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November 10th, 2011

Piracy on the Rise, But Warships are Thwarting Attacks

The International Chamber Of Commerce International Maritime Bureau’s latest global piracy report has both good and bad news for maritime lawyers. The bad news is that pirate attacks continued to rise this year to record levels. The good news however, is that more and more vessels are being successful in thwarting pirate attacks.

According to the report, there were 352 pirate attacks reported this year. Out of these, Somali pirates were responsible for about 42% of the attacks. One of the more troubling facts from the report is that Somali pirates are intensifying their operations not just off the Somali coastline and the Horn of Africa, but also in the Red Sea. This August, a successful attack was launched on a chemical tanker in an Omani port.

However, the success rates of pirate attacks have been declining. Vessels have been seeing some success in foiling these attacks. So far this year, only 24 vessels have been hijacked successfully, compared to 35 vessels during the same period in 2010. Just 12% of pirate attack attempts this year were successful, a decrease from 28% in 2010.

These are small improvements, but hopefully this trend of vessels repelling pirate attacks will continue. According to the International Maritime Bureau, the success in foiling pirate attacks has come about because of increased naval presence in pirate-infested waters. Shipping companies are also now correctly applying Best Management Practices to foil pirate attacks.

The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent crewmembers of vessels involved in pirate attacks across the globe.

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