Floating fortresses: how billionaires protect their superyachts from pirates and drones

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Floating fortresses: how billionaires protect their superyachts from pirates and drones
Floating fortresses: how billionaires protect their superyachts from pirates and drones
31 May, 15:28TechnologyPhoto: CharterWorld
Fingerprint scanners are no longer used on superyachts today. A more reliable option is a palm vein scanner, which only works if the person is alive.

A large fortune does not guarantee security. And if on land the owners of millions have long been protecting life and property by equipping houses with panic buttons and "panic rooms", then on the water this is only becoming fashionable. According to experts, any superyacht becomes easy prey for pirates and drones if security is not taken care of in advance. Therefore, on the eve of the cruise season in the Mediterranean and the Cote d'Azur, Forbes list participants are in a hurry to turn their ships into floating fortresses.

According to the American security company Bespoke Home & Yacht Security, over the past six months, the number of requests to them has increased by 1000%, according to Business Insider. Clients are trying to protect not only their lives, but also the assets and information that may be on the yacht. The most serious dangers are pirates, snipers and unmanned aerial vehicles with weapons.

According to the director of Bespoke, former Marine Matthias Fitztum, his clientele is mostly billionaires who, in addition to yachts, have a private jet and houses in Los Angeles, London, Monaco, and the Caribbean. Before offering a security system, it is necessary to assess all the risks, and for this you need to know all the weaknesses of the client. “I have to know more than a personal lawyer or a wife,” says Fitztum. “Everything that concerns sexual life, mistresses, secret apartments in which they meet with these mistresses ...”

The security system of a superyacht can cost a million or even 10 million dollars. That's not much, given that there are often valuables on board that are worth many times more than these amounts: some yachts are real floating museums with world-class art collections, such as Picasso and Van Gogh. Not to mention human life: dozens of guests and hundreds of crew members can be on board yachts.

The security systems that are transforming yachts into floating citadels today include long-range, mid-range, near-range multi-sensor detection systems, peripheral and underwater detection systems. Instead of biometric fingerprint reading, more advanced equipment is used. “The fingerprint scanner is bullshit: an attacker can cut off your fingers and open anything,” says Fitztam. His choice is a palm vein scanner: “With it, the door can only be opened when you are alive, because veins are scanned only when a person is alive. If a robber cuts off your hand, he will fail.”

The package offered to superyacht owners may also include a highly trained ex-Marine crew, cybersecurity, bulletproof searchlights and sirens, thermal imaging cameras to help identify intruders in bad weather, and armored, bulletproof, liquid and gas tight "panic rooms". Finally, if the client intends to go ashore to walk and dine, he needs to get a support vessel, also armored and bulletproof, that will take him from the yacht. This is necessary as more and more attacks are being carried out as yachts enter ports for refuelling.

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