So far this year, piracy is up again in the Malacca Straits. In 2005, the total pirate attacks numbered 18. This year to June 30, 12 reports of pirate attacks have been made.
ICC International Maritime Bureay (IMB) Piracy and Armed Robbery 1 Jan to 30 June 2006. Attacks in SE Asia, Indian Sub Cont and Far East
The greatest publicity in recent years has attached to the regional governments’ battles against piracy of large ships – oil tankers and other large vessels.
However, it is interesting to note that despite this global focus, fishing trawlers and other small craft are more likely to be targeted. Only two of the eighteen recorded piracy attacks in 2005 involved large vessels transiting the waterway.
Despite the statistics, it is reassuring to note that no pleasure craft or cruising yachts have been targeted by pirates in this area in the last 12 years.
While the latest news is not good for commercial shipping in the Malacca Straits, which is one of the busiest waterways in the world, the newest increases in pirate attacks are off the Bangladeshi coast, 22 having been recorded to June 30 in 2006.
The Bangladeshi coast is well away from the traditional yacht cruising routes across the Bay of Bengal. However, for those who get well off the beaten track, keeping away from the coast of Bangladesh and particularly the port of Chittagong would certainly be prudent..
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