Only four days in and already the week has been a busy one on the piracy front. We have three important news items for your perusal: the release of the Danish sailors from Somalia, the Chandlers talking on BBC and the Piracy Update Facebook page and poll.
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. It is delivered via hourly news reports from Twitter, daily updates via RSS or email, and a weekly email too, with consideration given to mariners on low-bandwidth email connection. We encourage you to forward on the www.followtheboat.com/piracy/ link to anyone you think may benefit from the service.
As if you non-seafaring people out there needed convincing, the latest figures via The Times has piracy costing the global economy $12 billion a year. In the same week that Dutch marines kill two Somalia pirates, a London law firm which specialises in the field, was quoted as saying “matters are deteriorating at every level”.
Whilst our sailing friends are well aware of the dangers of piracy, it’s not until one reads the numbers that the problem of piracy is put into perspective for the rest of us. It is truly a global concern that affects everyone. In a future post we’ll be putting together a couple of ideas on how you can help support anti-piracy causes. Meanwhile, read about the latest figures here. We’d like to hear your views on the subject too.
Today all four crew of sailing yacht ‘Quest’ were killed. Apparently the US Navy ‘responded to gunfire’ aboard Quest off the coast of Oman, which it had been shadowing since the boat was taken on Friday. Our thoughts go out to Scott and Jean’s family and friends. They were here just a few weeks ago in Cochin Marina, India.
There is already much debate on the sailing forums as to what actually happened and what will happen next. Only time will tell. One wonders if we will ever get to the bottom of what really occured aboard that ill-fated yacht. In the meantime I have removed my previous scrutiny of passage planning into the Indian Ocean out of respect.
The fact remains that this is a sad day for liveaboard sailors around the world, a sad day for our freedom and a sad day for the worsening situation both on the waters of the Indian Ocean and in Somalia.
What fantastic news that the Chandlers have been freed after 388 days of captivity by pirates in Somalia. Our thoughts go out to their family and friends. The last year must have been very difficult so now it is time to celebrate their freedom and give them time to recuperate from what must have been a harrowing ordeal. But what now? Where does this leave the rest of us? Has paying the ransom actually made the situation worse?
Last night another commercial vessel was attacked and boarded by pirates. It happened not far from us and we overheard the conversation between a coalition warship and the motor vessel in question. For obvious reasons I am not saying which attack it was but I was able to record the second half of the conversation between the coalition warship and another warship in the area. I have written the first part of the conversation between the warship and pirated vessel from memory with Liz’s help. It makes for interesting reading but please don’t let it worry you. We are perfectly safe and currently in negotiations with the coast guard (who have big armed vessels!).
We now enter Pirate Alley. What does it hold in store for us?