‘Sharp rise in piracy, yachts are vul­ner­a­ble’

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS -

Mar­itime crime is ris­ing in sev­eral re­gions around the world, ac­cord­ing to a mar­itime se­cu­rituy com­pany. In a quar­terly re­port on global mar­itime se­cu­rity, MAST has found that in­ci­dents of piracy and ma­rine crime have risen sharply around the world.

Ar­eas par­tic­u­larly af­fected in­clude In­done­sia, the Philip­pines and Malaysia, as well as the western In­dian Ocean, western Africa and parts of South Amer­ica.

In the first quar­ter of 2017 there were 48 in­ci­dents of mar­itime crime, 17 of which were in the South China Seas. This has been ex­ac­er­bated by in­ter­na­tional ten­sion around China’s ap­proach to the Spratly Is­lands and the USA’s with­drawal from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, the com­pany said. In other ar­eas, famine, poverty and po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity have all con­trib­uted to ris­ing in mar­itime crime.

Gerry North­wood, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of MAST and for­mer Royal Navy coun­ter­piracy com­man­der, said: ‘It is clear is that the mar­itime en­vi­ron­ment is linked to global events and not im­mune to crime and ter­ror­ism in their many forms. The mil­i­tary is con­fig­ured to pro­tect com­mer­cial ship­ping rather than ‘dis­cre­tionary ac­tiv­ity’ in high risk ar­eas. Sailors must be re­spon­si­ble for their own safety and should think very care­fully be­fore sail­ing.

‘This is a spike in ac­tiv­ity, rather than a sus­tained re­turn to piracy. No yachts have been at­tacked re­cently, but most yachts cross­ing the north In­dian Ocean do so with armed se­cu­rity teams on board.’

Pi­rates are once again in­creas­ing their ac­tiv­ity in the In­dian Ocean and In­done­sia

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