Layer 4: Anti-boarding
If, despite all discouraging measures, attackers persevere in their action and seem to have the intention to board the ship, several preventive means are available.
P-Trap is a type of pedestal with horizontal boom installed on the bow of a vessel. This boom lifts a spreader bar overboard which is lowered to the waterline on both sides of the vessel. The spreader bars tow an array of lines on the water surface along the entire length of the vulnerable sides of the vessel. If an external vessel decides to come alongside their propeller gets trapped in the lines and the breakaway connection will release the trapped line, which leaves the attacker with mechanical difficulties. Example in use
Quick Removable Razor Wire
Recently, a partner of the non-lethal technology platform: Maritime Security Alliance has invented a different type of razor wire system based on an already existing crowd control system. This new Quick Removable Razor Wire system was successfully tested by a Dutch heavy lift vessel while sailing through a high risk area in West-Africa, earlier this year. This innovative razor wire is unlike normal razor wire installed on simple brackets and is designed to have a thick steel wire through the core of the razor wire coil. The steel wire keeps the coil in its place during a razor wire sabotage attempt during a hijacking attempt.
The key feature of this innovation is that the locked razor wire capsules can be opened allowing the coil of razor wire to be applied just like a curtain, quickly allowing the crew to open and close this protection in seconds instead of hours or days, as needed. If the area of operation is deemed safe, the curtain can be opened leaving the razor wire coils stored in the lockable capsules. The capsules with razor wire coils are designed for long term use and are easily stored below decks. The design allows installation of coils with a diameter up to 900 mm (recommended by BMP4), but it is also possible to have several 450 mm type coils above each other on the same brackets to close off a section on deck or in the accommodation.
Most traditional razor wire systems deteriorate in one or two months at sea due to corrosion and need to be replaced. Most ship-owners declare that this razor wire is cut off the railing just before entering the port and disposed off overboard where they destroy fishing nets and may be a danger to other vessels and animals. Furthermore, removing corroded razor wire is a safety risk for the crew. As an anti-boarding barrier this standard First World War equipment may still be useful on board. But when the vessel is in distress and evacuating and abandoning becomes imminent, it becomes a barrier for the crew itself.
Therefore the Quick Removable Razor Wire systems are especially ideal around lifeboat / life raft stations, pilot entry points, bunker stations, or all around the vessel, as may be seen at the images of the Dutch heavy lift vessel. The system allows the crew to remove this razor wire in a couple of seconds with reduced risk of injury and no delays in emergency situations. Example in use
The anti-intrusion barrier is a non-lethal device which protects a vessel against climbing trespassers. An anti-intrusion barrier consists of a linear series of metal parts which together form a triangle shaped extension at the railing of the vessel. The special hardened, light alloy plates fit into each other and therefore provide a strong and solid construction which even trained mountain climbers cannot pass.
Reusable Razor Wire
Based on the principles used for land-based perimeter security systems (e.g. nuclear and high detention facilities, etc.), this extreme high quality reusable razor wire has been redesigned to suit merchant vessels. Each component of the barrier has been independently product-tested to withstand salt-water environments for 10+ years. The individual units are 2 m wide and can be stored below decks when not in use Example in use