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Bolina booms provide security for major global events


Bolina booms provide security and protection for major global events, such as the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg.

The Group of Twenty, or G20, is an intergovernmental forum comprising of 19 countries and the European Union, working to address major issues around the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development, amongst others.

With the G20 comprising of most of the world’s largest economies, and including both industrialised and developing nations, its annual summits are amongst the biggest events on the planet, as they involve each member’s head of government or state, finance minister, foreign minister, and other high-ranking officials. Other countries, international organisations, and nongovernmental organisations are also invited to attend the summits, some on a permanent basis.

Given the sheer size and scale of the summits, and the number of high-level dignitaries attending them, it is inevitable that there are constant security threats and concerns, especially as they are magnets for protestors drawn there by the presence of the international media and global decision makers.

At the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg, for example, the German government deployed more than 15,000 police officers, 4,000 federal law enforcement officers, 3,000 emergency vehicles, 11 helicopters, 153 dogs, 62 police horses and 200 communication police officers to protect 41 top ranking politicians and 6,500 delegation members. More than 3,000 journalists covered the event, while over 100,000 protestors made their presence known during the summit.

Putting in place effective and reliable measures

Given the many access points and potential weak spots in the security cordon around the city, it was crucial that effective and reliable measures were put in place to ensure peace of mind for the police and security forces.

To this end, Bolina was approached by the German Police to help secure Hamburg’s main harbour, and to create an exclusion zone that would keep waterborne protestors away from strategic locations and world leaders. Bolina was chosen for this vital task due to the company’s expertise and successful delivery on a number of high-profile security projects, including London City Airport, the London Olympics in 2012, and NATO summits.

During the G20 Summit, our booms were highly successful in preventing activists from entering the exclusion zone with police expressing their delight at the performance of booms, while also commending our team for the service provided.

More than 400 metres of Port Security Booms were deployed during the G20 Summit in Hamburg.

Bolina Security Booms explained

At Bolina, we provide two kinds of Security Booms: Port and Airport. These booms provide effective protection of critical installations and vessels, with their tubular backbone making them incredibly strong, having been designed to take loads in excess of 50 tonnes.

Bolina Port Security Booms
Bolina Port Security Booms with rotating steel spikes

The Port Security Booms are available with rotating steel spikes that discourage boats from trying to get over the booms by jumping through the gaps between the floats. Our patented latching system that allows the booms to be opened and closed automatically are also available for installation on these booms.

It is essential for these booms to be so sturdy and secure as a fast-travelling boat is a serious threat. If a barrier is not able to stop a boat in under one second, it is essentially useless, as the vessel will be able to get close enough to cause serious damage.

Our designs dissipate the energy generated at impact, while remaining in place and buoyant to help prevent a follow-up attack. The internal closed cell polyurethane foam filling ensures that the floats are virtually unsinkable, while the quality polyethylene material used for the outer skin makes them highly resistant to environmental wear and tear, ensuring their longevity and performance.

The booms also come with several other safety features, including enough freeboard to restrain craft, while also allowing authorised security vessels to operate with ease behind the boom. In addition, all stressed components are tested and certified before deployment, with no moving parts, such as swivels, put under stress during operation.

Keeping the booms in place is another critical element of any security project, and at Bolina, we utilise a tried and tested through-chain system that works incredibly well to limit any damage and prevent any weak points opening up along the chain.

The tubes containing the chain system remain clear of the water, and since the floats themselves cannot be submerged, it is incredibly difficult for crafts to pass over the boom, while lifting them up is also a challenging and cumbersome task, due to their weight and circumference – the floats have a diameter of 1,000mm, and are 1,250mm long. The tubes have a diameter of 114mm. Furthermore, the booms also come with a 400mm deep curtain that is equipped with ballast strips.

News broadcast of the G20 summit shows the boom in action:

Following the success of our security booms at the 2017 Hamburg G20 Summit, Bolina has successfully deployed both Port and Airport Security Booms at many different projects and strategic locations. We are in constant discussions with a number of clients around the world, about how we can best serve them, through the provision of heavy-duty floating security barriers. We even offer optional extras to increase their effectiveness, with lighting, signage, lifelines, automated alarm systems, and debris deflection panels part of our service offering.

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Bolina Port Security Booms provide safety & security around the world
Airport Security Booms provide an added measure of protection for aircraft
Bolina Chain Safety Booms provide durable safety solutions