Worldwide communities have shown an increased awareness of the importance of providing an outlook for ending piracy. While reflecting on challenges and learning from failures, communities are taking part in the socio-technological dialogue in which good practice becomes the intellectual backbone for defeating piracy.
The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) is putting down a new marker for the maritime industry by piloting an anti-pirate attack project. The 12-million-euro project was presented last week to approximately 400 delegates attending MARISK, a forum on shipping security held in Nantes, France.
A French military training vessel Partisan will be equipped with a range of traps and non-lethal defense devices. Sophisticated radar systems and infrared cameras will contribute to detecting the impending danger at an early point, allowing the crew to prepare for imminent risks and inform the authorities of all possible threats.
Should the pirates get closer, the crew members can then use long range acoustic devices that release pain-inducing sounds or rely on blinding light effects. The anti-piracy concept also incorporates a couple of remote controlled water cannons for blasting the pirates.
In case of being unable to avoid the pirates who are still willing to pursue their goal, tear gas canisters will be available for creating a dark smoke that can distract the pirates upon wandering through dark corridors.
While the pirates are struggling to overcome confusion, the crew seeks safety in a secured room hidden on the vessel. It is also designed to serve as the security control space where cameras and other electronic devices can be utilized so as to enhance the crew’s resistance efforts while monitoring the pirates and sailing their vessel.
This equipment designed to make vessels hostile and unattainable for the pirates will be undergoing trials during this year with the possibility of reaching the market as of 2014.
The whole concept has been confronted by those professionals who believe that such measures could only be efficient against amateur pirates. They strongly believe that the only workable solution, apart from armed guards, is the speed since it is impossible to board a vessel reaching the speed of 18 to 20 knots if a speedboat is going flat-out.
World Maritime News Staff, February 7, 2012; Image: Navy