Sea Transportation: May 31, 2002


According to the latest statistics from the International Maritime Bureau, the Red Sea and the coast of Somalia is now amongst the most dangerous waters in the world for shipping. The IMB reported that nearly half (43) of all the world's 87 piracy incidents took place in waters off the coast of Indonesia, India, Nigeria and off the coast of Somalia and in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden waters from January to April of 2002. Despite an international attempt to crack down on piracy, the figures show that the number of piracy attacks in the first three months of this year are the worst ever. In 17 of the 87 cases, pirates used firearms (including the attack on the Princess Sarah by Somali pirates, a suspicious incident that may not have been 'piracy'). Indonesia, India and Nigeria have stepped up its attacks on pirates, but the lawlessness in Somalia has exacerbated offshore incidents. Seafarers were being asked to be particularly on their guard. - Adam Geibel


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