RealNews

Pirate Attacks at Highest Since Records Began

The number of pirate attacks on ships in the first six months of this year was the highest since records began, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre. There were 234 actual and attempted attacks in the period, against 171 in the first half of 2002 and just 79 in 1992 when the centre began collating data. Six areas accounted for two-thirds of the incidents: Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, India, the Malacca Strait and the Gulf of Aden. Some areas are so dangerous that the IMB advises vessels simply to avoid them. Ships’ masters should keep 50 or 100 miles off Somalia and avoid anchoring off the Indonesian coast in the Malacca Strait, the IMB says in a report published on Thursday. Ships are attacked when they are berthed, at anchorage and steaming. Attacks are frequently violent. In the first six months of the year 16 seafarers were killed, 20 are missing, 116 were injured, assaulted or threatened and 193 held hostage. The most frequent targets are bulk carriers, closely followed by tankers, but all types of vessel, including tugs and survey ships, reported incidents. Full Story

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