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Old 06-08-2007, 06:35 PM   #21
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Let me see if I can explain why the ONI report is important to small crafts. First, if you look through the report you will see that ONI reports on all vessels... For example...

ONI's latest report ... 30 May 2007...

"12. GULF OF ADEN: Yacht reported suspicious approach 21 Mar (per 1 May reporting) at

0950 local time while underway in position 14:03.6N - 049:07.0E, approximately 17NM off the

coast Yemen. Two suspicious vessels approached the yacht underway at high speed. The alarm

was raised; the crew mustered and activated fire hoses. The yacht increased speed and took

evasive maneuvers. The vessels aborted the attempt and moved away (IM."

Second, just because most of the vessel's involved are 'commercial" in nature that does not mean that other type of boats should not be alert to the regions involved. Many private crafts go missing not just because of weather or damage, but because of pirates. While most boarding of private yachts, boats and many ships go unreported. But most are boarded by pirates in the same general areas. ONI also has a link to report these incidents and I highly recommend that any boat or ship no matter the size if encountering "pirates" file a report as soon as possible with ONI. That is if you survive the incident.

You must take these things into account when filing a float plan or plotting a trip. Trust me.... I have friends in the counterterrorism business who can tell you some very deadly stories about boardings of private yachts by priates. I would not have posted this if I thought it was not important.

Best

Rob
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:57 PM   #22
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Hi Robin, I heartily agree that we must always be alert to the possibility of danger, including that posed by pirates. I wonder how the various agencies determine the level of that danger given your claims "Many private craft go missing........because of pirates" and "Most boardings.......go unreported". It seems to me that if craft have disappeared, or have not reported piracy, any statistics drawn from those supposed occurrences must be speculative, at best.

Irrespective of 'guess-timates' and supposition, it would be a foolish skipper who would not show care before heading through some of the so-called piracy hotspots such as West Africa, Malacca Strait, southwest Philippines etc.

Without the benefit of any figures to prove my assertion, I suggest it is equally or perhaps more dangerous, to travel through Central Park, any railway station in Italy, King's Cross, or the airport in Colombo. My point is that simple precautions, including avoidance, can keep the vast majority of boats as safe as if they were in their local marina. However, to help maintain awareness we would do well to follow Robin's suggestion of reporting all incidents of piracy to an independent body.

Cheers

David
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:34 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinStorm View Post
Many private crafts go missing not just because of weather or damage, but because of pirates.
Quite a few years ago one of the US sailing magazines printed an article by a cruiser in the Pacific that reported the loss of a single-handed cruiser to pirates. The writer described his conversation with the man over SSB radio. The single-hander was north of Australia, going through Indonesia (I believe), when he reported that saw the lights of a number of vessels approaching him. They did not respond to his radio calls, and he was nervous. The writer of the article then said that he lost radio contact with the man, and never heard from him again. He ended the article with the conclusion that this man had been lost to pirates.

Peter and I were in the South Pacific by then, and were very disturbed to read of this occurrance, because we knew the man quite well. He had worked for a friend of ours in St. Martin and we had spent a fair amount of time socializing with him and his wife. He had set off from St. Martin about the same time that we did, but family matters kept us in the Americas for another year, and he got well ahead of us, and finally one day he was out of radio range. We mentioned this episode several times to friends, worrying ourselves about the time when we would be sailing through Indonesia and the Malacca Straits.

And then one day we heard from our friend in St. Martin, who reported that this former employee who we believed to be dead, had just written that he had safely arrived home in South Africa. No mention of any scary encounter with pirates at all.

Well! Thousands of cruising sailors probably read that article and repeated to others that it was dangerous out there, which was the theme of the cruising sailor's article.

We eventually reached that part of the world, and sailed up and down the two coasts of peninsular Malaysia and Borneo several times, only once in company with another yacht. We experienced nothing more frightening than fishing boats coming MUCH too close to us at night. We understood that this was a common practice among the Malay fishermen, who believed that there was an evil spirit preventing them from catching many fish. Their strategy was to come very close to another boat in the hopes that the evil spirit would want to jump onto the new boat taking their back luck with it.

Cruising sailors are at the mercy of the weather, gear failure, and their own foolish mistakes. I think that piracy against private yachts is well down near the bottom of the list in terms of risk.

IMO.

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Old 06-09-2007, 01:57 AM   #24
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David,

Two years ago I attended a International Maritime Conference and one of the topic was piracy of yachts. The problem is that many governments do not even like to discuss piracy forget passing reports. Take for example the Government of Singapore. if you listen to them, there is no such thing as piracy in the Strait of Malacca or the Strait of Singapore. While in the Caribbean (mostly thanks to the US DEA) they take piracy very seriously. They even have a security net (Caribbean Safety and Security radio net, which meets daily at 0815 Atlantic time (1215 UTC) on SSB frequency 8104 Khz.). While most attacks on yachts happen in areas that are remote, impoverished and unstable.

Yes there is much speculation and yes many contacts go unreported for one reason or another. That is the problem. But if you can rule out weather, collisions, or other incidents, then the speculation can be valid if the yacht is in a pirate zone. While most of the attacks on yachts actually are posted with local authorities, who tend not to like to share these types of reports or plainly blow them off. Mostly due to economic reasons like tourism or the fact that they just can't handle the issue. I have a friend who is very active in investigating these attacks and he says the same things. Yachts owners unlike commercial shipowners do not tend to file reports with the ICC/IMB the IMO or ONI when confronted. They normally file with local authorities and the locals don't like to file with international organizations.

