What is it?
Our free Piracy Updates service was launched yesterday. It aims to offer a number of ways for anyone to gain up-to-the-minute news, information and piracy attack alerts. The service provides filtered news searches sourced from news agencies around the world. These include the BBC, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, The Hindu, Reuters and various African and Middle Eastern publications. News, updates and links are also provided by marine organisations like the MSCHOA, the ICC and the European Union Naval Force Somalia.
How Is It Delivered?
The service is contained in a catch-all URL, www.followtheboat.com/piracy/ where the user can then subscribe to a number of different delivery services. These include hourly news reports from Twitter, daily updates via RSS or email, and a weekly email too. In certain countries SMS services are provided as well. Consideration is given to mariners using low-bandwidth email services, the weekly email alert may be sent via plain-text. For those who like their information via RSS there are a number of RSS subscriptions on offer.
Why Are We Doing This?
As sailors who have sailed through the Gulf of Aden (affectionately known as Pirate Alley) we are all too familiar with the dangers of piracy to mariners. After meeting the crew of s/y Quest just a few weeks before their untimely demise we thought we would put our spare time and internet knowledge towards building a service to assist mariners passing through the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.
The service is designed to run automatically. As we are sailors ourselves we cannot always be online to maintain the website, but we would like everyone to please forward on the link to anyone you think may benefit from the service. The page offers a feedback facility to discuss improvements to the service and we would like to hear yuor thoughts. It is all free to use but donations are always appreciated. We have included a ‘Donate’ button for anyone with a Paypal account.