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Old 14-11-2005, 08:13   #1
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'Pirates' and 'Pirate Attacks'

Sometimes we want to share things not to further a particular point of view (altho' mine will shine thru, no doubt) but rather because it's just interesting. That's the point of this post; I thought this was interesting and I think it helps to explain much about the subject of piracy:

Take a look first at the following ABC news story; I picked it off their website today (14 Nov):
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=1300344
First, think about the distribution of this story; it's not going to a few yachtie websites but instead directed to millions of North Americans and, by extension rippling thru various other news sites. The scope of the (dis)information is in itself impressive. The main points are that piracy exists, it's increasing in select locations and large in scale, it will soon be adopted by terrorists (since, it suggests, the terrorists haven't the ability to consider this venue until ABC reported on it...), and the authority for much of the report is the 'IMB'. Also, I noticed that one of the "piracy hotspots" is the NE section of South America. Yikes! I thought; that's in my backyard and we'll returning there in a short while.

I of course want to know more about this so I click on the "Pirate Havens" link and Wow! I discover there were 250 pirate attacks - Good Lord, in only THREE months of 2005! - off Brazil and the shared coastline of VZ and Columbia. (Remember: this is still ABC's website offering this info). Why, that's almost three "attacks" each & every day. (No one bothers to quantify the term "attack" but by inference it refers to a range of acts from stealing the ship & its cargo to boarding & looting the ship/yacht). Of course, the yachtie grapevine is alive and well down in the NE corner of S America; how come we don't hear about three attacks a day? No daily "piracy incidents" on the Safety & Security Net. No ham net reports. No newspaper stories by even the bigger island rag sheets, which would find this kind of incident highly entertaining to its readership. When I was down there, the area was averaging a few boardings of occupied boats a year, some years none, other years a few. Yes, we've all heard about Peter Blake's murder on the Amazon a few years ago...but it was newsworthy as much because it was unique as due to Peter's notariety. But suddenly, we learn there are 3 pirate attacks a day, day in/day out...AND we have a second problem, because this does NOT count all the ones that go unreported. Good grief, why cover the Avian Flu pandemic that may occur in the Americas when there's a confirmed piracy pandemic?!

OK, so I'm left with 1000 annual pirate attacks and the IMB...so what is the International Marine Bureau? Well, now I'm in Geocities - a free posting site - so it doesn't appear all that well funded. I read a bit about the IMO's statements, where they are quoted as saying NE S America is one of the 'hotspots'...but that citation can not be confirmed; broken link. I also notice the IMB offers a 'Weekly Piracy Report' identifying all these incidents; again, broken link. Then I move to the IMB's 'piracy hotspots' since that's what I'm wondering about - http://www.geocities.com/cdelegas/PI...hotspots.html. Sure enough, again the NE corner of S America is "officially" identified as one of the hotspots; just check cite 18...except oops, it's not there. OK, I right click to get properties for the URL...except again, broken link. And then I scan ALL the cites. My, my. I turns out it isn't the IMB making this 'assessment', but rather it's mostly David Kellerman making this claim; it's an official report based on very dated information most of which is generated by a single individual.

So...now I'm wondering who this Daivd Kellerman is. Ah, the answer is only a click away: visit http://www.maritimesecurity.com/gunsonboard.htm David Kellerman is apparently Maritime Security Inc. (since it is "sponsored" by Special Operations Assocs, who is David Kellerman), and its Maritime Security which sells services to yachts and ships who need their security beefed up because (you knew this was coming...) the massive presence of piracy on the High Seas.

Well, what we see here in part is lazy reporting...and probably a lot of gullibility on the part of those who would rather embrace a fear that examine an issue. Yes, there is piracy out there, tho' much of it is more in the form of looting than the cruise ship incident with an RPG. And we have a very busy entrepreneur who's fan some (self-ignited) flames.

Jack
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Old 14-11-2005, 16:31   #2
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Well said, Jack!!!

