“Basically if you are on the water, looking at the water, or thinking about the water this coming summer, ISIS is a threat to you, your neck, and any plans you had for the weekend.” Says maritime security consultant Duke Nukem, a retired expert in explosive statements, and now president of Lockdown Logistics, a security company specializing in yacht protection. This is the bad news, he explains. As we wait for the correlary ‘good news’ statement, he interrupts the interview to take a call on a mobile phone disguised as a hand grenade, leaving us wondering if there is, in fact, any good news at all.
“The good news,” Mr. Nukem says, returning his hand-grenade-phone gently to its cradle, having helped another large yacht captain decide whether to place their new gun turret on the fore or aft deck (both it turns out), “Is we have a three-step program designed to guarantee you and your yacht will not suffer a terrorist attack.” Simply put this plan consists of the following:
1) Sell your yacht
2) Forget you ever had a yacht.
3) Enter your bespoke bunker in the foothills of Colorado and don’t come out until you hear the secret knock as outlined in the Lockdown Logistics field guide.
While hard to argue that these steps won’t guarantee absolute security against a terrorist incursion – and conveniently against other such pitfalls as hurricanes, meteor strikes, and steadily increasing annual expenses as the yacht ages – these measures wouldn’t seem to offer a remedy to the threat of an ISIS attack for the wantonly reckless individuals who will insist on getting in a boat this coming summer. The question is put to Mr. Nukem’s team of senior managers, what of these?
“Luckily the various armed forces of the world continue to underpay their personnel, and send them to shithole places where they stand a decent chance of getting blown up.” Explains Smith Smith (real name withheld), team leader in Advanced Military Solutions for Lockdown Logistics. “This means that for any yacht thinking of an incursion into ‘enemy territory’, or the Mediterranean as you civilians call it, there is a large, well-trained workforce of professional soldiers available to man your vessel on contract. They can deploy in compact teams of one or two platoons, and will lay down a protective envelope of cover-fire while you swim, sail, or sleep in peace and comfort.” He adds that while this doesn’t guarantee your vessel won’t get attacked – he provides us with our third brochure of the day outlining the 3-step program to emphasize what will – it does mean you will have a better chance of actually surviving the upcoming season with most of the guests and crew you set out with.
These recommendations and prescribed action plans have met with mixed receptions from yacht captains and managers. While some are quick to embrace the emerging new ethos of luxitary (luxury-military for the uninitiated), others are less enthused. “Of course I can see that ISIS and other extremist groups pose a potential threat to yachts,” says one captain who asked not to be named and would only speak to us from behind a newspaper while speaking out of the side of his mouth. “Theoretically they pose a potential threat to my cat, my newsagent, my grandmother, and the very fiber of society. But what I can also see is that using this threat to create a culture of fear has ancillary benefits to a number of companies looking to get ahead in a tight market. I’m getting email blasts from suppliers of medical support about this for god’s sake. Yes, I can see a relation between on-call medical advice and an increase in the capability of groups dedicated to extreme violence, but at the same time I find it tenuous at best to imply that this is a reason I should sign up for a particular service. And at worst I think it smacks of profit-making by excessive fear-raising.” He then reminded us that we never had this conversation before disappearing back to his vessel to practice evasion techniques.