Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 18:13 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 18:13 | SYDNEY

In search of the Jolly Roger


Fergus Hanson


24 July 2008 15:08

Planning a cruise off the Gulf of Aden or the West coast of Africa? Then be sure to check the International Maritime Bureau's live piracy map. For all but the most intrepid travellers, the Gulf of Aden would seem off limits: it was home to the highest number of pirate attacks in the first half of this year. Looking at the IMB map, slow tankers and cargo ships seem most vulnerable to attack, but don't rule out being overrun at sea just because your boat has a bit of kick. As this article points out the pirating business hasn't been remiss in the uptake of the latest tools of the trade. No more cutlasses and wooden rigs for today's seaborne thieves: speed boats, satellite equipment and rocket-propelled grenades are now in vogue.

The problem, at least in Africa, seems the absence of any real capability to police territorial waters (as well as conflicts in Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria): Tanzania's navy, for example, has an operational range of 20 nautical miles. But in our immediate region too, pirates can still find employment: Indonesia ranked as the third most likely place to be attacked, albeit with attacks on the decline.