Tech Trap

Lloyd’s List has been featuring a unique and emerging sub-branch of marine technology – “anti-piracy hardware”.

With the rise of the pirates, there has also been a host of equipment manufacturers tailoring their standard products to be sold to fearful shipowners.

Some are good, some are average and some are just plain useless. It is a minefield for the unsuspecting.

While for some the answer to piracy has been clear – get armed guards onto the ships and quick! For others this rush to tool up has not been as attractive, and they have been looking for technology and innovation to provide alternatives.

One company claims that for around US$35,000 they have created a range of shipboard counter measures which are “just as effective as using armed guards”. When you bear in mind that no vessel has been taken with armed guards onboard, then that claim is a bold one.

The “P-Trap” is one invention which is attracting some positive reviews – the kit consists of a boom projecting out from the ship trailing a row of disposable wire trails. The theory goes that the ropes will get caught in the propeller blades of any approaching boat they will break off rendering the boat helpless as its entangled engine stalls. The pirates will be then left drifting helplessly, or so the theory goes.

P-trap, according to Lloyd’s List, is already winning awards but has yet to prove itself in action.

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