New technology to deter pirates is a key topic for discussion at this yearâ€™s SMM conference in Hamburg. Westmark BVâ€™s patented P-trap anti-boarding device is now providing ship-owners with a non-lethal barrier to harden vessels against pirate attacks. Friday, 03.Aug.2012, 00:52 (GMT+3)
New technology to deter pirates is a key topic for discussion at this yearâ€™s SMM conference in Hamburg. Westmark BVâ€™s patented P-trap anti-boarding device is now providing ship-owners with a non-lethal barrier to harden vessels against pirate attacks.
The P-trap will be displayed to the public at the maritime tradeshow SMM, held in Hamburg Germany from September 4 through 7. Tradeshow visitors can view a scale model of the P-trap as well as a video, providing test results from navy, coastguard and rescue services at Westmark and Vecom booths (507). An additional Westmark alliance stand is located in B8 (dedicated to Marine Defense and Safety), this section provides ship-owners with additional security strategies.
Westmark BV, based in the Netherlands, created the P-trap, an engine blocking system which creates a security zone around the perimeter of the ship and prevents other vessels from approaching too closely in an attempt to board. Side booms extend from the bow on both sides of the ship, carrying a set of long thin lines that are dragged just below the water surface, thus creating a barrier along the entire length of the ship. A pirate skiff or whaler entering the security zone will inevitably run into the lines, which are designed to disable the engine, leaving the pirate skiff inoperable. The P-trap is designed to continuously protect against multiple simultaneous attacks day and night and does not require crew involvement once deployed before entering high risk areas.
Westmark has created several P-trap systems, designed to fit most seagoing ships. â€śThe P-trap concept is as simple as locking your doors and windows before going to bed at night. Itâ€™s practical and it makes sense,â€ť said Lodewijk Westerbeek van Eerten, creator of P-trap. â€śThe option to lock the perimeter of a ship offers seafarers an extra layer of protection and peace of mind so that they can focus on their core businessâ€”the transport of goods.â€ť
Within the past year P-trap was named finalist at the Lloydâ€™s List Awards, Global 2011, finalist at the Seatrade Awards 2011 and declared winner at the Safety at Sea International Awards 2011 in the security category by Fairplay.
Dockwise, a global market leader in the transport of extremely large and heavy cargoes purchased and tested the system one of its ships. Following three successful transits through the Gulf of Aden using the P-trap, Dockwise expanded the use of the system on board its entire fleet. â€śWe welcome the opportunity to provide additional tools and resources to our crews to reduce the risk of piracy attacks at sea,â€ť said Dockwise Vice President of Operations.
This P-Trap looks fine at the moment, at least for the beginning. However I wonder if it would be wise to use in case the pirates hold heavy arms such as bazooka. They can threaten the vessel with heavy arms and convice the master to pack the p-trap back. However if we consider the most common attack types, they usually use primitive guns like knifes and swords. In this case the p-trap would be fine. We are looking forward to hearing more news about that.