RealNews

Piracy and Kidnapping Soar on the High Seas

Violent piracy on the high seas has soared and more ships are being hijacked to kidnap the crew for ransom, an ocean crime watchdog said Wednesday. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said the number of reported ship attacks jumped to 445 in 2003, 20 percent higher than the previous year and the second highest level since it began compiling statistics in 1991. The number of seafarers killed also climbed to 21, with another 71 crew or passengers listed as missing, while 88 were injured. This compared to 10 killed and 38 injured the previous year. The number of hostages taken also nearly doubled to 359 in 2003. “The figures show an increase in the number of the attacks and violence of the attacks. We call upon the countries with piracy problems to give greater priority to policing their waters,” said IMB director Captain Pottengal Mukundan. The IMB said the number of ships hijacked for the theft of the vessel and its cargo had dramatically reduced, but that more vulnerable boats such as tugs and barges were being targeted and crews were being abducted for ransom. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.