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Old 16-05-2011, 02:46   #16
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

I agree with Jon.
We too are cruising these waters at present. It is very easy from the comfort of an armchair or the secure home waters to disregard how real the situation and threat is.
When all of this first started I read with some distaste forum members comments referring to cruisers here as being stupid and Dumb Ass putting them selves and others at risk. The reality was a lot of the boats that left to cross this year had no idea of the threat that was about to be unleashed upon them.
Pirate or Terrorist. It is almost laughable to not see these organised thugs as anything other than terrorists. If it was only about theft then it would be piracy however hostage taking just as airplane hijacing in the 80's is terrorism. Back when this all started it was a few rag tag dirt poor fishermen who saw piracy as a means to feed them selves. It is now very organised and deliberate hostage taking as a means to extort money. The majority of the money is not spent in Somalia. It is laundered back through middle eastern countries via sophisticated networks ( read Terrorist).
As sailors and cruisers we take on the challenges that nature throws our way be it tsunami, winds, waves and even the odd floating object and we prepare for it. We did not however expect to become hunted in a game of life and death.

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Old 16-05-2011, 04:47   #17
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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So - does anyone know of the statistics regarding piracy, specifically pertaining to cruisers? Such as; how many piracy attacks on sailboats have their ocurred (in Gulf of Aden and worldwide)? How many cruisers have died as a result of piracy? How many trips are done in the gulf (by cruisers) vs the number of piracy attacks (on cruisers).

I think it would be worthwhile to compare other dangers facing cruisers as well. Are there any stats available for these - cruisers losing boat and/or life due to weather, submerged objects, tropical diseases, marine gremlins etc? Put side to side the comparisons may be edifying.
Based on the responses so far I would say the answer is NO! I do know I read something once that said that golfing overall was more dangerous than sailing. But I'm sure if you focused on only numbers from dangerous areas it really changes. You can say the same thing about weather, storms, thief, and crime aganist cruisers in general.

I'm just not going to spend a lot of time on worrying anymore regarding sailing. I'm going to plan and make reasonable changes as needed. But I'm not letting the worry ruin the resaons I got into sailing.
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Old 16-05-2011, 09:26   #18
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Something that we used to do on long crossings, with no piracy eminent, was sail with a buddy boat, it helps if the vessels are well matched with regards to speed in different wind conditions. It does require some adjustment with regards to your planning. I believe that would help reduce the risk factor somewhat. Plus it is always nice to exchange position notes with another vessel.
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Old 16-05-2011, 11:35   #19
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I think the estimated stats are accurate enough to say there is way too high a chance of a problem for me. If things don't change by the time I get there, I'll go around the cape. Sucks because I really want to do the med. There's a few years before I get there though, so here's hoping!

A terrorist is defined by motivation, not action. A terrorist does what he or she does to cause fear in the public at large for some ideological or political goal. A criminal carries out actions for profit. These pirates are clearly in it for he money and are organized criminals, not terrorists. The fact that I would be afraid to walk in some neighborhoods after dark doesn't mean they're full of terrorists. Neither does me being afraid while being carjacked make the carjacker a terrorist. And kidnapping for ransom is common all over the world, but it's not usually carried out by terrorists, just thugs trying to make a few bucks.
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:14   #20
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Just to get a little perspective.

Odds of being struck by lightening on land : 1 / 280,000
Odds of being struck by lightening at sea : 1 / 1000

Odds of being attacked by pirates worldwide : 1 / 1,200,000
Odds of being attacked by pirates gulf of Aden : 1/50
Odds of dying when playing russian roulet : 1 /6


I have been struck by lightening at sea, spend anough time on the water everyone will. Average 1 storm per week, 50 storms per year, 50 / 1000 = 20. So in 20 years of boating, it's not will you be struck, it's when you will be struck. Same as russian roulet play it once or twice, bad enough play it 6 times the odds approach 99% death.
So seeing as it can take several days to weeks to cross danger zone that now extends across indian ocean, The odds are more when not iff you will be approached by a pirate ship. The last yacht that was captured had an armed escourt ship, (what I would think is a reasonable defense).

The priates are as bold and as well armed, and active as they have ever been in history. I expect this issue to come to a head soon. You probably will not want to be there when it does, as there will be collateral damage. I can't see this as being the new status quo, ...Somethings got to give. The entire world will only stand by so long before demanding action, political futures will hang as this issue gains visibility and traction. When it breaks loose it will be ugly, but when it is over the oceans will be safe to sail once more, (at least as safe as they ever were).
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:31   #21
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

You don't get it Genomic. The reaction to kidnappers/pirates/terrorists has nothing to do with allergic reactions to bees or any other calculated risk formula. This is about evil humans abducting and abusing innocents minding their own g.d. business. It's about right and wrong. It's about anger and frustration towards others of our species who make our species the lower life form.
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:40   #22
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

[QUOTE=capn_billl;687654]Just to get a little perspective.

