BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 31 July, 2000, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Pirate attacks almost double
Cargo ship unloading in dock
Most attacks happen on cargo ships in dock
A new report on pirate attacks shows they rose by some 40% worldwide in the first six months of this year.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) says there were more than 160 incidents compared with 115 in the same period last year.

The bureau singled out Indonesian waters and the seas off Bangladesh as areas where attacks are on the increase.

Most of the pirate raids reported to the bureau were on large cargo carriers and tankers at anchor or berthed in harbour.

However one out of every five attacks was carried out while ships were at sea.

Indonesia

Beach in Sumatra
The peace of Sumatra's beaches belies the danger in the shipping lanes
The most dangerous place for pirate attacks was Indonesia where 25% of all reported incidents took place.

This confirms Indonesia's reputation as a piracy hotspot and the IMB warned all ships calling at the ports of Belawan, Jakarta, Merak, Samarinda and Tanjong to be on pirate alert.

Another danger spot was the Malacca Strait which divides the Indonesian island of Sumatra from Malaysia.

"Ships should take precautions and maintain anti-piracy watches" the IMB said.

Somalia

Cargo ship at sea
About a fifth of attacks take place at sea
Another dangerous stretch of water is along the Somali coastline and through the Gulf of Aden.

"Ships transiting via Gulf of Aden/Somali coast are strongly advised to be extra cautious and vigilant," the bureau warned.

"Armed speedboats and gunboats open fire on ships and yachts and rob or hijack them.

"No boat should pass within 50 miles of the Somali coast."

But it is not all bad news. While attacks on ships are up, violence against their crews is down.

There were 77 assaults on crew in the first half of this year compared with 375 at the same time last year.

No crew member has yet been listed killed this year, although five are still classed as missing at sea.

They were unable to board life rafts after a launch packed with explosives rammed their cargo ship 50 miles off eastern Sri Lanka.

The ship sank, leaving 22 crew afloat on life rafts.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

08 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Asia mulls piracy measures
03 Feb 99 | Asia-Pacific
'China letting pirates go free'
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories