Pirates are still a REAL threat

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I recently received my edition of CruisingWworld magazine and the first story I turned to was about Pirates. Then I thought, what a great way to start blogging, talking about something that is timely and can affect yacht cruising throughout the world.

There has been alot of media play recently about the pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia and rightfully so. Pirate activity in this area is on the rise and something and EVERY vessel that travels in this region or plans to travel in this region in the future needs to be painfully aware of the pirate activity.

We all know that Pirate attacks are occurring off the coast of Somalia, but there are also Pirate attacks occurring throughout the world including the throughout Indonesia and the Caribbean Sea….. yes the Caribbean Sea. According to the International Maritime Bureau’s web site, Pirate attacks have been reported within the last 6 months off the coast of Venezuela and in/around Haiti. These attacks impacted larger bulkers and car carrying vessels, but if a pirate is willing and able to take on a 10,000-30,000 ton (or more) vessel, why wouldn’t they try taking a nice pleasure yacht, especially if they know the chances of getting aboard a yacht would be easier than a commercial vessel.

Vessels are current being strongly advised to remain at least 250nm off the coast of Somalia because of pirate attacks had been limited because the range of the pirates and their speed boats fuel limitations. Now, mother ships have been reported in the more offshore waters off the coast of Somalia and can now attack ships as far as 450-500nm off the coast. As long as the NE monsoon pattern remains relatively weak, these attacks will continue. With mother ships providing support attacks could continue through the monsoon season.

The point is, if you’re cruising along/off coastal sections in regions of the world that have the potential for pirate activity, it is very wise to keep around the clock watches while passing through these waters and make your way through these areas as fast and as safe as possible. Bob/OMNI