I travelled to Djibouti to witness the sailing yacht Quest, whereupon the four Americans had been murdered by Somali pirates; those pirates have this year been sentenced in the United States for murder. A definitive guide is necessary for both yachts and ships in the future, and this one, by ex-security professional Peter King, makes fascinating reading.
Quest under sail in happier times
This will be the default guidebook for all yachts and ships in the future and designed to make the sailor's trip as safe as possible in high-risk waters.
There are several smaller books out on the market that cover various maritime security matters, but none that encompass all of the subjects that Captain of a yacht, super yacht or commercial ship or a Maritime Security Officer, Company Security Officer, needs to know.
This definitive guide covers all subjects that need to be known when a vessel will transit through or be located in a high-risk area. In Peter King's words:
The original book was written in 2008 when I worked on sailing yachts providing armed security. After a year the book was extended to deal with super yachts and slow moving vessels such as tugs and work boats, but in late 2009 it was rewritten to deal with the scourge of piracy off the Somali coast and surrounding areas with commercial shipping in mind.
The book deals with every subject the Captain, Chief Officer and Boson need to know when it comes to ship’s hardening, citadel emplacement, anti-piracy drills, first aid and actions upon pirate attack. The book has 394 A4 pages in colour with 100s of explanatory photographs and diagrams that make the book easy to read and follow, bearing those in mind whose first language may not be English. The book deals with all high-risk areas such as the Gulf of Aden/Guinea, East Africa, Indian Ocean/Arabian/Red Seas, South America and the Malacca Strait, all areas that I work in. It deals with vulnerable vessels at anchor and underway as the book is to give maximum protection to the crew, vessel, cargo and company reputation.
In 2012/13 the success rate of Somali pirates fell due to the success of the patrolling naval ships and assets and also the number of commercial ships using privately contracted armed security personnel. In 2013, many attacks and suspicious approaches by armed pirates are not being reported. Again this gives the wrong impression that that piracy has declined and that the seas are now much safer; this could not be further from the truth. IMAAG gives clear, concise advice on this subject and can recommend which companies are the better and which products effectively work, thus saving the client money and time.
What is alarming are the number of attacks off west Africa and off Indonesia, especially upon vessels at anchor. This book deals with both of those areas as well as others, not only the Somali pirate high-risk area. Great attention is focussed upon ships and yachts at anchor when they are even more vulnerable to illegal boarding by thieves and pirates.
The book is available from the author’s company IMAAG Ltd (International Maritime Anti-Piracy Advisory Group) www.imaag.co.uk at £195.00 plus postage. Bulk orders available at discount. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org . The ISBN is 978-0-9583028-0-7.