Largest floating fortress for Chelsea owner

October 6th, 2008 - 11:20 am ICT by IANS  

ChelseaLondon, Oct 6 (IANS) What would a billionaire do if pirates tried to board his yacht? In the case of Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club, he would quietly slip out in his personal submarine.The submarine is just a part of an array of latest security gizmos adorning Eclipse, the superlative personal yacht commissioned by Abramovich, who is one of the richest Russians.

At 200 million pounds ($350 million) and a 550 foot span, Eclipse will be the most luxurious and largest of all sea charters in its category.

It is being built secretly at the shipyard in Germany that produced the World War II battleship the Bismarck, Daily Mail reports.

The yacht will include radar equipment designed to warn the crew of incoming rockets, together with bullet-proof windows and armour plating on the bridge and around the 41-year-old Russian tycoon’s cabin.

There will be twin helicopter pads and anti-bugging equipment, while the crew of 70 will include former Special Air Service and Special Boat Service personnel.

It will also have cabins for 24 guests as well as a cinema, aquarium, disco and hospital.

If intruders make it on board the Eclipse, named so because it is intended to overshadow all other private boats, Abramovich could escape in a yellow submarine which can dive to 160 feet.

Eclipse is Abramovich’s answer to growing international piracy. According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirates attacked 269 vessels last year, took nearly 300 hostages and killed five people.

Even the Mediterranean, where Abramovich usually keeps his yachts, is becoming less safe. In August, a gang boarded a 20 million pound yacht off Corsica and robbed guests and crew of 100,000 pounds.

Under maritime law, non-naval ships are banned from carrying firearms. Some yacht owners are adopting high-powered water cannon, earsplitting klaxons and lubricant foam intended to make unwanted boarders slip.The submarine is just a part of an array of latest security gizmos adorning Eclipse, the superlative personal yacht commissioned by Abramovich, who is one of the richest Russians.

At 200 million pounds ($350 million) and a 550 foot span, Eclipse will be the most luxurious and largest of all sea charters in its category.

It is being built secretly at the shipyard in Germany that produced the World War II battleship the Bismarck, Daily Mail reports.

The yacht will include radar equipment designed to warn the crew of incoming rockets, together with bullet-proof windows and armour plating on the bridge and around the 41-year-old Russian tycoon’s cabin.

There will be twin helicopter pads and anti-bugging equipment, while the crew of 70 will include former Special Air Service and Special Boat Service personnel.

It will also have cabins for 24 guests as well as a cinema, aquarium, disco and hospital.

If intruders make it on board the Eclipse, named so because it is intended to overshadow all other private boats, Abramovich could escape in a yellow submarine which can dive to 160 feet.

Eclipse is Abramovich’s answer to growing international piracy. According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirates attacked 269 vessels last year, took nearly 300 hostages and killed five people.

Even the Mediterranean, where Abramovich usually keeps his yachts, is becoming less safe. In August, a gang boarded a 20 million pound yacht off Corsica and robbed guests and crew of 100,000 pounds.

Under maritime law, non-naval ships are banned from carrying firearms. Some yacht owners are adopting high-powered water cannon, earsplitting klaxons and lubricant foam intended to make unwanted boarders slip.

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