Pirates and a Yachting Family - this from BBC just now (24 June 2008(
Pirates 'seize family off Yemen'
<!-- S BO --> <!-- S IIMA --> <table align="right" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="226"> <tbody><tr><td> http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/image...and_map226.gif
</td></tr> </tbody></table> <!-- E IIMA --> <!-- S SF --> Pirates have kidnapped a Western family from a yacht off Yemen and taken them to the breakaway republic of Somaliland, officials there have said.
A Somaliland elder told the BBC that the family was German and that he had visited them.
Somaliland's Vice-President, Ahmed Yusuf Yasin, said earlier that an operation to find the family had begun.
Pirate attacks against fishing boats, cargo ships and yachts off Somalia's coast have surged over recent months. <!-- E SF -->
Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 after the overthrow of military leader Siad Barre.
The breakaway republic has been relatively peaceful in comparison to Somalia, which has experienced almost constant civil conflict since then.
Somalia's coastal waters are close to shipping routes connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and the country's interim government lacks the resources to police its own coastline.
Mr Yusuf Yasin said at least three members of the family - a father, mother and child - were taken to a mountainous area of Somaliland by their kidnappers.
The Somaliland elder who said he had visited the family also said he was negotiating with the pirates who had captured them.
He urged restraint from authorities in Somaliland and neighbouring Somali state of Puntland who have troops massed on their border, 10km (6 miles) from where the hostages are being held.
Hey now that's a weird one. It appears to be purely a kidnapping for ransom. The pirates didn't even want the boat itself, just took the people.
Although I am on record as saying that the possibility of being a victim of piracy is vastly over stated I cannot undertsand why anyone would choose to take that route through the Red Sea in this day and age.
Admittedly I don't know the statistics on how many yachts go that way each year v how many get attacked.
BTW, In this particular incident they had run low on fuel and were approaching the Somali coast.
Canada sends warships to Gulf of Aden to protect mariners from pirates
While kidnapped German cruising sailors wait for rescue in the mountains of lawless Somalia, Canada has taken action on the pirate crisis in the Gulf of Aden.
Canada has sent three warships to help thwart swarms of sea-going pirates who have been terrorizing maritime traffic in the area.
There have been 24 acts of piracy off the Somali coast this year, the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau reported last week. Among the victims were a German-registered freighter and its mostly Ukrainian crew, seized in May and freed on July 8 for a ransom of $800,000. A Dutch freighter and its mostly Filipino and Russian crew held for 31 days and exchanged for a ransom as much as $700,000 in June.
In the meantime, no news about a German yacht with four people aboard which was captured two weeks ago raises hopes that a negotiation in underway. Information is scanty and unreliable, but they remain in the hands of pirates who have demanded $2 million to set their hostages free
It seems to me that a company of enterprising soldier of fortune types could really clean up in that area guaranteeing safe passage. You could use any means necessary to eliminate them. Who would be missed ? What Country would claim them. The pirates never existed. Case closed.
I mean the pirates know where the fast and easy money is. These shipping companys could just pay out half of an average ransom to the entrepreneurs and everybody is happy. Except the pirates who dont exist anymore. A little protection money goes a long way
IIRC the UN (lovingly called the "unforces" in many places) passed a resolution juts recently calling for naval forces from any and all member states to enter Somali territory in order to deal with the piracy, in the absence of any native capability to establish order.
Radical call for the UN.
Meanwhile, all the nations that require visiting yachts to be unarmed, refuse to step up to their responsibility to ensure safe transit wherever those disarmed yachts may be.
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