Friday, July 22, 2011

How bad is Somali piracy?

Check this out.  Apparently, German-flagged freighters make about 1700 trips off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean each year, and in the first half of 2011, there were 163 pirate attacks, 21 of them resulting in hijackings.

In other words, between 12-20% of German transits involve a pirate attack, and about 3% result in a captured ship.  If this is at all representative of shipping as a whole, I would think that this would justify putting armed guards on at least a large portion of merchant ships, as obviously, the naval flotilla is not getting the job done.

And once again, my recommendation is that ship's armaments include Ma Deuce.  Nothing says "I love you" to a pirate skinny like a few fifty caliber holes in their speedboat when their own weapons are still half a mile out of useful range, and finding the need to swim 300 miles home through shark-infested waters.


Gino said...

piracy hasnt yet reached the point where its too costly for somalis to try or shipping companies to seriously discourage.

eventually, the pendulum will reach its reverse point.

Bike Bubba said...

Perhaps you're right, but it boggles the mind that 3% of transits ending with kidnapping, and 10-20% having attacks, does not get this done.

Gino said...

they spread the costs of piracy out over other shipments. it appears to be viewed as the price of doing business.

when the price gets too high, they will arm crews, but in the meantime, they dont really like the idea of a crew armed with deadly weapons where too many variables can be brought into play leading to more disasters, or dead crew.

as it stands now, the death rate among pirate victims is near zero. the somalis try NOT to hurt people.

Bike Bubba said...

Thankfully they're not hurting people, but I'd have guessed that when you end up paying millions to get 3% of your shipments through, somebody would be raising hell about it.

Or maybe we're just seeing the results of "letting the Navy handle it" without billing shipping companies for the costs. That might get Ma Deuce on board real quick if they got the bill for keeping billion dollar frigates off the horn of Africa....