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Old 07-20-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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http://www.noonsite.com/PDF_Files/PiracyintheRedSea
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:22 AM   #2
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Been There - done that.

I'm sure I've written in this very forum of our own personal account of staring eye to eye with sea-going despirados enroute to the Red Sea from Oman.

And I'd do it all again just to stand in the gaze of the Sphinx once more.

Don't worry about it - there certainly are pirates and huricanes out there...but they only kill fools and the un-lucky.

The joys of cruising far outweigh the immagined risks.

To Life!

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Old 07-21-2007, 06:40 AM   #3
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Yes, I am trying to pass Harbor Pilot for # of posts
Ken,

You are funny!

Well, in recent days just past, we had three active tropical storms, brewing in the Pacific at the same time, with reports on each one every 6 hours, usually(**), plus related weather discussion, and education, which I have hardly started on yet.

**Usually every 6 hours: The storm reports are staggered some by an hour or two. I missed a few, sometimes falling asleep in the COM Shack! ....waking up to go to the head, and observing a mirror image of asdf jkl; imprinted on my forehead!

Trust me. The number of posts is not all it is cracked up to be, or appears to be. But if that is a goal, knock yourself out. Grab your recipe book, and see you in the galley.... beans, baked beans, beans and rice, beans and beans, hill of beans......

Thanks for the interesting link about Pirate Alley.

Jeff
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:29 PM   #4
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Interesting Analysis Of Piracy In Gulf Of Aden & Red Sea
Please all note that this is simply a collation of data from various sources by one person and is NOT an official document. I personally query whether a couple of reported "attacks on yachts" were really attacks and real acts of piracy.

The danger with documents like this is that they are very easy to publish on the Net and become accepted as true fact as a result.

GO CRUISING!
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Old 07-22-2007, 04:05 PM   #5
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An email just received from the Net controller of MMNETSEA which confirms that reports such as these require some serious study and confirmation before accepting them as "gospel". It also bears noting that one of this forum's members (Nausikaa) has just completed a tour of duty in the region - training local security forces to improve the security situation in the region.

Net Controller's Email:

"Having taken the actual reports from the 3 of the yachts who had difficulties I find that almost every line in Simon Blundell's "report" is inaccurate - It is so bad that I feel it needs a response!"

Quote:
Author's Analysis in Red

Reviewed in Blue

Factual Data Provided in Green

=========================================

Re: Red Sea / Gulf of Aden Piracy

Simon's Analysis and Suggestions

as @ July 2007


This is the result of my personal research into Red Sea piracy. The conclusions and strategy are mine based upon all the available details.

Links to good official web sources …

ICC Commercial Crime Services:
http://www.icc-ccs.org/main/index.php

Imray: http://www.imray.com

Noonsite: http://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy/RedSea2007



Brief

I believe there is a real threat of piracy which must be considered and planned for.




The situation can be broken into two areas: the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden (known as "Pirate Alley"). What can be expected in this regard differs markedly between these two areas:

Red Sea

Although there are many reports of incidents in the Red Sea, none have been confirmed as "piracy".

The incidents seem to be either:



1. Paranoia - when an otherwise innocent fishing boat approaches, sometimes selling fish or asking for fuel etc; This appears to be the "hot spot" for attacks.

Hard to understand how a "hot spot" for attacks is paranoia ?




All reported attacks here have indicated opportunism from people smugglers between Somalia and Yemen.

Unlikely that the people smugglers from Somalia and Yemen are in the Red Sea!

These attacks were by naughty military personnel who where later caught and punished. Red dots indicate locations of confirmed pirate attacks.

The author then decides that they were not from Somalia or Yemen but just local naughty boys.



2. Opportunistic fishermen hoping for an easy mark – these can be ignored or easily outbluffed;

How did they behave – what did they want ???



3. Military craft trying to "bully" for baksheesh – these too should be out-bluffed. Two separate military crew have been caught and punished following reports of their actions.

Where did they come from? Who punished them? For what?



Gulf of Aden

This is where true piracy does occur. There have been 5 or 6 confirmed pirate attacks in the last five or six years,


The author is not sure if there were 5 or 6 attacks – Also, some doubt regarding the number of years???



Amongst an estimated 600 pleasure craft passing through the region – so about a 1% chance.

As there are at least 400 per year transiting the Gulf of Aden in one direction or the other every year – which means based on the author's numbers using the worst scenario of 6 "attacks" in 5 years @ 400 per year = 0.33% or 1 in 333 chances.



The attacks are always threatening and usually involve gunfire.

