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Braking is better than breaking…

How does a law enforcement officer stop a speeding boat without resorting to life-endangering force? A Florida-based company has come up with an ingenious solution that has now been installed in the Port of Tampa. Gary Gimson reports.

Many port authorities and coast guard agencies are faced with a dilemma: how to stop or intercept non-compliant craft within their jurisdictions without endangering lives – not only those on board the craft but, more importantly, among the general boating public.

Well, one Florida-based company, Maritime Arresting Technologies (MAT), of St Petersburg, believes it has the perfect answer. This company is the inventor and local manufacturer of a device called the Boatstopper. One of MAT’s leading lights is quirky British designer and chief technology officer Matthew Searle, who spoke to Caribbean Maritime about his pet project.

“Many methods have been tried to stop boats – ramming the engines off, shooting the engines, using entanglement nets – but all of these are problematic,” said Mr Searle.

Read more: Boatstopper