Tag Archives: Piracy

WARNING LETTER: “Killing hostages is now part of the rules”

klaxonstrongFrom gCaptain:

This Warning Notice, published by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), is intended for Yacht Skippers considering a passage through the Gulf of Aden, its approaches and the Indian Ocean north of 12 degrees south and west of 78 degrees east. It is the third such notice to be published on this subject and reflects the latest situation as at June 2011.

Go to gCaptain


EU NAVFOR Releases Suspected Pirates After Prosecution Attempts Prove Unsuccessful

The headline would have one believe a prosecutor failed to make a case. The facts are worse. The complete article is worth a read, but the following frames the dilemma. Basically, for want of will no prosecution was even attempted. [The reasons may have been valid, but the optics don’t bode well for solving the problem.]

  • Once suspected pirates are detained, and as EU NAVFOR has no authority to prosecute suspected pirates, it has to seek a State willing to prosecute them. Continue reading

SaveOurSeafarers (Counter-piracy)

This website appears to be legitimate and offers a means to communicate with law and policy makers. The communication is scripted, but as with many of these efforts, the numbers responses speak as loudly as the content.

USCG Warning

klaxonstrongPiracy Warning from USCG Boating Safety Resource Center

Outside Editorial Comment: Piracy

From George Day’s Cruising Compass #238 (Blue Water Sailing Magazine).  I highlighted the penultimate paragraph because of what I posted on accountability on 9 Feb 2011.

From Cruising Compass #238

“A Special Note from Our Publisher: In Harm’s Way

The report on Tuesday morning of the capture of a Danish flag cruising boat in the Arabian Sea near Socotra that was crewed by four adults and three children is yet another tragedy. This incident of piracy comes on the heels of the murder last week of four Americans cruisers who had been captured by pirates off the coast of Oman in the same region. In the last year in these waters, more than 1,000 seafarers have been captured and held for ransom by the marauding bands of Somali pirates. As ever sailor knows, this is the most dangerous stretch of ocean on the planet. I sailed through these waters 15 years ago and did so with great caution and trepidation. The threat to sailors is much worse now.

Obviously, it is time for the world to step forward in a dramatic way to deal with the escalating violence against innocent people. But efforts to rein in the pirates are complicated by the thousands of hostages in captivity whose lives would be put in danger by any direct military assault on Somalia and the surrounding waters.

For our part, the best way to help ourselves and help the cause of defeating the pirates is to avoid the area altogether. For sailors in Southeast Asia who want and need to head west, the southern route around Africa is the only good option. The route leads south-southwest to Cocos and then southwest to Mauritius and Reunion Islands, with a landfall in Durban, South Africa. There have been attacks as far as a thousand miles from Somalia and the circle of danger is expanding, but to our knowledge, there have been few or no attacks along the southern route from Asia to South Africa.

There have been very public pleas from cruisers for naval escorts across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Frankly, we disagree. Cruisers choose to sail for pleasure and choose to sail through dangerous waters of our own volition. Self-reliance and constant vigilance have always been the most essential qualities in a good seaman, and that has not changed. The route west from Asia to Europe via Suez is now essentially blocked, so we need to choose a different route. We don’t need to put the lives of our professional sailors, pilots and soldiers at risk to protect our pleasure cruises. We don’t need to put ourselves in harm’s way.

Others have different views. I hope you will share your thoughts with us and the Cruising Compass family by posting here or writing to

George Day, Publisher”

Boycott Threat To Areas Hit By Pirates*

In a previous post (and in dialog on Attainable Adventure Cruising) I posited:

“Until sufficient merchant seamen decide to take up farming rather than endure the piracy risk such that ships cannot be crewed, the ransoms will remain a fee passed on to the consumer.”

So I found it interesting to see the following news item this morning:

Boycott threat to areas hit by pirates

Your Freight and Logistics News Service