As there is only one incident involving gunfire, it would useful to document any others. Also there is no evidence that the "attacks are always threatening" The fact is that the majority of incidents are reported as a yacht being followed by fast moving small craft. This is not unexpected as hundreds of fishing craft operate out of Southern Yemeni ports. These boats usually have 2 high powered outboard engines which can move these craft at max speeds, estimated at 25 knots (thus easily outstripping the average hull speed of a displacement yacht of 6/7 knots).



Mostly, gunfire is in the form of warning shots,

Again, the analysis does not provide any evidence of warning shots being fired.



Although one confirmed incident involved automatic gunfire into the hull of the yacht (wounding two crew).


Whilst there is a report of a yacht being hit in an incident – there is no report of 2 crew being wounded.

In one case, the boat owner was a retired US Marine and he returned fire (with his shotgun) – including shooting two pirates as they were boarding his yacht over the stern, and perhaps hitting another in the cockpit of pirate boat. In this case the pirates were scared off.

In this incident, which took place around 5pm on the 8th March 2005 at 13 degs 28 min North x 48 degs 07mins East . 2 boats attacked the yachts Mahdi and Gandulf – No WARNING shots were fired. The attackers fired with automatic weapons (believe to be Kalishnekov 7.62 intermediate) at Gandulf in particular. Gandulf being steel was not holed. Gandulf during the action rammed one of attacker's beam on – close to capsizing it. The yacht Mahdi's returned fire with an Pump-action Winchester 12 guage shotgun firing 00 buckshot (AAAs or SSG) It is understood that one or more of the attackers who were in the boat attempting to board Gandulf were hit by Mahdi's gunfire – but no proof. The action by the Skippers of Mahdi and Gandulf drove off the attackers.



One case involved a small convoy of yachts. One of the yachts rammed a pirate boat mid-ships, while another was otherwise deterring attempts at being boarded. Eventually the pirates went away – possibly due to the imminent approach of a cargo vessel.

This "case" is the same as the one above, the analyst just duplicates the one incident.



In all incidents in which the pirates got onboard, they stole small valuables (watches, wallets, phones etc) and carefully removed all radio equipment (mostly VHF). In some cases the boats were ransacked, however items such as laptops, stereos were not touched. In all such cases, the crew were not harmed in any way.

The analyst is careful not to reveal how many incidents like this occurred and when !


Conclusions & Suggested Strategy

Pirate crews appeared ill-at-ease, in some cases were described as looking frightened or scared themselves.

How the analyst determined this is remarkable.



Typically there is only one gun between them, the rest carry knives.

Since the average number of people on these boats is understood to be 3, 1 gun in evidence is probably enough.

The distance off-shore does not appear to be a factor as most of the pirates seem to be involved in people smuggling from Somalia to Yemen.

No evidence has been provided that these boats are people smugglers – they could be 'innocent' drug runners.



The pirate craft are mostly described as 20 metre timber boats with inboards and appear capable of reaching speeds of 20-25 knots. The boats have tarps draped over the bows (probably concealing identification numbers).

If you can't see under the tarps how do assume that there are numbers – in any event if they were Somali

people smuggling boats why would they have numbers?



A
nd have a distinct lack of any "tools of the trade" such as fishing nets. There is a belief that some operate from a "mothership".

Long line fishing is the game here.



The craft do not appear to have any sophisticated equipment (RADAR etc, and possibly not even VHF).

Very few subsistence fishermen have marine electronics on board – nothing unusual !



Important note: the pirate boats are unconcerned about causing damage to your yacht when they come alongside.

Nothing unusual !



Sailing Plan


My study and analysis of all confirmed attacks (and most of the unconfirmed incidents) results in the following personal conclusions (If I were captain of my own ship in these waters, this would be my strategy):

Travel through the danger zone at night, with no running lights, and travel mid-week (all confirmed attacks in the Gulf of Aden occurred on weekends).

The day that the Yachts Gandulf and Mahdi were attacked – was a Tuesday!



(Note that I will have my portable AIS system onboard, so we will "see" any commercial vessels at night, and can be fairly confident that any military vessels will see us on RADAR) It is considered highly unsafe to travel within 50 miles of shore, and certainly stay out of Somalian waters.
I am guessing that traveling mid-way down the Gulf of Aden at fastest speed is a good strategy.

Being at maximum distance from land may remove the temptation for an opportunistic people smuggler to use too much fuel in pursuit.
There may be a benefit of traveling in a convoy, however this is no guarantee of safety (convoys of yachts have been attacked).

