Cruising Resources: Piracy & Security

While this page is called “Piracy & Security”, the information on this page mainly relates to yacht security worldwide, and in some cases piracy.

Worldwide Security Incident Reports:

Each world area on this page (below) contains reports on security incidents against yachts and cruisers reported to Noonsite (a very extensive list dating back to 2008). In addition, each country has a related reports section (easily found via the information icon) with an option to view security reports for that particular country. For example – Panama Security Reports. These are not intended to be all-encompassing lists of all crimes against yachts in the world, however, may give you an indication of your relative safety in a particular country and need for extra precautions.

In addition, each country has a security section which outlines any concerns for visiting yachts and summarises latest incident reports. For example – Grenada Profile/Security.

Worldwide Areas of Concern:

Parts of the world where caution is advised specifically to cruising yachts are detailed on this page, below, with links to further information.


No other danger has marred the beauty of cruising more than the threat of piracy, whether on the high seas or in coastal waters. Indeed it is a risk that mariners have had to confront for many thousands of years and continue to do so in certain areas of the world today.

While the Gulf of Aden was a hotspot for piracy a decade ago (including many attacks against pleasure boats), the number of successful pirate attacks on merchant shipping in the area has greatly reduced and. The High Risk Area (HRA) off the coast of Somalia has now been removed, however, the area remains active with warships and planes and checking in daily is recommended (see below). World Sailing and the RYA, who published guidelines for yacht skippers who may be considering a passage through the Gulf of Aden, Yemeni and Somali waters, stress that greater use of firearms at the end of 2022 indicates an increase in aggression and risk to all mariners in the area. They stress that the danger of piracy and consequent loss of life and property in the GoA (Gulf of Aden), Yemeni and Somali waters (up to 750 miles offshore) remains high.

Piracy incidents on pleasure boats elsewhere are still reported, but are mercifully few in numbers and restricted predominantly to more remote anchorages in the Caribbean and Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, where armed boardings continue to be reported.

General Security Guidelines

Nowadays, owners should treat their yachts like they do their homes on land, their dinghies and outboards like their cars. Going out, or going to bed, and leaving your doors and windows wide open, your car out front unlocked, is just asking for trouble in all but the most isolated spots. It is ALWAYS prudent to lock the yacht when you leave for a trip to the shore, for a visit to another yacht, or at night when sleeping. Your dinghy and outboard should be locked at all times, even when tied to the back of the boat during the day. Invest in a robust chain and padlock (or other secure locking device) and always raise the dinghy out of the water at night and remove the engine.
Secure your valuables that you have to leave on deck, and stow the rest below out of sight. Consider security measures so you sleep better at night (see links below), and know before you go. Review the security section for each country you want to visit on Noonsite (“i” icon and “profile”) and if heading to the Caribbean, check out the detailed information on the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, an incredible free resource provided by volunteers.

Be sure to have a security plan in place when on passage, with all the crew briefed as to what action they should take if a suspicious vessel is sighted.

See the “Self-defence and Deterring Attacks” section below for more information.

Reporting an Incident

In addition to reporting an incident to Noonsite, it is also important to report to the local authorities. If they know what is happening in their jurisdictions, they can then take steps to stop the activity and to apprehend the criminals.

E-mail [email protected] with the following details when reporting an incident:

  • Date and Time of Incident
  • Country/Port
  • At Anchor/On Mooring/In Marina – co-ordinates
  • Description of Incident with as much detail as possible
  • Items stolen/damaged/other
  • Outcome
  • Did you report the incident to the local authorities?

If cruising the Caribbean, be sure to also report to our information partners the Caribbean Safety and Security Net.

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