Sunday, April 28, 2013

4/28/2013 Merchant Marine and Naval Interests: Pirates

Naval/Merchant Marine Interest Piracy

pirate flag skull and bones clip art


Every now and then we like to restate our editorial policy about piracy, both as a news subject and a modern day matter for voyage planning. We particularly wish to draw the attention of our professional mariner readers to the voyage planning tools we offer for piracy. Other than that, our personal view of piracy is simple. The only "good pirate" is not walking around above ground.

 The indicators are really a mixed bag in the recent news. This is why we carry the Pirate Daily Update in our News Section. We almost hesitate to put any pirate news into our daily blog postings. We are thinking of pretty much ignoring specific pirate headlines in our News Section Headline Service. It is getting to be just too routine and after all it is in our Pirate Activity Daily Report at the top of the Headline Service.  More problematic is the conflict in piracy reporting. Within the last month we have carried links to analytical articles by different "experts" who maintain that the piracy problem is slackening. We almost linked one today via "News Flash ALERT" here on the station identification, but that seemed confusing in light of the fact that within the hour, two more major pirate attacks were reported in the world's media. 

 Pirates seem to amuse and interest the general media, but the conventional non maritime media seems pretty clueless when it comes to analyzing what's going on and what's important to shipping professionals. We think the time has come for us to stop reacting to media piracy reports and state our position on piracy and what commercial maritime professionals should do about it. Our opinion on what naval professionals should do about piracy is simple and politically incorrect. That's why no government is going to follow our advice and the piracy problem will continue indefinitely. Our advice to commercial mariners and yachtsmen is more detailed and may be followed without asking anyone "may I", unless you decide to carry fire arms.

Here is our editorial policy on pirate stories and our advice on piracy to commercial and recreational deep sea mariners.

Editorial Policy: Piracy is real and all too uncommon. Few individual instances are all that news worthy. We will continue to link to the daily piracy update, but we will break into the blog postings with individual pirate incident reports only when the attack is indicative of new and novel activity and areas. We will focus on developing more useful links for incorporating piracy security into your voyage planning in our News Service and Navigation pages.

  • Piracy is real, violent, and growing globally even if some former "hot spots" seem to have entered a quiet period. Anti Piracy security measures should be a routine part of STCW mandated voyage planning.
  • The first step in such voyage planning is to determine your level of risk at each point in the voyage. While piracy can and does happen anywhere, our daily up date and other official and unofficial services can give you an excellent idea of whether or not your voyage track takes you across any area of heightened risk.
  • If you will cross an area of hightened risk it is time to consult with the ship owner, insurance interests, and legal counsel about whether or not to arm any part of the ship's company, or hire armed security at particular points in the voyage. 
  • Whether or not you have armed security the next step is to plan heightened security and repulsion measures for the threatened parts of your passage. You need to know if there is any naval protection available in the area you are concerned with and how to communicate with these services.
 The bottom line ladies and gentlemen is that if you are not including serious piracy preventative security measures and repulsion measure in your voyage planning, you are not doing a professional job of voyage planning. 

 For our part we will seek additional piracy information links for you for inclusion in our News Section and in the Navigation  Section to use as voyage planning tools. As much as we have found that pirate stories increase our general traffic in the blog postings, we are not serving our professional mariner visitors by devoting so much ink to pirate activities in the blogsphere. We hate it when we find ourselves acting like the general media. It's not that we are incapable of pandering, its just that when we catch ourselves we don't want it to be business as usual.

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