Convoy

Although this is the accepted method for traveling through "Pirate Alley" – I suspect that this makes little difference overall. On at least two confirmed attacks – the yachts were part of a convoy. I would suggest that the illusion of safety with a convoy is simply a statistical certainty. IE, if 99% of boats are NOT attacked, and (say) 80% of boats travel in convoy – then most boats traveling in convoy will not be attacked – but this doesn't mean that traveling in convoy reduces (removes) the chance of attack! Nevertheless, there is certainly no disadvantage to traveling in convoy.


This paragraph and it's suggestion are gobbligook – the analyst can only come up with an average of 1 incident per year! How does one apply statistics to 1 ?



Coordinates of Incidents that have been properly confirmed are provided below to show the relatively SMALL area in which they have occurred :-


a. 13° 30' N 47° 52' E

b. 13° 28' N 48° 07' E

c. 13° 47' N 48° 13' E

d. 13° 35' N 48° 19' E

e. 13° 39' N 48° 26' E

f. 13° 13' N 48° 53' E

g. 13° 11' N 48° 40' E

h. 14° 06' N 48° 55' E


The Centre of this rectangle formed by the above coordinates is at

13° 30 ' N 48° 18' E


pirates2.jpg

NOTE:[/b] Cruiserlog can provide the recommended waypoints to transit the Gulf of Aden From East to West and the reciprocal course – apply by registering with forum member "Lighthouse".

[/i]


Protective measures

All possible distress communication (except EPIR should be activated immediately – flares,

VHF voice, DSC distress, INMARSAT distress etc. Certainly the best chance of avoiding a "real and imminent" danger is to catch the attention of a Coalition warship, or commercial tanker. (Coalition aircraft also monitor civilian marine VHF frequencies in this area).

Some evidence exists that strong resistance is effective in some cases, although individual cases may determine that aggression is not the wisest course of action. This should be the decision of the Captain (or owner?) and categorically decided and passed to all crew on-spec.

Preparations should certainly be made for the event of being boarded. Valuables should be EXTREMELY well hidden (as some boats were ransacked), with some desirables (cash, watches, phones, etc) left in easy reach as decoys (the thought being that they can quickly load up some "booty" then swiftly depart). I would certainly carry a spare (hidden) VHF radio – as the built-in radio is definitely going to be stolen if you're boarded. Perhaps a "dummy" radio can be loosely installed while transiting the Gulf of Aden as a decoy.

Although at least one confirmed attack had been defeated using guns – the topic of carrying guns onboard is a deeper issue than this single consideration! However it does appear as if aggressively resisting can be an effective measure to prevent boarding (the pirates will wait for a "softer" target) – nevertheless this does increase a chance of the situation deteriorating.

Personally, I would have SEVERAL flare-guns onboard, with much "ammunition" (enough for all crew to be able to "practice" and get comfortable with firing the flare gun). A small caliber rifle could provide an advantage as it can be used while the pirate boat is still at a safe distance (particularly if the pirates are in inflatables – as has been reported on a few occasions – but these are probably errant military personnel so you might not want to shoot at them). The flare guns should be used immediately to fire into the air to bring attention to the area, then can be used to repel any boats by firing directly at the timber attack boats.

A supply of kerosene Molotov Cocktails have also been used as an effective defense/deterrent. I would also get the "art department" (Henry and Lucian?) to make up a couple of dummy hand-held rocket launchers (ie, out of PVC tubing, cardboard and camouflage paint). I suspect that few aggressors would come close if a couple of sturdy looking crew are standing on deck holding rocket-launchers!!



The above measures have a few suggestions of merit – most have little practical application. It could be that the analyst has little experience of cruising or military tactics.



Well, that's all for now! Thanks – it's been fun?

Simon Blundell

mail AT simonblundell.com
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
An email just received from the Net controller of MMNETSEA which confirms that reports such as these require some serious study and confirmation before accepting them as "gospel". It also bears noting that one of this forum's members (Nausikaa) has just completed a tour of duty in the region - training local security forces to improve the security situation in the region.

Net Controller's Email:

"Having taken the actual reports from the 3 of the yachts who had difficulties I find that almost every line in Simon Blundell's "report" is inaccurate - It is so bad that I feel it needs a response!"

[/size][/font]
I would really like to hear Nausikaa's comments on the report. If I remember correctly he didn't find a single bad guy while he was patrolling the gulf of Aden, or the Red Sea.

I conducted a few in depth interviews in January with the Naval military commander of Aden, the Harbour master of Aden, and the director of Naval Affairs for Yemmen. All three claimed there was no piracy in the Gulf, other than a few incidents against commercial vessels near the Somali coast. Although these three men did have some vested interest in persuading the cruising community that the gulf of Aden was a safe place to be.

Richard's comments (MMNETSEA) and opinion would have a great deal more weight than Mr. Blundell's.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
Please all note that this is simply a collation of data from various sources by one person and is NOT an official document. I personally query whether a couple of reported "attacks on yachts" were really attacks and real acts of piracy.

The danger with documents like this is that they are very easy to publish on the Net and become accepted as true fact as a result.

GO CRUISING!
Speeaking to a couple of old hands who have traversed the area about 9 times in all it seems likemost Arabian countries everbody has a AK47 as symbol of their status.

From their experience the wave the AK47 as a hello, or an acknowledgement of who they are, aveiled threat may be.

Their suggestion was to wave a rifle back or a simile of one.

They usually back off when they know you are armed or appear to be. Lots of symbolism about guns in the Arab world.

Lost of Fishermen don't have AK47s but want to get some ciggatettes off you or bata with you,

A couple told me they posed as 2 yachts over the VHF ie calling each other telling them that a fishing boat is close to them and may be a worry and telling them they are 10Nm away.

Any way an interesting discussion but always keep a cool head and don't jump to conclusions
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:10 AM   #8
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OK folks....my comments onthe report.

Firstly, as a maritime intelligence analyst, I find the lack of supporting information very surprising. The author states that the analysis is a result of his own personal research but fails to indicate the sources of the information he has used thereby making it difficult if not impossible to corroborate the information. Nor does the author provide any REAL statistics of his own findings, i.e. there are no tables showing the position, dates and time of attacks (or claimed attacks) nor are there tables showing the type of vessels involved, crewing figures etc. etc.

Dealing with the rest of the analysis in the same order as it is presented, I would confirm that the area indicated as a hot-spot for piracy is probably right as it is this area that many boats carrying Somali refugees transit on their way to and from Yemen. ( I will return later to this issue).

RED SEA:

This area is frequently patrolled by the Yemeni Coast Guard. There is also intensive foreign civilian and military traffic in this area. The Yemeni armed services have also a higher degree of presence in the area due to border desputes. Foreign fishing vessels (Egyptian) also operate here.

All in all, the intensity of operations in this area should reduce the likelihood of piracy. I concur with the report on this point.

GULF OF ADEN:

The author of the report states that there have been 5 or 6 (which is it?) confirmed pirate attacks in the last five or six (again, which is it?) years. He also estimates that about 600 pleasure craft have transited the region (is that in a five or six year period?) I am curious to know where the statistic of transit frequency has been obtained.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pirate crews appeared ill at ease - This is nought but a subjective assesment and not a conclusion. Nor can I draw any conclusion from this particularly as those subject to the attacks are under high stress at the time.

Typically there is only one gun between them - Maybe, but it should be pointed out that the carrying of weapons in both Somalia and Yemen is the norm rather than the exception to the rule. On its own, the pressence of armed people should not be taken as an indication of piracy in this area.

The pirate craft are mostly described as 20 metre timber boats with inboards and appear capable of reaching speeds of 20 - 25 knots - Now this is a real eye-opener. The vast majoprity of Yemeni fishing boats are fitted with outboards and are capable of speeds of around 25 knots but they are in the 8 - 10 metre size range. Vessels of about 20 metres do exist and they are fitted with inboards but they are not capable of achieving planing speeds. In other words they are displacement vessels and their maximum hull speed can not be more than 20 knots. In reality, these are heavy vessels with real "workhourse" engines unable to make more than about 9 - 11 knots. In a year and a half in the area I have not seen one wooden vessel of this size capable of attaining these speeds.

The lack of apparant "tools of the trade" is not surprising. If the pirates are fisherment they will have been either long-lining or fishing with traps (for cuttlefish). The traps would be in the sea as making an attack from a boat loaded with large wire-mesh traps would be difficult but more likely they are long-liners as trap fishing is limited to the shallow coastal waters. Even more likely, in my opinion, is that the pirates are smugglers, not fishermen and therefore have no use for fishing gear.

That the vessels have tarps draped over their names / permit numbers etc. is fairly obvious. Even fishermen in first world countries try that trick when fishing illegally!

The lack of sophisticated nav and coms equipment is usual for vessels in this area, especially subsistance fishers.

