Walks under escort

Walks under escort

The 60-meter-long Linda Lou almost went to the pirates.

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Professionals and the yachting community at the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show were very excited about rumors that one of the boats following the show had miraculously escaped the attack. The excitement was compounded by the fact that the boat was not small: the pirates had attempted to attack a 60-metre superyacht. Linda Lourecently built by Lurssen for an American customer.

According to boat captain Michael Schuler, the boat "took all safety measures". The measures included barbed wire (sic), an LRAD "sonic cannon" used to disperse demonstrations, and a so-called "safe room" where the captain ordered the placement of all the women under threat of attack. "We were well prepared," the captain said.

On that unfortunate day, Linda Lou found herself a mile and a half away from a pirate floating base, where four human-filled boats were mooring. As the superyacht passed by, the three boats separated from the base and began to approach, quite unambiguously setting from the sun. At this stage, Captain Schuler decided to place all the women in the "safe room" and sent a signal for assistance in the VHF range. The signal was responded to by one of the warships of the anti-piracy coalition, happily in the neighboring area.

A helicopter was dispatched from the ship, which was to appear above the yacht within six minutes. In the meantime, Captain Schuler was at his fullest speed of 15 knots, rushing away from the inhospitable place. Pirate boats lagged behind the "Linda Lou" only when the helicopter, after which she was able to go further on the planned route, just in case under the protection of another warship.

The problem of piracy in the Gulf of Aden is clearly no longer a concern only for owners of dry cargo ships and tankers. It was the subject of a key workshop at the Gulf Superyacht Forum, held in parallel with the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show.

The seriousness of the issue is also evidenced by the fact that specialized publications have already started to publish schedules of "caravans", which can be joined by any owner or captain of the vessel who does not want to experience luck alone. Each such caravan will be escorted by a warship.

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