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Updated advice for boats sailing through piracy areas

By webmaster last modified Aug 19, 2002 12:50 AM

Published: 2002-08-19 00:50:55
Countries: Djibouti , Eritrea , Kenya , Madagascar , Malaysia , Oman , Philippines , Saudi Arabia , Singapore , Somalia , Sudan , Yemen , Colombia

The Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and Somali waters including the surrounding waters of Socotra Island are piracy prone areas. If you are sailing through these waters, only a vigilant anti-piracy watch can minimize or prevent a impending attack. There have been hijacks and detaining of ships in Somali waters. Ships being chased and attempted attacks are a common scenario in the Gulf of Aden and parts of the Red Sea. While sailing in these waters maintain anti piracy watch, look out for fishing, fast speed boats, etc. Lock all access to ship's bridge/navigational rooms, accommodations, etc. Raise alarm on foghorns, and sound general alarm if any onboard. Fire pyrotechnic rocket flares, send distress / Mayday signals on VHF / HF Radios. Gather all available hands on deck and raise a loud noise / hand visual signal to deter pirates from boarding. When pirates see an alert vessel, they will abort or hesitate to attack a ship. Do not sail between Socotra Island and Somali coast. Stay away from Socotra Island to avoid Somali gunboats prowling in these waters awaiting to prey on unsuspecting vessels. When pirates intercept vessels, they assault them, fire upon ships causing damages, hold hostage of crews for ransom. In some cases they detain vessel for weeks or months before releasing them for ransom money. If you can, try to sail in convoys of ships or sailing boats if this is convenient. We do not recommend the use of firearms even for defensive purposes as this could only encourage the pirates to be better armed. In the exchange of fire between crews and pirates, you could anticipate innocent crew members to be killed. The IMB - Piracy Reporting Centre does not want even one crew member to be killed. Keep in touch with ships in the vicinity via VHF radios and in the event of an attack call for help. Some coast stations (SAR, MRCC) keep monitoring the distress nets for distress signals and do alert all vessels sailing in the areas.

Tanasegeran Senior Information Officer ICC Commercial Crime Services