SAILING PLAN:

The author of the report recommends travelling through the "danger zone" (no definition of this in the text) at night. Given the distance from Aden to Makulla as indicated in the report to be about 400 NM this would appear to be impossible if your yacht does less than 40 knots. If you can make 40 knots then you will have no problems with pirates making only 20 - 25 knots!

I agree that the best policy is to stay well off-shore thereby reducing the chance of opportunistic attacks. In general, I would follow the direct shipping route from Bab-el-Mandeb as taken by the very large number of vessels on their way to and from the Far East.

Regarding people smugglers, it is fair to say that this is a big problem for Yemen and that the Coast Guard regularly patrol the area between Aden and Makulla, in which ports there are coast guard bases. It is my opinion (not backed up with statistics) that the vast majority of incidents of piracy in this area are perpatrated by smugglers. Most fishermen are honest people trying to make a living in a hostile environment. Smugglers, on the other hand, are by definition not law abiding citizens. In the case of smugglers of people in this area they are far worse than "normal" smugglers as they frequently force their passengers into the sea some 100 metres or so off Yemeni beaches in order to avoid being caught by shore patrols. Many Somalis have died trying to make it to the shore. Anyone prepared to do commit such an atrocity would have no qualms about the odd pirate attack.

PROTECTIVE MEASSURES:

I am not prepared to make recommendations as to how others should protect themselves but would like to comment upon the author's statement that "agressively resisting can be an effective measure to prevent boarding". I am sure it can if you have a large and strong crew suitably armed but it could also be equivilent to signing your own death warrent.

In general, I agree with the naval military commander of Aden and the port's harbour master as well as the director of naval affairs that the priacy in the Gulf originates in Somalia but as the smugglers (both of people and goods) are smuggling to Yemen then there is a equally good chance of meeting up with the pirates on either side of the Gulf.

MY ADVICE:

As mentioned earlier, I would advise yachts to stick to the main shipping routes. Failing that, favour the Yemeni coast rather than the Somali.

Aye

Stephen
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:56 PM   #9
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HI All,

This is an outline of our attack, and not of any others, which you can compare with the report.

We were attacked in the Gulf of Aden on the 27/01/2000, I think it was a Thursday. Position 13 03N 048 41E. There were no warning shots, the first shots were aimed at our boat, one of which my wife stopped. Subsequent shots were also aimed at our boat. There were 5 men/pirates and I saw 4 weapons, looked like AK's to me. My wife only saw one weapon. I guess their boat was about 8 to 9m long and had an inboard engine. The hull design was very similar to one of the harbour work boats in Aden. The vessel was very clean inside and appeared empty, there were no tarps or any markings. The men were well dressed and looked like they were from Yemen. They were not Somalis. They rammed our stern to board. Four men, with one weapon, boarded us and the fifth man kept us covered from their boat which was tied off short to our stern. They moved like well trained men, and appeared wary and also anxious to complete their task. They broke items in their attempt to remove them. The youngest looking man was about to execute us but was stopped when the oldest took the weapon away from him. When the Aden police etc. were on board investigating the attack they told me that the pirates were Somalis. When writing the required report I was not allowed to state that the pirates looked like Yemenis, had to re-write it.

We have transitted this area twice since(2003 & 2007) and only experienced good times. Have spoken to several armed Yemeni fishing boats though, nice men. They carried guns for self protection, as stated by others, guns are the norm in this area. We did notice that men, openly carrying guns, were rare in Aden in 2007. It is a nice place to visit and I recommend having a beer or two at the waterfront bars, and traveling to Saana.

Pirates, Reefs and Storms, unnecessarily, seem to be a major concern to new cruisers.

Happy Sailing.

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Old 08-16-2007, 07:13 PM   #10
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Stephen

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I agree with you that "new" cruisers place too much concern on piracy - it is so rare. They MUST get out there and "do it".



Also see the section in the Cruising Wiki for:

General regional piracy - HERE

A suggested route to traverse the Gulf of Aden - HERE

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Old 08-17-2007, 01:50 AM   #11
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Hi Sailors!

Blame me - I'm the culprit.

Disclaimer: My report was tailored for a friend and never intended for a wider audience - you just never know what's going to end up on the net. It is certainly not intended as gospel, rather to avoid friend having to filter through webpage after webpage to find what he wanted to know for this one shot delivery.

