The Netherlands: P-Trap Nominated for Safety at Sea International Awards


The P-Trap® anti-piracy product, developed by Westmark BV, based in The Netherlands, has been shortlisted in the Security category by the Safety at Sea International Awards 2011 organized by IHS Fairplay. The 5th annual event will be held late June onboard the historic warship HMS Belfast, London, to celebrate and honor the role that safety managers and manufacturers play in saving and protecting life at sea. Westmark’s P-Trap® is one of three nominees in the Security category, competing against Applied Weather Technology’s Globalview Fleet Management System, and VSTEP’s Port Security Awareness Training program.

This is the second maritime innovations award nomination that P-Trap® has received this year. In April, P-Trap® was named finalist in the Safety at Sea category by the Seatrade Awards. “We are delighted to see that the industry is recognizing the P-Trap® as a product that offers a credible layer of defense against pirates,” said Lodewijk Westerbeek van Eerten, inventor of the P-Trap®. “The system adds to the hardening of a vessel and, most importantly, gives crew members a safer feeling by adding a visual boarding deterrent to the outside of the vessel.”

The P-Trap® is a passive non-lethal protection measure against pirates. It was introduced to the international shipping community last year. Today, multiple shipping companies are using the product while transiting through pirate infested regions. Dockwise, a world leader in heavy marine transport, was the first company to test a prototype of the system and is currently expanding the use of P-Trap® anti-piracy product to multiple vessels of its T-Class.

The P-Trap® works to protect seagoing vessels from unwanted boarding attempts by pirates. Once deployed it offers continuous protection without monitoring and prevents seafarers from being placed in harm’s way. The system is designed to withstand multiple simultaneously performed pirate attacks by means of two heavily constructed P-Trap® booms positioned on both sides of the vessel. Conductors are lowered to the waterline carrying P-Trap® lines along the entire length of the ship. The propeller of a pirate vessel that sails within reach of the P-Trap® will become entangled in the lines, stalling the engine and immobilizing the propulsion of the attacking vessel. As a result, the P-Trap® line will break at a weak link and the pirates will have to clear their propeller.

A full-scale test was performed last year by the Royal Dutch Coast Guard in conjunction with the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Organization and the Royal Dutch Navy on the North Sea. Four simulated pirate attacks at varying speeds put the product to the test with promising results—in all cases the “pirates” were unable to come within boarding distance of the ship.


Source: WestmarkBV, May 31, 2011.