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Recommended Procedures

By webmaster last modified Aug 18, 2002 07:17 PM

Published: 2002-08-18 19:17:19
Topics: Piracy

Having organized several cruising rallies in recent years, which passed through known danger areas, we took every conceivable precautionary measure and thus managed to keep the risks to a minimum. The incident involving the yacht Nori demonstrates the advantage of sailing in the company of other boats through known danger areas. The basic rules to follow are as follows:

Try to form a convoy of 3-6 boats of similar speed whose crew is prepared to remain in close contact and, if necessary, slow down or help the slower boat(s);

Maintain visual contact in daytime and find a way to keep in contact at night without showing masthead lights or any other lights which can be seen from beyond the range of the convoy;

Maintain radio silence on the standard VHF channels (which can be easily monitored by scanning all channels) but keep permanently open a SSB channel on a frequency agreed and available to all other boats in the convoy;

Have a crew member on permanent listening watch on the agreed SSB frequency and/or have the SSB radio connected to a speaker in the cockpit;

Monitor the immediate area on radar and if anything suspicious approaches alert immediately the others. Even if the suspected vessel is still out of visual range, but it appears to be on an intercepting course, the convoy should close ranks;

At least one boat in the convoy should be equipped with a satellite telephone and have the numbers available of any maritime or naval authority in the neighbouring countries so that they could be contacted promptly in an emergency;

Make sure that a responsible person ashore receives regular position reports from the convoy and can promptly contact the relevant authorities in an emergency;

If the worst comes to the worst, do not resist the attackers, keep calm, hand over all valuables and follow their inst ructions. In all known recent cases, the pirates appeared satisfied with just robbing the boat and its crew, but refrained from killing anyone.

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