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The 3 Most Dangerous Areas for Piracy

Piracy is still a major threat to the global shipping industry and for the hundreds of thousands of seafarers who must travel through pirate-infested waters. Ship owners and operators have a responsibility to stay up-to-date on pirate attacks and which areas to avoid or take extra precautions for ship safety.

Three of the Most Pirate-Laden Areas

Pirate attacks are located in major shipping areas all over the world, but the majority of the attacks are around the:

  • Gulf of Guinea;
  • Gulf of Aden;
  • Somali shore; and
  • Singapore/Indonesia area.

Ship owners and maritime workers should be privy to the places most susceptible to attack:

  • West Africa – Whereas Somalia used to be the leading area for piracy, the Gulf of Guinea, particularly around Nigeria, area is the new hot spot for piracy.
  • East Africa – Somalia is still a leading area, though. The shoehorn of Africa, the Somalia area and the Gulf of Aden, are very prone to piracy. There have already been 11 reported incidents in Somalia this year as of October 22, 2013.
  • Southeast Asia – The waters around Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia have also seen a large amount of piracy in 2013.


Staying Informed about Piracy Attacks

It’s absolutely crucial for vessel operators to stay informed about where the current attacks, hijackings, and incidents are, and to stay clear of those areas or take appropriate precautions. To prevent attacks or respond appropriately in the event of an attack, ship owners can abide by the industry’s Best Management Practices.

Ship owners can stay up to date on piracy hotspots by reviewing the Live Piracy Map, hosted by International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC). This initiative is provided free of charge and is available 24 hours a day.

Shipmasters report the incident to the PRC when a vessel:

  • is attacked;
  • has undergone an attempted attack; or
  • tracks suspicious movements.

The International Chamber of Commerce clearly states, “The main aim of the PRC is to raise awareness within the shipping industry – which includes shipmasters, ship owners, insurance companies and traders – of high-risk areas for piratical attacks and specific ports and anchorages associated with armed robberies on board ships.”

Injuries from Pirate Attacks

Piracy not only damages the shipping industry and the global economy, but it has a human cost, as well. The pirates may use dangerous weapons, and have been known to torture and kill innocent seafarers, according to Save Our Seafarers. About one-fourth of pirate attack victims report abusive treatment.

Not only do pirate attack victims face physical harm, but the torture and abuse often leads to long-lasting psychological damage. Naturally, their families suffer too.

If you survived a pirate attack, or if your loved one was seriously or fatally wounded in an attack, you may be able to collect restitution for your losses. Contact us at The Young Firm to speak with a maritime attorney. Call us at 866-703-2590 today for a free consultation.

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