Useful Precautions if Cruising in Pirate Infested Waters

Following the traumatic hijacking of SY Choizil off the Tanzanian coast on October 26, 2010, Tom Sampson gives his thoughts on useful precautions if cruising in pirate-infested waters.

Published 12 years ago, updated 4 years ago

From Tom Sampson

Pirate Sailor Victim – I would have gone down with my yacht

From the above Sail-World article, it is apparent that the pirates have good knowledge of communications available on a yacht.

Whilst the chances of an attack are remote you may consider the following additional precautions useful – based on the article above and our experiences.

  1. Have your EPIRB immediately available at all times.
  2. Preset your sat phone – if you can – to the piracy alert number.
  3. Ensure that you are fully familiar with your DSC capability – some VHF and HF sets let you present an emergency.
  4. Deploy long light floating lines behind each yacht in the last row of any convoy.
  5. Consider vacating the yacht in the event of an attack. The Pirates have little interest in the yacht only the people. With other yachts close at hand and in good weather it is a viable option. If you chose to do so then wear life jackets at all times (remember if you can avoid capture for 15 minutes or so then you should receive helicopter assistance).

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