America

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yachts with pirate protection


For the rich and paranoid, one more extravagence as reported here :
In a June attack in St. Lucia, documented on www.noonsite.com, a Web site for boaters, pirates boarded a yacht, beat one of the occupants until he lost consciousness, and raped his wife. In another attack off the coast of Venezuela, a yachtsman who tried to stop pirates from stealing his dinghy was beaten and left for dead, although he survived.

Far from the scenes of carnage, Wisconsin yacht companies are playing a role in fighting piracy. Burger Boat Co., for example, has formed an alliance with SAFE, a Los Angeles firm that specializes in high-end residential and yacht security systems.
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Burger officials won't disclose the security features of individual yachts. But the company's options list includes things such as bulletproof glass, "safe rooms" for hiding from pirates and high-tech weapons meant to kill intruders.
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"In some areas, pirating is more likely to happen than not. You wouldn't take a boat there unless itwas fully armored and fortified," said Al Corbi, SAFE president.

Corbi has installed security systems in homes and yachts for more than 35 years. His clientele range from sports stars to royalty.

"Most of my clients are the types that have their seven homes and three yachts and two jets," he said.

Corbi has dozens of ways to make a yacht more secure, most of which he won't publicly disclose. His firm uses technology such as unmanned aerial drones and remote surveillance devices for identifying threats from a distance.

"We have been using things that the federal government is just now buying to test," Corbi said.

His firm also doesn't hesitate to arm yachts with lethal force, subscribing to the theory that sometimes it's necessary to kill your attackers and worry about the legalities later.

Yachts are easily big enough to be equipped with electrified fences as well as machine guns and lots of other weaponry.

"Let's just say that our company is one of the few that will do whatever it takes to protect the client," Corbi said.
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SAFE's weapon systems are encoded with biometrics so that only very specific people can use them. That way, the weapons can't be used against the crew and passengers they're supposed to protect. It also leaves a permanent record every time a weapon is used.
Burger Yachts for those with the money.

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