The Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre (MMWC), a UK based maritime anti-piracy organisation, announces today that it is launching their latest countermeasure, the MMWC Propeller Arresters. This is the first non-lethal countermeasure of its kind to protect vessels underway regardless of vessel type, speed, cargo, flag state registration and weather conditions.
The Propeller Arresters have been developed as an integral component of a layered defence system advocated by MMWC but unlike traditional countermeasures used in this method, their onboard deployment creates an on- water impenetrable security perimeter around a vessel. When crossed the Propeller Arrestor causes failure of the attacking vessels propulsion, rendering it disabled and no longer a threat.
Until now shipping companies have had to rely on onboard countermeasures to protect themselves from unlawful boarding and have had a major disadvantage in that by the time they become effective the pirates are already onboard, says Nick Davis, Chairman of MMWC and the brainchild behind the design of the Propeller Arresters. For the first time, the Propeller Arresters will enable ships to prevent attacking vessels getting close enough to attempt boarding or make themselves such an unattractive target that the pirates will look for alternatives.
Rigged to heavy duty booms and deployed prior to entry of high risk area, the Propeller Arresters release lines of strong buoyant rope that float on the surface of the water. The forward movement of the deploying vessel maintains their extension without interference to the vessels own propeller and is unaffected by the vortexs created. Their specialist design enables them to be deployed in approximately 30 seconds with minimal man power and remain effective when left unattended regardless of vessel speed, design, cargo and weather conditions. When the vessel arrives in safe waters, the Propeller Arresters can be wound back onto the drums and stored onboard ready for use again when required.
The Propeller Arresters offer for the first time, a non-lethal countermeasure that is capable of stopping not only single attacking vessels but multiple ones simultaneously before they get close enough to get a ladder or grapnel hook onto your vessel. They are reusable, repairable and a fraction of the cost of having an armed or unarmed team onboard, adds Nick. If used as part of a layered defence system and operated by well trained crew, the Propeller Arresters will undoubtedly provide an effective non-lethal option to shipping companies that has been missing until now.