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Piracy on the High Seas

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Piracy Watch

* 23rd Jan 05, 3:40am at Panjang Port in Indonesia, 3 robbers armed with long knives boarded a tanker at berth. Duty officer raised alarm and crew mustered. Robbers jumped overboard and escaped empty handed in speedboat.

* 19th Jan 05, 1:35am at berth no.2, Rio Haina port in Dominican Republic, 2 robbers armed with long knives boarded a tanker during cargo operations. Duty officer raised alarm and robbers jumped overboard and escaped.

* 16th Jan 05, 1am at Haiphong anchorage, Vietnam, several robbers boarded a general cargo ship at forecastle and stole ship's stores and escaped in an unlit boat.

* 14th Jan 05, 4:30am, Nanjing anchorage, China, 3 robbers boarded a chemical tanker and broke padlock on a locker and stole safety equipment. Alert crew raised alarm and robbers escaped in a speedboat.

* 13th Jan 05, 3:50pm, Pulau Laut anchorage, Indonesia, 4 robbers armed with guns and long knives boarded a bulk carrier at forecastle. Alert duty crewman raised alarm and crew mustered. Robbers stole a life raft and escaped in a speedboat.

* 12th Jan 05, 10:45 am, off Oman, Arabian Sea, 4 masked pirates in 4 white-hulled speedboats attempted to board a container ship underway. Alert crewman raised alarm, crew mustered and activated fire hoses and master took evasive maneuvers. Pirates aborted attempted boarding and moved away.

Source - ICC - International Maritime Bureau


Below are some questions I have been asked:

I enjoyed reading stories of adventure on the high seas. Many of them were about pirates. Are there any pirates nowadays?

Piracy on the high seas is not dead! According to recent report, the piracy menace has become so bad that it may be a topic in the United Nations General Assembly.

From my experience, whenever a ship approaches a well known piracy area, all the crew are put on the alert and extra surveillance watches may be organized on the deck. Water is discharged at the anchor so that it becomes slippery and so discourages pirates from climbing through the anchor chain. All the fire-fighting hose lines will be pressurized ready to shoot at anyone found climbing up the hull.

I am not sure whether this is effective, but I have not found any pirates boarding the ship by doing these.

I should think that modern day pirates have guns. What good is water against the guns?

Referring to the question of water against guns I would agree that there is no match. It is therefore very important not to let anyone board the ship in the first place. The lookouts play a very important role here. The ships, which are higher, have the advantage here. It is not like in the old days of sail, when the pirate ship will also depend on the wind and is just as big. The modern day pirate comes in high-speed boat, which is much faster than a cargo ship.
Incidentally, pirates like to attack in areas, which are narrow, when the ships have to slow down. However the incidents of pirate attack has been reported, and many of the areas have been identified as pirate prone.

It is just like the Bermuda Triangle or the Devil's Sea. I think they are identified on the navigation charts as places to avoid.

Anyone out there knows anything about the Bermuda Triangle and the missing ships and airplanes? Any Explanation?

I gathered that there were some supernatural forces at work there. It seems that the area was a disaster area during the slave trade of negroes from Africa. A lot of hardship and black magic.

Recently do you hear any mysterious disappearance? I think not. I think there were some exorcism being done.

Cheer Captain Phillips and Train for Your Own Success

2004 Yoon Chee Tuck    Contact me

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