I have another Friend who is involved with maritime security protecting ships in pirate zones. He says the same thing and adds that most attacks ion yachts happen because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, because most boat owners just don't take either the precautions or are just not that well informed of the local area where pirates hang out.

Its never easy....My recommendation is you make sure your boat is sea worthy. You make sure your electronics works. You make sure your survival gear is in order. You plot your course. Well them make sure you understand not just the water your navigating in, but what is happening locally..and besides a flare gun... a 357 or 30/30 make nice holes in hulls...even metal ones.....

RS
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Old 06-09-2007, 02:22 AM   #25
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JeanneP

"Cruising sailors are at the mercy of the weather, gear failure, and their own foolish mistakes. I think that piracy against private yachts is well down near the bottom of the list in terms of risk."

Yes there are risks much greater than piracy, but not being prepared and alert is taking a unacceptable risk Besides its mostly the stupid things that get you in trouble....

RS
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:13 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinStorm View Post
JeanneP

"Cruising sailors are at the mercy of the weather, gear failure, and their own foolish mistakes. I think that piracy against private yachts is well down near the bottom of the list in terms of risk."

Yes there are risks much greater than piracy, but not being prepared and alert is taking a unacceptable risk Besides its mostly the stupid things that get you in trouble....

RS
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Members are referred to the .pdf document in #1 post on this topic.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:17 PM   #27
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I'm certainly no expert, but...

I am a free thinking man - and I find it a bit irritating when people with no first-hand experience try so hard to convince me of what I really need to be afraid of while living the way I choose.

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 06-09-2007, 02:22 PM   #28
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Kirk,

I am not one to start arguements and yes live life to its fullest. But if your making an opinion based on my lack of first hand knowledge or exxperiencce of being boarded by pirates of which, in my 28 years of maritime service worldwide, I have never experienced being boarded by priates. However, I do know those with not just first hand experience that have been boarded or attacked by pirates, but I also know those who have a ton of experience repelling pirates as a trade craft. No I do not expect anyone to go into hiding nor stop sailing or for that matter stop anything they enjoy doing. That was never the point of my posts in the first place.

As most people I learned a long time ago to listen to the pro's in the business and not to make the same mistakes others have. So its simple "be warned" and I hope and pray that you never have to eat your words.

Best

Rob
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinStorm View Post
ONI's latest report ... 30 May 2007...

"12. GULF OF ADEN: Yacht reported suspicious approach 21 Mar (per 1 May reporting) at

0950 local time while underway in position 14:03.6N - 049:07.0E, approximately 17NM off the

coast Yemen. Two suspicious vessels approached the yacht underway at high speed. The alarm

was raised; the crew mustered and activated fire hoses. The yacht increased speed and took

evasive maneuvers. The vessels aborted the attempt and moved away (IM."

Best

Rob
Is this a joke? Where is the integrity in these type of reports?

This hype is completely over the top. Sure, there is a possibility of being attacked on your boat in certain areas of the world but, there is a far larger possibility of being the victim of violent crime ashore in MANY areas of the world. The same rules of caution apply! Be careful wherever you are. As I would not drive my car into certain places I would not go looking for a marina berth on the Somali coast.

The bottom line is that I would be far safer on a cruising yacht - period!

GO CRUISING! Enjoy life!

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Old 06-09-2007, 03:49 PM   #30
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Okay... this will be my last response to this subject.

Its only funny to some when it does not happen to them. As far as integirty of reports is concerned, do some research. there are plenty of news articles and even some books written on the subject. I do not consider the International Maritime Bureau, the International Martime Organization nor the US Office of Naval Intelligence, rogue sources. On top of that my information comes from contacts i have in with insurance and admiralty law firms. But here is a book and site you can reference as one who has been there and experienced that ( http://www.yachtpiracy.org/en/index.htm ).

Yes there are greater risks and i have never said otherwise nor do I feel that priacy is hyped. And Somalia is not the only place where pirates float around. Enjoy the map... ( http://www.icc-ccs.org/extra/display.php )

Again, all I am saying is take it into consideration when your sailing in these areas. Nothing else...

Regards

RS

PS: I was the best man for a couple who were boarded by priates as their sail boat was anchored off of Belize in 2006. Luckily all that happened was theft. Want to bet they don't think its a joke?
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:02 PM   #31
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I agree with Manor, and having spent a year in Yemen concerned with maritime surveillance I am not att all surprised at small vessels 17 NM off the coast travelling at high speed.

There are about 3,000 artisanal fishing vessels in the country. All are powered by large outboards and, as the vessels are all narrow (more or less like an overgrown ship's gig) they tend to move at high speed. This is especially true when the fishemen are following schools of tuna,makerel or baraccuda. You simply cannot avoid the fishermen - all of whom I have had the pleasure to meet have been extremly friendly. Sure, they will ask for cigs etc. but are more than willing to exchange fish for them.

Sure, there are incidents of piracy in many parts of the world but the quoted incident sounds completely innocent to me......but of course I have only worked in the country with the coast guard and fishermen.

Aye

Stephen

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Old 06-10-2007, 01:46 PM   #32
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The alarm was raised; the crew mustered and activated fire hoses. The yacht increased speed and took

evasive maneuvers. The vessels aborted the attempt and moved away (IM."
Must be a very big "yacht" to be activating fire hoses. My 37-foot boat has nothing like that, and certainly couldn't increase speed enough to make any difference in evading a pirate. What kind of report is this, anyway?
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