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  • Writer's picturePalaemon Maritime

Razor Wire: Is It A Fading Solution for Piracy at Sea?



In a world of ever-evolving threats, shipping companies are under constant pressure to maintain security and safety at sea. One long-standing but increasingly scrutinized countermeasure to maritime piracy is using razor wire. However, recent studies, including those by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), point towards a glaring inefficiency in this approach. Here, we delve into the often overlooked drawbacks of razor wire, questioning its efficacy and impacts on the crew's safety.



Razor Wire - It's Cheap and Convenient

At first glance, razor wire is an appealing solution to mitigate piracy. It is a relatively inexpensive deterrent, thus aligning well with budget constraints in the maritime industry. Moreover, it is widely available in most ports worldwide, making it a convenient choice for vessels needing quick security solutions.


The latest IMB report suggests that it has a staggering 95% failure rate.


A Life Boat With A 95% Chance of Sinking?

However, despite its seeming benefits, razor wire is not a silver bullet solution. In fact, the latest IMB report suggests that it has a staggering 95% failure rate. This stark statistic raises substantial concerns about the reliability of razor wire in real-world piracy scenarios. With odds such as these, one must consider the true cost of this 'cheap' deterrent.


Would you use a life boat with a 95% chance of failure?


Rapid Rusting

A further complication arises from the material makeup of razor wire.

Predominantly crafted from steel, it is prone to rapid rusting, particularly in the corrosive saltwater conditions common to maritime environments. Consequently, it demands regular resupply, escalating financial and environmental costs.




Crew safety is paramount, and solutions that compromise this are fundamentally flawed.



Razor Wire - Injuries to Crew

Moreover, the razor wire is not just a threat to potential pirates; it poses a significant hazard to the crew as well. Handling and installing the razor wire can lead to injuries, potentially causing severe harm and legal repercussions. Crew safety is paramount, and solutions that compromise this are fundamentally flawed.









Razor Wire - Taking Five Hours to Prepare for STS

During Ship-to-Ship (STS) operations within high-risk areas, the crew and vessel are particularly vulnerable. Using a method that exposes them for prolonged periods seems counterintuitive, especially in regions notorious for piracy incidents. Another often-overlooked downside is the time-consuming process of installing and removing the razor wire. It is reported by many operators that it can take over five hours for the crew to remove razor wire before an STS transfer.




In Summary

While razor wire is a cost-effective and readily available solution, its effectiveness is questioned when we critically examine its performance and potential risks. Its susceptibility to rust, threats to crew safety, and the time-consuming installation and removal process cast a long shadow over the benefits. With a reported failure rate of 95%, it's high time we explore alternative solutions for maritime security that are efficient, safe, and adaptable to the changing tides of piracy threats. Razor wire may have had its day, but in the current climate, it seems that its cons significantly outweigh its pros.


About Palaemon Maritime

Palaemon Maritime is an innovative leader in maritime security, dedicated to providing ships with a robust alternative to traditional razor wire defences. Our specialized anti-piracy barrier rental service aims to counter the rising challenges of piracy threats with cost-effective, safer, and more reliable solutions. We are committed to enhancing vessel security while minimising crew safety risks and revolutionising how ships navigate high-risk areas. At Palaemon Maritime, we believe in making the seas safer, one ship at a time.


Palaemon's Anti-Piracy Barrier is Available to Rent











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