THE CHAIN LOCKER
Something I ran across yesterday - this video is from a company producing a remote-controlled water cannon for use against pirate skiffs. I don't know what the flow rating might be - from my personal experience with FiFi-1 units I'd say between 1,000 - 2,000 GPM, but it's just a guess - but it looks capable enough to seriously incommode a small boat.  

The system is touted as portable - perhaps it's meant to be leased or rented, mounted on a ship for transit through a danger zone and then sent back. I might not want it as my sole reliance, but it would certainly let a Captain "reach out and touch someone" in a potentially non-lethal manner. The FiFi-1 cannons I'm acquainted with can be very destructive, so you might want to use this with caution if you were concerned with human life. Looks as though it would dampen their ardor! 

Do you have any experience with anything similar? What other anti-pirate measures have you seen? Please let us know about it in Comments!

Post Edit: Here is a link to a good op-ed piece by Rhys Clift on Safety4Sea: http://www.safety4sea.com/analysis/88/132/somalian-piracy:-the-price-of-a-life

His subject is ransoms, and the talk lately from some quarters about preventing their payment - "the price of a life". I think his critique is right on the money - in the absence of alternative ways of safely freeing captive mariners, prohibiting ransom payments is irresponsible. Give it a read and see what you think.

You're on the front lines, sailors - please let us know your thoughts about this!
2/15/2015 11:45:51 am

You are generally correct. These are made by Swedish company Unifire (www.Unifire.com). They are remote controlled monitors (the newest generation of which are called "robotic nozzles") are specially designed versions of water cannons for fighting pirates.

There are two sizes--a 2" model (Unifire Force 50) with a maximum flow of 2000 liters (530 gallons) per minute, and a 3" model (Unifire Force 80) with a maximum flow of 5000 liters (1320 gallons) per minute.

They are placed on the edge of the ship allowing them to aim straight down the side, and they often feature built-in valve controls straight from the remote control.

The idea is to rapidly flood the pirates' skiffs, thereby seriously limiting their ability to maneuver and slowing them down, allowing you to get away and avoid being boarded.

You can learn much more at www.piratesafe.com and roboticnozzles.com.

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Reid
2/15/2015 01:24:04 pm

Thanks for the information! Very interesting product. I can see that these could also be effective on a ship at anchor as well as underway, so perhaps West African piracy would benefit as well.

Thanks for coming up with another tool in the mariner's arsenal as he takes on this unequal battle!

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