You might check out the International Chamber of Shipping: http://www.marisec.org/ics/index.htm
and:
http://www.marisec.org/piracy/index.htm

then: http://www.icc-ccs.org/main/index.php
IMB Report Finds Piracy Declining
Kuala Lumpur, 20 July 2005

Despite decrease in numbers, violence in some hotspots remain high.
According to a recently released report from the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the number of reported piracy attacks worldwide is down approximately 30%. Between January and June 2005, 127 acts of piracy were reported, a notable decrease from the 182 attacks counted during the same period in the previous year.

The just released report, Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, notes that by mid-2005, pirates boarded ships in 92 instances, six ships were hijacked, and a total of 176 crew members were taken hostage.

Of the world’s nations, Indonesia recorded the highest number of attacks, accounting for one third of the global total with 42 incidents. Violence and intimidation of crew continues to be a hallmark of piracy, with many attackers arming themselves with guns and knives.

While the decreasing number of attacks is a positive trend, the situation in several hot spots has deteriorated. After a quiet spell of nearly two years, serious attacks have resumed off the eastern coast of Somalia. In the past three months alone, eight violent incidents have been reported in the area. In each case, pirates armed with guns and grenades attacked ships and fired upon them. In at least four of these incidents, crew were held hostage for ransom.

“Pirates operating off the Somali coast have become increasingly audacious, routinely seizing vessels well outside territorial limits and forcing them closer to the lawless shore. Demands for ransom are higher than ever before and negotiations for the release of vessels and crew are often difficult and prolonged. The utter lack of law enforcement infrastructure in the area is leaving far too many vessels and mariners unprotected,” said Captain Pottengal Mukundan, Director of the IMB.

The report identifies other areas where piracy appears to be on the rise, including Nigeria and Iraq. Since 24 May 2005, four incidents have taken place in Nigeria’s Bonny River. In recent years, piracy in Iraq has been virtually non-existent; however despite the close proximity of coalition naval ships, four serious incidents were reported in the waters off the Basra oil terminal since 22 April 2005.

No incidents were reported in the ordinarily tumultuous Malacca Straits in the months following the 26 December 2004 tsunami. This period of calm appears to have ended, with eight violent attacks recorded since the end of February 2005.

Captain Mukundan added: “The IMB’s bi-annual report on piracy not only lists facts and figures, but also analyzes developments in piracy, identifying piracy-prone areas to help protect vessels and crew members.”

The work of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre is funded by 25 organizations including P&I Clubs, ship owners and insurers. The Centre is recognized throughout the maritime industry for its unique contribution in quantifying the problem of world piracy and providing assistance, free of charge, to ships that have been attacked.

Copies of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, (£18 inclusive of postage) and further information can be obtained from:

ICC- International Maritime Bureau
Maritime House
1 Linton Road, Barking
Essex IG11 8HG, United Kingdom
Tel. ++ 44 20 8591 3000, Fax. ++ 44 20 8594 2833, E-mail: imb@icc-ccs.org.uk

Of course, all of the above refers to commercial shipping.

FWIW,
Gord
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Old 14-11-2005, 20:38   #3
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Jack! If only most Americans were so critical of their news sources, those sources would be better.

As someone in journalism, I am impressed you checked this out so thoroughly. And yes, it's lazy reporting - but hey, it's television.
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Old 15-11-2005, 04:03   #4
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Kenya Enforces Anti-Piracy Measures
Source: The Kenya Times
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in conjunction with the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Police have jointly put up stringent security measures to ensure that all ships, and in particular cruise ships plying the Kenyan coastline waters, are safe, according to a recent Kenya Times report. The move was necessitated following the recent incident in which a tourist ship was attacked on its way to the Kenyan coast by Somali militiamen and had to divert to Seychelles. Among the security measures to be put in place include a radar station operated by the Kenyan Navy on the coastline capable of automatically identifying ships and will be in constant communication with port control stations, says the report. KPA has also assigned a high speed boat which can cruise at a speed of 30 knots and a range of 200 miles to the port police for patrolling the harbor waters and the coastline.
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Old 09-02-2006, 11:06   #5
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Top Investigation Jack

Yet another testimony to how valuable sites like this can be to share facts as opposed to fancy.

