These days, there are more superyachts than ever before. Owners across the world are exploring more remote places, which can potentially increase their exposure to serious threats to their privacy and safety.
Pirates, paparazzi, and burglars are always on the lookout for their next mark. A beautiful yacht certainly attracts the eye, and it can most definitely get attention.
There are many common threats that you should always be aware of, and some important things you can do to avoid them.
Known Threats to Yachts and Yacht Owners
Modern drones present a real threat to both safety and privacy. Aerial and marine drones could potentially carry a dangerous payload that might harm the yacht. Most of the cases so far that have involved these types of engagements have been military in some way, but the technology is so pervasive now that it is a problem to consider.
A more immediate threat to yacht owners is the potential invasion of privacy that aerial drones represent. A simple camera on the drone and a quick fly over and a paparazzi has made their money for the week. Or, in a worse case scenario, it could be that pirates are using the technology to scope out their targets before committing to an action.
While the shipping industry is normally the most-likely target for piracy, this is something that yacht owners also need to be aware of – especially as they sail into more remote locations.
According to the International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center, in the first quarter of 2019, 27 vessels were boarded, 7 vessels were fired upon, and 4 other attempted attacks were carried out. (Get the full details here.)
In other words, piracy is a real threat that you must prepare to counter.
- Insider Jobs
Your yacht doesn’t sail itself. Likely, it doesn’t even sail (or receive maintenance, or cleaning, or anything else) with just one person on the crew.
If crewmembers are regularly joining and leaving employment on different vessels, it could start to raise some security and privacy risks.
A lot of these threats can be countered with due diligence, ensuring that you know exactly who is captaining the ship, hiring the housekeeping staff, and watching over it while in port.
Insider jobs can range from theft of property and information to informing others with hostile intent when they should come aboard. Make sure you know who is working for you.
Just because you’re out on the open water, that doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the hackers and cyber criminal out there. The smarter that yachts become, the more exposed they can be to a range of cybercrimes.
There are, of course, the normal risks of malicious spyware getting on the computer systems that can steal passwords or analyze your personal data. More than that, though, these attacks could be more insidious and take over a GPS system to lead the ship into potential accidents or traps.
Deterrents and Security Measures To Keep You Safe
These threats are very real and very serious. There are, of course, many things you can do to avoid these potential problems and keep your people and your yacht safe.
- Long Range Acoustic Devices and Dazzle Guns
There are several non-lethal, anti-piracy devices that can induce pain or confusion and help to chase unwanted visitors away. These sonic devices create high-pitched noises that go beyond the tolerance of most people while dazzle guns make it hard to see difficult to act.
- Complete Security system
It’s important to know what’s happening on your yacht at all times. A complete security and monitoring system can automatically detect potential threats and alert the owner if there is anything that requires immediate action.
You can control and monitor these systems over a satellite network, so you can stay in control even when you’re out of cellular range.
- Cloaking Devices
While a cloaking device is most often associated with some of the best sci-fi, the fact of the matter is that you can defend your yacht with your very own cloaking technology today.
The GOST Cloak fills a designated area with an impenetrable cloud of smoke within seconds. This hides everything away from intruders and forces them to vacate the premises. The fog is created by vaporizing a special glycol solution which reduces visibility down to almost nothing.
- Anti-Piracy Measures
One of the most serious threats on the water is piracy. While commercial vessels are the prime targets, lately, pirates are turning their eyes toward private vessels.
There are many devices available to help you counter this threat, from the non-lethal ones mentioned above to special monitoring systems that let you spot boats and drones while they are still some ways away.
Some devices are meant to prevent others from boarding your ship, while others are meant to increase your safety after being boarded.
Some yachts are using escape rooms or escape pods – each equipped with their own ventilation systems, food supplies, and communications devices. If escape pods are used, they will be equipped with GPS systems to ensure they can be located by the authorities.
Thinking Ahead to Stay Safe
You don’t have to let the fear of these threats stop you from enjoying every moment on your luxurious yacht.
You simply have to think ahead and make sure that you are prepared for the situations that none of us ever want to encounter.
They always say it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. And that is twice as true when it comes to your personal safety and yacht security.