October 10, 2008 The recent incident involving a the seizure of a Ukranian ship carrying 33 tanks off the coast of Somalia has turned the spotlight on the problem of international piracy. Roman Abramovich is paying attention. The Chelsea soccer club owner is spending a £200 million (USD$340 million) chunk of his £11.7billion personal fortune on a mega-yacht that will be well equipped to deal with such a threat: armor plating, bullet-proof windows, a missile-detection system and an escape submarine. Oh yeah, and at a massive 550ft long it will also be the largest private yacht ever built.
If Abramovich does need to get off the yacht in a hurry there will be several options - he cold take a tender from the floating harbor at the rear of the vessel, escape by one of two helicopter pads, or dive to depths of 160ft via the submarine.
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The new yacht, to be named Eclipse, is reportedly being constructed in secret at the same German shipyard where the famous World War II battleship the Bismarck was built. When completed it will need to compete for mooring space with Abramovich's other runabouts - the 377ft Pelorus, 282ft Ecstasea and 160ft Sussurro.
If these measures are beyond your means, there are simpler ways to combat against the very serious threat of piracy. The International Maritime Bureau, which produces a weekly piracy report and a live piracy map recommends s a product called "Secure-Ship". This is an effective innovation in the fight against piracy that puts a non-lethal, electrifying fence around the ship which uses a 9,000-volt pulse to deter boarding attempts.