Odds of being struck by lightening on land : 1 / 280,000
Odds of being struck by lightening at sea : 1 / 1000

Odds of being attacked by pirates worldwide : 1 / 1,200,000
Odds of being attacked by pirates gulf of Aden : 1/50
Odds of dying when playing russian roulet : 1/6-8
---YES,depending on type of handgun those 1/50 odds of being pirated are high BUT let us also remember the odds of being bit by a shark are greater than being struck by lightening and i had an unpleasant shark experiance,,BUT,,i was in shark invested waters and spear-fishing when an aggressive shark decided to try me on. my message is simply this.IF you sail in pirate{shark} invested waters i believe that 1/50 is correct odds, UNtil govt. solves this problem the prudent sailor should beware especially after the last hijacked crew of 4 was murdered without any ransom demand.Simply put i was once in a ghetto area when the police told me i should leave before i was car-jacked so i reversed direction and took another less-serious route{after-all i was on vacation with loved ones},,and when i am on vacation i am not in a hurry to get car-jacked,hyjacked, kidnapped,robbed,raped?,shot,knifed,or even assaulted by strangers as i can check-out their hood on sat TV without ever setting foot on it,,,russian roulette is dead serious odds of dying so 1/50 odds isnt much of an incentive to go anywhere close to their mess.knot enough
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:52   #23
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Thumbs up Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
You don't get it Genomic. The reaction to kidnappers/pirates/terrorists has nothing to do with allergic reactions to bees or any other calculated risk formula. This is about evil humans abducting and abusing innocents minding their own g.d. business. It's about right and wrong. It's about anger and frustration towards others of our species who make our species the lower life form.


Of all the self assumed duties of governments around the world, protection from this sort of wrong is among the most basic.

Government is powerless to do many things some men see as it's role. Protecting the innocent is not one of those things.

There IS right, and there IS wrong. Piracy is wrong, and it is not unreasonable to expect it to be dealt with.
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Old 16-05-2011, 13:38   #24
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

I'll be going around the bottom of Africa, across the South Atlantic and up & around to get to the Med.
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Old 16-05-2011, 15:10   #25
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

I would guess that in 'normal' years about 100 boats go up the Gulf and 50 come down.

This year there would have been far fewer, say 50, going up.

Of those 50 yachts most have 2 crew on board some obvious exceptions.
this year on 2 boats 4 have been killed and 7 captured.

so statsitcally thats 1:25 imho.

Last year I was in a convoy of 26 boats going up and I was pretty damn sure it was risky buisness.

I was right.

No matter how punny people want to be, it ain't so punny to be dead or to have your 13 year old daughter raped.

Actually it could be 'worse' than rape as the 13 year old is sick and the pirates won't let her see a doctor.
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Two Danish hostages held since February by pirates off the Somali coast were reported to be ill but their captors were not willing to let a doctor see them, reports said Sunday.
Somali pirates hold two Danish hostages - World - IOL | Breaking News | South Africa News | World News | Sport | Business | Entertainment | IOL.co.za
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Old 16-05-2011, 15:33   #26
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Just to clarify, I don't find piracy punny, not rapes of 13 yr olds. How absurd. The reason why I kept the intro light is because it was introducing a highly contentious subject that often devolves into screaming matches. I was hoping people could keep their heads about them and provide some stats before it came to that.

The reason I posted this was because I, and I'm sure many others, had no idea of the actual figures involved - and this is often because threads become crapfights and not discussions of the issue.

I appreciate everyone who provided estimates of cruiser no's through the Gulf, and pirate attacks on those, this was very informative to me, moreso than a huge debate on how many 50 cal machine guns one can safely bolt to the deck.
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Old 16-05-2011, 15:55   #27
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Of all the self assumed duties of governments around the world, protection from this sort of wrong is among the most basic.

There IS right, and there IS wrong. Piracy is wrong, and it is not unreasonable to expect it to be dealt with.
Govts have responded, and in large part they are starting to get a handle on the part of the problem which MOST concerns them. They've sought to offer protection to commercial shipping and protect the transportation of the assets contained on those ships. THAT is their primary concern, and we cruisers are sadly an ancillary concern. Once the piracy of commercial ships reaches single digits, I anticipate the govts will draw back from a proactive position to one of containment - to make sure that commercial shipping continues to be protected at that level. Because of this, I anticipate we cruisers are likely to become MORE of a target, as opposed to less of one. These pirates are opportunists and will likely seize upon whatever opportunity remains, and that means private craft.
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Old 16-05-2011, 15:56   #28
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Although I know what you're speaking of.....Statistics and Averages scare me. Statistically speaking, a man can drown in a stream whose Average depth is 1 inch. If a body were to keep away from that stream the results would be invenereal.
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Old 16-05-2011, 16:02   #29
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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I anticipate the govts will draw back from a proactive position to one of containment - to make sure that commercial shipping continues to be protected at that level. Because of this, I anticipate we cruisers are likely to become MORE of a target, as opposed to less of one. These pirates are opportunists and will likely seize upon whatever opportunity remains, and that means private craft.
Thats is an asumption , with no real facts to back it up. small yacht piracy is not a lucrative business and is unlikely to interest organised piracy. Equally unlike commercal traffic, we can choose not to go there for 10-20-30 years, hence it will not gain a foothold

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Old 16-05-2011, 16:17   #30
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

If you insist on bearding the lion in his den don't act surprised when you get bitten. If every nation that has commercial vessels transiting this area were to provide a warship to patrol these waters there would probably be enough coverage to deter all but the most determined pirates.
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