A British company has developed a water cannon which could be used to prevent pirates from boarding commercial ships at sea, the BBC reported.
The BBC said on its website on Friday that the Dasic Marine company, which specializes in manufacturing devices to clean marine equipment, has already started the production of the cannons that “fire out high-pressure water down the sides of the vessel.”
The automated rotating cannons could be connected to the fire hose present on all merchant ships, and could be remotely-controlled by the crew to avoid exposure to gunfire.
The company said the device has been made “in response to a growing number of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia,” which has been without an effective government since 1991.
According to a recent report issued by the International Maritime Bureau‘s Piracy Reporting Center, a total of 406 incidents of piracy and armed robbery were registered worldwide in 2009.
“The total number of incidents attributed to the Somali pirates stands at 217 with 47 vessels hijacked and 867 crewmembers taken hostage. Somalia accounts for more than half of the 2009 figures, with the attacks continuing to remain opportunistic in nature,” the report said.
Despite international anti-piracy patrols off the Somali coast, which involve around 35 warships from the navies of 16 countries, commercial vessels frequently have to face pirate attacks on their own.