According to an article on the hijacking published by the Kansas City Star,
“Last month the United States and France introduced a U.N. resolution that would allow countries to chase and arrest pirates off Somalia's coast. Somalia has no navy and is unable to police its own shores.”
I was informed yesterday by my insurer that the War Risk Zones have been amended to now include most of the Gulf of Aden.
“Amendment : Applicable to all insurances where War Risks are included
Re : War and Related Perils Coverage - Amendment to the JWLA005 Listed Areas
It is hereby understood and agreed that with immediate effect the JWLA005 Listed Areas will be replaced with JWLAJ006 Listed Areas 2nd May 2008 (copy available on the website within 48 hours - under coverage information – war zone exclusions)
For your guidance the amendments to the Listed Areas are as follows :-
Africa - amended to include Gulf of Aden transit, area as defined below
The area enclosed by the following boundaries:
a. On the West, Longtitude 45° E
b. on the North, Latitude 15° N
c. on the East, Longtitude 57° E
d. and on the South, Latitude 10° N
Africa - Somalia – amended and replaced with the following
Somalia, including waters out to 200 nautical miles of the eastern (Indian Ocean) coast.
Vessels or craft are not to approach within 100 nautical miles of the Socotra
archipelago, and vessels or craft are to stay at least 40 nautical miles to the north of
Somalia when transiting the Gulf of Aden (west of 45° E).”
Until control of those waters has been regained, the immediate consequence will presumably be that the number of vessels using the Red Sea to access the Mediterranean and/or Indian Oceans will be sharply reduced. The number of sailboats will also drop correspondingly.
For me, that means that the only way I can now get Spirit back to Europe under her own power will be via the Cape of Good Hope.
With the entire Gulf of Aden effectively declared a War Zone, necessitating the circumnavigation of Africa for safe passage, the maritime world has essentially been thrown back to the time prior to 1869, when the Suez Canal was opened.