"Lighthouse" is correct, it is simply a summary (poetic license for brevity at times) of what anyone can read on the web. The intention was to show the types of situations and scenarios that have been "reported", and what may be experienced for the small percentage of cruisers who have had such encounters. My intent was to avoid scare mongering if not necessary, and although many sailors report anxious situations, with this small amount of knowledge an otherwise innocent encounter may now be interpreted as such - ie, one should EXPECT every other local boat to shoot at you, but this may be more of a greeting than threat!

In regards to which reported incidents where true acts of piracy and which where probably not, I strongly recommend anyone interested to read the official reports at the Imray website, and avoid the myriad of interpretations available in the Media's accounts.

---

QUOTE: It could be that the analyst has little experience of cruising or military tactics.

---

Actually I have significant SAS training, highly qualified and experienced safety/stunt manager (worldwide with many jobs in Saudi Arabia and surrounding areas). Cruising, well let's see, don't log such things, maybe 100 ocean crossings and many extended coastal hops over 25 years, so it'd have to be well over 100,000 miles? Of course I don't need to qualify such things in a private report to a friend.

Anyway, I'm certainly not here to defend my report, or any numbers I quoted. Although my vaguaries over the 5/6 etc is due to me not always believing that reports I read were truely pirate attacks - the beauty of subjectivity. (And of course, if I stated "5" someone would bark WRONG IT'S 6, and vice-versa.)

However I received an email from one of those involved in the Mahdi and Gandulf incident who commended my report (but did point out a few of my poetic license errors) and agreed with my conclusions and sailing plans.

"Mr Net Controllers" blue comments imbedded in one post above are hardly constructive. I can easily poke more holes in my report than he did, but that's not benefitting anyone? How about adding value (as Nausikaa has done) to aid in constructing a well qualified communal work that the more inexperienced cruiser can THEN adopt as Gospel?? If his blue questions are not rhetorical, then he should spend the 5 or 6 days it took me to research this and he'll have his own answers. I believe the inexperienced cruiser simply wants the road map and doesn't need to confer with the cartographers as to how they drew it!

I must agree that I found it hard to believe that 20m old timber boats with inboards could do 20+ knots!! But I came across this description over and over in my research. I suspect that a big boat chasing you just off the plane may "appear" to be doing 20kn to an anxious sailor - so I included this description as read. So although these boats were probably struggling to do 15kn, nevertheless in that situation if you "think" the boat's doing 25 then that's what you need to know...

Like everything on the net, read it or ignore it (or improve on it)... I know, I know, it's just so damn easy (and satisfying) to criticise.

Hopefully I've allowed some cruisers to spend less time trolling the net and being overwhelmed by the variety of information on this subject. It is my wish that many more sailors will cruise the Red Sea and choose the Suez route to/from the Med - as this really is some of the most spectacular sailing on Earth (well from what I've seen in my measely 100K nm).

Yes there is (oppurtunistic) piracy in the Gulf of Aden, but No statistically you wont be attacked, and if you are, then No you wont be harmed (and think of your future popularity at a dinner table).

Safe passage to all,

Simon.
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:45 PM   #12
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I agree with Simon. Thank you for the (unintended!) addition to the discussion/information on this topic. As with all 'reports', blogs, comments etc, read them with your own judgements and add them to your pile of information/knowledge. As a cruiser with ex-military experience, I found the comments mostly interesting and helpful, even though I did not agree fully with some issues, or did not take as 'fact' certain points and statistics (it is very difficult to get all the 'facts' on this topic as we all know). And thanks for the others that have added constructive comments.

I am currently contemplating my Indian Ocean passage from Thailand to Africa next year; and am looking at the options of the Southern Cape or the Red Sea route to return, eventually, to UK. While it is certainly important to be as informed as possible and to take all precautionary measures possible, I would certainly NOT be put off the Red Sea route due to Piracy. Similarly there are "Piracy" issues in the Caribbean, Central/South America, (Papua) New Guinea Indonesia, and the Malacca Straits, all of which we have happily sailed through so far, like so many others.

I think that it will be the South Africa route that will win out for me... not because of Piracy, but because of the fear that the Red Sea and Med route would just get me home too quickly and finish off this cruising life prematurely! So maybe the Cape, South America, the Caribbean and then decide on the rest at the bottom of a bottle of Single Malt one dawn on the foredeck. Do it all again?...

So if there are any 'less experienced' cruisers reading this, rather than just old-salts, then take the information offered, make your plans, but most of all, don't get overly worried; GO CRUISING.

Tristan
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:51 PM   #13
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Well, things have certainly taken a turn for the worse now. The region is not safe to be in!
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:29 PM   #14
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The Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) route is a wonderful alternative - SEE HERE
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