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Old 19-02-2009, 09:26   #1
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Affected by Piracy?

Hi there,

The main reason I joined this forum is for some research I am undertaking regarding the risk of piracy and armed robbery whilst at sea. The audience I'm looking for are cruisers and generally all sailors of private vessels.

At the moment I want to just test the waters and see what kind of a reaction I can provoke from anyone on this forum who might be interested, have their own experiences to tell or appreciates the risk when doing their own passage planning.

This is all part of an Honours project and if there is an interest then there will be a questionnaire to follow and anyone involved will be suitably referenced in the final paper.

I'm a keen sailor myself and have just under 6000nm logged around different parts of the world. I fully understand the risk that piracy bestows on passages around certain parts of the globe and with more publicised information in an analytical form it's highly possible that we could do a lot to mitigate the risk of piracy.

If you're interested or have a story to tell, please give us a post.

Many thanks,

cerjames
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Old 19-02-2009, 09:30   #2
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allow me to point you to an article I co-authored a few years ago about the threat to private yachts in southeast asia:

Andaman Sea Pilot - the definitive cruising guide for the Andaman Sea...and more
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Old 19-02-2009, 09:42   #3
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This is sort of the standard for that sort of info. Noonsite: Piracy

Also try SSCA, Dockwatch, Triton, Latitude 38, Pangolin (Yotreps), etc.

There's been a gazillion threads on this forum about the topic, so you could also do a search here and get some names.
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Old 19-02-2009, 09:57   #4
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Many thanks sneuman and starfish for a speedy and informative reply - the noonsite archive is the kind of website that will help and the andaman sea pilot gave me a further link onto Piracy in modern Southeast Asia, setting the record straight. Both with useful information which I will delve into.



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Old 19-02-2009, 10:15   #5
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Cerjames,
The amount of press given to a single incidence of piracy against a yacht creates an issue of mythical proportions. I was away with health issues, but while my wife and children were aboard Faith in Massawa, Eritrea, one neighboring boat with husband and wife on board was boarded, and some money and a camera were stolen. That's all we know about first hand in our 4 1/2 year circumnavigation. We were invited to share an evening with the head of the coast guard security division in Aden, Yemen, who indicated that no reported incidents occurred in Yemen against yachts in five years. At Raffles Marina, in Singapore, we were told that only one incident against a yacht occurred in the Straits of Malacca in the previous five years. It turns out that guy forgot to pay his hooker, and her friends boarded his yacht in Thai waters to collect. We learned to be very suspicious of stories of piracy against yachts, but it does make for some interesting reading.
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Old 19-02-2009, 10:27   #6
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Sneuman, I got to your article, and appreciate it a great deal. Thanks.
Gregg
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Old 19-02-2009, 10:30   #7
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Faith is right. Incidents against cruisers are almost unheard of--it would be interesting to contrast the rates of yacht invasion burglaries (for that's really what they are) to home invasion crimes. I would guess that one was more likely to be burgled ashore than asea.

What sort of Honors (no "u" in the US spelling) program are you working on, by the way?
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Old 20-02-2009, 03:31   #8
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It's a Marine Studies program at the University of Plymouth (UK). And before you start thinking I'm into hugging turtles, my degree is focused around the commercial and legal side of the industry!
I decided to relate my project to yachting and piracy as they're both interests.

Thanks Faith of Holland for that story - it's the kind of thing I need, even the dodgiest of the stories out there!
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Old 20-02-2009, 04:13   #9
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Here is how it goes.

Stranger.... So what do you do
Me............Just sold my business , bought a boat and going to sail around the world with my wife and 3 year old Daughter.
Stranger......Wow,but what about Pirates.
Me..............Yawn I will try to avoid them.
NOW LISTEN TO WHAT COMES NEXT!
Stranger.......So are you taking your Daughter with you .
Me..............Speachless
Stranger.......I wish i had the guts to do what you are doing
Me..............My cabs here have a good night.
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Old 20-02-2009, 06:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerjames View Post
It's a Marine Studies program at the University of Plymouth (UK). And before you start thinking I'm into hugging turtles, my degree is focused around the commercial and legal side of the industry!
I decided to relate my project to yachting and piracy as they're both interests.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a turtle hugger--we need more of them. As a vocation, however, it is rather difficult to make a living doing it.

