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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich installs anti-paparazzi shield on new vessel

Posted By: Staff

London, September 20 (ANI): Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has reportedly installed an anti-paparazzi shield on his newest vessel to protect his privacy.

The Chelsea football club owner's vessel, called Eclipse, is said to be the world's biggest and most expensive private yacht, measuring up to 557ft.

The high-tech system on it relies on lasers to block any digital camera lenses nearby.

Infrared lasers detect the electronic light sensors in nearby cameras, known as charge-coupled devices.

When the system detects such a device, it fires a focused beam of light at the camera, disrupting its ability to record a digital image.

The beams can also be activated manually by security guards if they spot a photographer loitering, reports Times Online.

The boat, more than doubled in cost to 724million pounds since it was commissioned three years ago, glided out of port in Hamburg last week on its maiden voyage.

On board were 150 engineers and maritime experts who will put it through its paces over 10 days.

"A great white castle on water" is the expression a witness used to describe the boat.

The yacht boasts two helipads, two swimming pools - the larger of which doubles up as a dance floor when drained - and 6ft-wide home cinema screens in all 24 guest cabins.

The master suite features a retractable roof, allowing Abramovich and his girlfriend Daria Zukhova, a former model, to sleep under the stars.

Considering a rise in piracy on the high seas, the yacht has been equipped with a hull and windows capable of withstanding a missile attack, and a mini-submarine for emergencies.

Soon, it will be fitted with a missile defence system in France.

Abramovich, 42, has been making regular trips to Hamburg to oversee construction and has demanded modifications that have led to its cost rocketing from £317m.

He is due to take delivery of the yacht on December 22, treating himself to the ultimate Christmas present.

He is expected to show off his new toy at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. (ANI)

Story first published: Sunday, September 20, 2009, 15:29 [IST]
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