VIDEO: Here's how to stop Med migrant traffickers' boats: British firm shows off invention
PEOPLE traffickers can be stopped in their tracks on the high seas by a non-lethal British system, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was told this week.
PUBLISHED: 17:01, Fri, Apr 24, 2015 | UPDATED: 17:23, Sun, Apr 26, 2015
IGThe British-made Buccaneer can put a stop to the migrant tragedies
The BCB International Boat Stopping Systems involves firing a high-tensile rope across the path of the suspect vessel.
This bring the boat to a halt within seconds by getting tangled round its propellers or the outboard motor.
The systems, which cost between £5,000 and £35,000, can also be fished out of the water and reused.
Mr Fallon was shown the boat stoppers, which can halt anything from rigid inflatables to larger vessels, on an election visit to Cardiff.
They were inspired by road stingers used by the police to catch speeding and runaway cars.
And they were showcased following the recent tragedies in the Mediterranean involving flimsy boats packed with refugees heading for Europe.
Last weekend up to 900 Africans crammed into a small fishing boat by people traffickers drowned when it capsized.
IGThe boat's mechanisms can force the traffickers to a halt
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BCB Boss, Andrew Howell, said: “No one wants a repeat of the recent tragic events in the South Mediterranean.
"These tragedies have shone a light on the inadequacy of methods currently used to stop non-compliant boats, which usually consists of either ramming a boat or shooting at the engines.
"Both of these options present grave and unacceptable dangers to the lives of desperate passengers crammed into overcrowded boats.
"Our versatile boat stopping systems will stop large and small vessels. They are non-lethal, safe and can be deployed quickly.
"They could be used by merchant ships or Local navies close to the North African Coast to stop human trafficking at source; thereby preventing the unnecessary loss of life linked with the growing number of attempted perilous sea journeys in the Mediterranean."
This could be used to prevent the unnecessary loss of life linked with the growing number of attempted perilous sea journeys in the Mediterranean
The three main systems, Barracuda, Buccaneer and Sea Stinger, all operate in the same way.
Pneumatic launchers use compressed air to fire a Dyneema cable - which is 15 times stronger than steel - across the path of a suspect vessel.
When the boat passes over, the cable wraps round its engine or propellers and drag chutes on either end act as sea anchors which means the boat is rapidly bought to a halt.
The Barracuda uses a hand-held launcher while the two bigger systems use mounted "cannons" that can be fired from either a patrol ship or the shore.
The Sea Stinger has a 200 yard (metre) cable which can be fired from 500 yards (metres) away.