Really appreciate you sharing this and don't doubt the news of the hype will not travel as far and fast as the story...

Regards
JOHN
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Old 27-02-2006, 14:08   #6
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pirate Where's Capt. Ron when you need him??

My friends think I have watched Capt Ron or Pirates of The Caribbean too many times when I tell them that Pirates do exist.
Hey I have had close calls 2 times in the Caribbean. A gang almost boarded my ship!!!!!!!! Thank God for my Flare gun. And a round of buckshot in the air helped too!!!!!
Next time I don't journey alone . Much safer in groups. So much for solitude! lol

Shiver me timbers! Allan
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Old 02-02-2009, 15:23   #7
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Just curious...can you make a flare gun able to shoot a shotgun shell?
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Old 02-02-2009, 16:09   #8
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Not sure about what your are asking. Like I said I used the flair gun . Then a shot gun blast in the air. The flare did hit their boat as I had planned.
The shot gun blast in the air was to let them know I had a gun on board.

Arrrrrrr, Allan
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Old 20-02-2009, 02:58   #9
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Allen C&C Less

We were only coming by in the dingy to borrow a cup of sugar- until you almost shot me & my wife and kids!
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Old 20-02-2009, 06:35   #10
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C'mon ram, lets not turn this into another anti-firearms rant. The point is that the reporting on piracy in the 'NE segment of South America' has proven typical of the inaccuracies and outright lies that are being deseminated in order to frighten people away from Venezuela and Columbia. It reminds me of a ticker item on CNN a couple of years ago which read:" Continuing his move towards communism, yesterday President Hugo Chavez seized the major electrical producer in Venezuela", or words to that effect.

The next day on BBC Newsworld and in the Toronto Globe & Mail I discovered that, rather than 'seizing' it, the Venezuelan government had negotiated the purchase of the company that held the monopoly; further, the American president of the firm that was purchased reported that they had "respected shareholder's rights".

We must always consider the potential for bias in reporting about anything, but particularly where the subject matter concerns a country that is at odds with the positions taken by the government of the United States (or any country that is the source of a 'news' item). Thanks Jack for taking the time to root out this particular piece of international slander.

Brad
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Old 04-07-2010, 22:01   #11
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I'm coming to this post a few years late, but have been reading about this topic and thought I'd point out one resource you might be interested in: Jimmy Cornell's "Noonsite" has an entire section devoted to documenting pirate attacks.

See here = Noonsite: Piracy

Contrary to what some of you seem to be taking from the original poster, there are in fact a large number of attacks on cruising sailors in the Trinidad/Grenada area and along the coast of Venezuela. In 2009+2010 at least 2 captains were shot during raids on their ships.

An example of the most recent one: Noonsite: Venezuela: North Coast - Yacht Skipper Shot and Killed

A pretty dramatic one: Noonsite: Venezuela: Tres Puntos - Shooting Attack on Yacht

Another killing of a Captain off Venezuela in 2008
Noonsite: Venezuela, Isla Borracha - Fatal Pirate Attack

There were at least 2 other documented attacks with guns in 2008 off Venezuela.

While these are isolated examples, and not all-emcompassing data trends (much of what constitutes 'piracy' includes dinghy theft), I think it would be premature to look at that ABC report and think of it entirely as hype. These things do happen, and at least anecdotally, the trend has been upward since 2005. I've lived in dangerous areas for parts of my life, and was never personally shot at, but it wouldnt stop me from pointing out that they were in fact dangerous nevertheless.

