So, the fun toy that was bought for Christmas could become a dangerous threat if not used properly and within regulations. Incidents of drone misuse or invasive use of drones are on the rise and, with rising sales of drones of all sizes, this is already becoming a growing problem. “It is happening a lot more than people actually realise and this is the critical thing,” continues Gill. “We believe that it’s a bit of an iceberg scenario where there’s only one tenth of the activity actually recognised and even less being reported in the news. It’s one of those things that is growing at a phenomenal rate.”
But what do drones have to do with superyachts and why are owners increasingly concerned about the potential threats they pose? The biggest and most obvious threat is to privacy. For superyacht owners, privacy is of paramount importance and drones, whether they are being flown by innocent users or used invasively by paparazzi, can be a source of great concern. “It’s always a worry to yacht owners as to who is behind the controls” says Gill. “It could be an innocent user trying to get a picture or it could also be something more malign where someone is looking at who is on board and what security protocols the boat employs or even to deliver a weapon or an explosive device – the owner of the boat and the crew could be at risk.”
For more complex deployments, Drone Defence offers systems that can be fully installed and integrated into a boat’s security system during a refit or can be specified at new build stage. This is a permanent installation and renders the boat drone-safe.
The concern over the drone threat to superyacht owners and users is a very real one but there is some confusion over what is available in terms of solutions and some providers that may be more reliable than others. “We have a UK-made and designed capability, a solution available for this season that will absolutely protect the boat and can be available within weeks of ordering that can solve the immediate issue. We provide, economical and effective solutions for a wide range of customers including the UK government and overseas. We have a proven track record in the market,” concludes Gill.