Good luck with your studies.
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Old 20-02-2009, 09:12   #11
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Quote:
I am undertaking regarding the risk of piracy and armed robbery whilst at sea. The audience I'm looking for are cruisers and generally all sailors of private vessels.
It gets hard to define. Most all incidents don't happen in the open ocean. Often times any crime committed that involves a victim while on a boat is considered piracy. Of course it's not but it gets interpreted that way. Assessment of risk gets as emotional as well logical. The sneuman article does as good a job as can be found based on the modern facts. The problem it has is that it runs counter to the perception of the facts. No one likes a pirate analysis that seems to indicate there are almost none when the perception is contrary. The history of it all seems to follow that as well.

Quote:
I fully understand the risk that piracy bestows on passages around certain parts of the globe and with more publicized information in an analytical form it's highly possible that we could do a lot to mitigate the risk of piracy.
I have serious doubts you could. It seems more a mission of wishing rather than actually doing. It presumes the risks are far greater than the numbers indicate. The shear number of incidents confirmed is minuscule. I would doubt your ability to find any first hand accounts that have not been reported.

The perception of the problem could use some serious mitigation. There may be the better scholarly review / study taking that direction. The perception of low risk events in the process of planning includes a much broader spectrum with still the same idea.

There are a lot of them discussed here. Lightning, cargo containers, whales, and rogue waves. The odd thing is these are risks that happen by an order of magnitude more than piracy. Piracy however continues to lead the list of most talked about topics and they give people the largest emotional response. The ratio of discussions to risk are more often inversely proportional. Popularity tends to gravitate to the dramatic as do the solutions. The limitless gun threads seem to illustrate that idea well. The entertainment value still remains high. "The Pirate Hunter" by Richard Zacks does a great job showing how that perception drove the entire Captain Kidd pirate story into a legend and of course myth. The perception of things changes how we plan activities. Rightly or wrongly. Those that don't plan for piracy attacks seem not to be more doomed than those that do. Efficacy seems to be quite illusive. Myth is stronger than truth.
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Old 20-02-2009, 09:31   #12
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Stranger.... So what do you do
Me............Just sold my business , bought a boat and going to sail around the world with my wife and 3 year old Daughter.
Dunno about Pirates, but I can't say I would tell a stranger I had sh#t loads of money and wouldn't be missed for a while........
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Old 20-02-2009, 11:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
... Assessment of risk gets as emotional as well logical ...
Effective risk management requires assessment of inherently uncertain events and circumstances; typically
addressing two dimensions:
- how likely the uncertainty is to occur (probability)
- what the effect would be if it happened (impact).
When assessing the significance of any given risk, it is necessary to consider both dimensions.

I stub my toe: Clearly an uncertain event which is likely to occur (i.e. it has high probability) but which would have little or no effect on objectives (low impact) is not significant.

I'm murdered by pirates:
Similarly a risk may have such a low probability that it might not be worth considering even if some significant impact were theoretically possible.

Gotta run, but I'd be happy to discuss Risk Assement further (again) if anyone's interested.
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Old 20-02-2009, 12:28   #14
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Dunno about Pirates, but I can't say I would tell a stranger I had sh#t loads of money and wouldn't be missed for a while........
But what about "Hey, that guy over there does and won't be missed"? A good defence can be a diversion. Just not a great way to make friends.
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Old 21-02-2009, 06:08   #15
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It is curious that since our decision to go cruising and discusions about it seem to have evoked issues that people have with their own situation regardless of the relevance to our comments. I am refering to the comments of David Old Jersey who has assumed that because we are going cruising after selling our business that we have "sh#t loads of money" to be exact. Our financial situation was not mentioned in our message and I have to tell you we will be drawing down on an overdraft facility to fund our trip. I am also not afraid of the aspect of paying for my dream after the event. At this point in time we have our health and our daughter is not in school, hence our decision to go now. The point being that everyone you seem to talk to about such a trip seems to have some fear or issue they wish to impart on you. I thought like minded cruisers would have thought of sailing with a similar passion.
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