
On a blustery Dorset afternoon, the green-grey waters of Portland harbour stood in for the sea off Somalia and an electronic engineer called Murray played the part of a ransom-hungry raider.
Then with a roar and a whoosh, a device aimed at protecting merchant ships from the growing hazard of piracy called the Buccaneer Ship-Borne Shore Launcher was unveiled.
The idea is that if a pirate skiff approaches, a length of strong rope can be fired into the path of the vessel from the Buccaneer. A small parachute makes sure the 300m long rope flutters down on to the surface of the water and the pirates, unaware that they have been fired on, speed over it and find their propellers hopelessly tangled.
It is a sort of marine version of the spike strip – tyre-puncturing devices police forces use to stop cars – prompting some to dub the Buccaneer the "Somalian stinger". It is already attracting interest from shipping companies around the world.
A major problem captains of merchant ships have when faced with pirates is that they are constrained by international laws about what force they can use. In any case, there is obviously a huge risk in opening fire on pirates because they are more than likely to fire back.Read More @ http://guardian.co.uk
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