Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Noonsite: Piracy

Piracy is alive and well. It did not cease after the end of the Golden Age of piracy which has been so romanticized in the media and by many historians. In fact, piracy is becoming more common!

I am highlighting a site today (Noonsite: Piracy) that documents current events. It includes the latest reports of attacks or suspicious incidents on ships from around the world. It also features messages from yachts seeking protection, general piracy reporting information, and articles on defending against pirate attacks. The archives go back to 2003 and the pirate reports are updated regularly.

While this site is not history yet, I hope the data being collected is saved for future historians. The early 21st century is going to be remembered for a reemergence (hopefully brief) of large scale piracy. Accurate data will help to study this period.

From the site:

No other danger has marred the beauty of cruising more than the threat of piracy, whether on the high seas or in coastal waters. Indeed it is a risk that mariners have had to confront for many thousands of years, and the good news is that as far as attacks on pleasure boats are concerned incidents in recent years have been mercifully few in numbers. The situation is very different when it comes to big ships, which have seen a steady increase in piracy incidents in recent years.

Hot spots for reported piracy attacks on any kind of shipping are well known, and undoubtedly the main reason why there have been so few victims amongst cruising sailors is that they have heeded the warnings and avoided such areas as the Sulu Sea and other troubled areas in both the Philippines and Indonesia, the coast of Somalia or the vicinity of Socotra Island.

Unfortunately the maritime authorities are more concerned with attacks on commercial shipping and do not regard attacks on pleasure craft as a high priority or even to be their responsibility. This is reflected in the absence of hard information about attacks on yachts on most internet sites dealing with piracy.

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