Forbes travel writer Jim Dobson says that while he feels grateful to spend time on some of the world’s most luxurious yachts, sometimes he feels uncomfortable flashing such blatant wealth in parts of the world that are desperately poor.
“On one particular voyage, I was a bit apprehensive about some of the places we would anchor at every night,” wrote Dobson in a recent Forbes column. “Small villages filled with inquiring eyes; large groups of natives would greet us when we disembarked to explore. It wasn’t until a month after I returned home that I heard about armed pirates boarding a similar boat, pistol whipping the captain and stealing the guest’s passports and money.”
Superyachts and their occupants are displaying “massive amounts of wealth floating to remote areas in these extravagant vessels with cocktails in hand, and it would only become a matter of time before enterprising and often desperately poor natives would take advantage,” wrote Dobson.
For example, Trinidad and Venezuela, once safe for yachts, are now on red alert as piracy in those regions increases.
As Venezuela’s economy collapses, lawlessness has spread to nearby Trinidad, according to a BBC article. Many pirates are ex-fishermen who used to make a living catching tuna, octopus and shrimp in the Caribbean's warm waters, but who now find themselves unemployed as the industry has moved abroad.
The shipping industry is continuing its fight against pirates, wrote Dobson.
The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center reported that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2019.
Dobson spoke with numerous yacht owners and experts about how they are spending millions setting up their megayachts with military-style technology and training their crews to avoid conflicts.
From secret escape pods and panic rooms to non-lethal weapons, Dobson listed 10 top products today for helping to keep superyachts safe.
Those include Hidden Citadel armored escape rooms, GOST’s cloaking system, and anti-drone protection technology.
Check out the full list here.