I wouldn't characterize the above poster's 'analysis' as particularly valuable; rather, it comes off as glib. So there were some dead links? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There is plenty of incentive for countries (and yachting communities) to downplay what are real and occasionally life-threatening dangers. The yachting community is very small. Detailed reporting of events is probably impossible beyond the type of thing that Noonsite does - collecting specific examples, albeit all self-selected. And Jimmy Cornell is not a conflicted author - he's a well respected author of cruising guides.

All I'm suggesting is that this topic probably deserves a bit more gravity and ongoing examination of the facts rather than blowing off the phenomena of piracy off the coasts of South America as being 'hype'. The media may associate this kind of stuff with say, Somalian piracy (which is a different beast entirely = an entire industry that generates millions in revenue and has well organized groups funding the excursions), but it nevertheless is a real problem that seems to be getting worse. Contrary to what Brad says above, there is a growing problem along these particular coastlines (primarily venezuela and colombia, but also in the waters around trinidad), and it is not a "product" of the media. A look at the "roundups" of reported incidents over 2007-2008-2009 repeatedly show Venezuela as having the most incidents. Yes, they are inconsistent, but again, I doubt that these reflect the entirety of events but rather those that make it into official record.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USSailor View Post
... I wouldn't characterize the above poster's 'analysis' as particularly valuable; rather, it comes off as glib. So there were some dead links? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

... All I'm suggesting is that this topic probably deserves a bit more gravity and ongoing examination of the facts rather than blowing off the phenomena of piracy off the coasts of South America as being 'hype'..

Logically, absence of evidence is not evidence at all.
A proposition is NOT true because it has not yet been disproven, nor false merely because it has not yet been proven.

However, in probability theory, absence of evidence is always evidence of absence.

Under the vast majority of real-life circumstances, a cause may not reliably produce signs of itself, but the absence of the cause is even less likely to produce the signs. The absence of an observation may be strong evidence of absence, or very weak evidence of absence, depending on how likely the cause is to produce the observation.

The absence of an observation that is only weakly likely (even if the alternative hypothesis does not allow it at all), is very weak evidence of absence (though it is evidence nonetheless).
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:42   #13
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Multi-task with a flare gun

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Originally Posted by jwidahonurse View Post
Just curious...can you make a flare gun able to shoot a shotgun shell?
If you are looking for an option for your flare gun check this site out.

Vital information to protect you and your loved ones from the impending avian flu pandemic.

I wont be carrying one, but it is an option.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:22   #14
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" Piracy " is all around us and not limited to the high seas though sometimes called mugging, strong arm robbery or home invasion. We must be vigilant in all our endevors and prepared for the unexpected. Hell, if you've never been shot at meet me in Miami for coffee. Dave
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:32   #15
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If you are looking for an option for your flare gun check this site out.

Vital information to protect you and your loved ones from the impending avian flu pandemic.

I wont be carrying one, but it is an option.

I'm not interested in a gun debate nor starting one. If you chose to carry a gun on board it doesn't bother me one bit.
But talk about disinformation, below is a good example. If you want a gun carry a proper one. These contraptions are dangerous, sloppy, clumsy, very inaccurate, and simple not up to the task advertised. They have got to be one of the worst ideas for peace of mind. Legal all over the world? You'd have to assume police agencies all over the world are stupid. Just my opinion.






The Pirates Plague adapter will allow

the capability of firing a .38 caliber pistol bullet from a standard plastic 12 gauge flare gun. It was created by an offshore delivery captain as a discrete no hassle solution to carrying a weapon on board. The adapter is not a firearm, it is legal to possess all over the world.

This is the indispensable survival tool for hunting, fishing, or self-defense and is a must for every home or vehicle.

While it is perfectly legal to carry the adaptor, and it is legal to carry a flare gun, the minute you put the adaptor inside the flare gun you have broken the law. Please keep this in mind. This device is intended for severe emergencies only. Whether or not you are prepared to accept the consequences of possible prosecution is a decision that you and only can decide
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