4 thoughts on “Non-Lethal Boat Stopper

  1. The “entangling” line idea has been used in the past. While in the Boston Whaler (14-foot) we had Vietnamese fishermen try it on us. Of course, they were not interested in stopping the boat but merely snagging we, the people in the boat, with fishing lines having multiple hooks trailing behind their sampan.

    I guess this idea would work for an attacking boat that does not change course or is sufficiently slow enough for a RHIB to get into position. It may have worked in Yemen for the Cole incident but then again, the security team would have to see it coming.

    Unnecessary deaths has always been a concern. I mentioned this in my comments for arming boats in LA for the Olympics. I was told not to worry. It did not matter. Of course, the Coast Guard’s history in shooting people (some innocent) during Prohibition has been ignored.

  2. The CG deployed a few different pneumatic powered net entanglers to PWCS units a while back. I believe the concencus was that they were of limited effectiveness.

  3. I see LOTS of problems.

    First, you have to get in front of the suspect (tactically unsound), and second, with the bow-mounted, forward-projecting system shown, you then have to go on a collision-course with the suspect (presumably both of you at high speed) and deploy at pretty close range (so he can’t evade it). That all sounds tactically unsound actually…

    Then, let’s talk about how cleanly it deploys in the wind, like at sea? (Note how the video Xavier posted shows the live deployment in a sheltered bay with a perfectly flat surface on the water?) Oh yes, then I wonder how effectively it would snag running gear in say 2′ or 3′ seas or more?

    In the video it shows a shore-mounted system fired from a pier to what looks like a concrete bridge abuttment, and in that situation it looks great.

    For widespread deployment by the USCG, especially at sea, the only workable set-up I can imagine is if the system were attached under a helo and fired downward and rearward. This would minimize the possibility of entangling the helo’s rotors, prevent the forward airspeed of the helo from messing up the deployment, and allow rapid enough action so the suspect couldn’t easily evade it. Aiming/Timing the shot could be challenging… I’m thinking a night-vision rearward facing camera with some tests to determine optimal firing points, based on the suspect vessel’s speed and the helo’s speed.

    Still not very tactically sound, IMO, but better than racing head-on at each other!

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