Now four cruising sailors in Somali pirates' hands...DIY boat sharing...Saddam's yacht again for sale...Family of four drift for days in Pacific...ARC rally on a different rescue mission...and much more

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 11 Nov 2010

Now there are four. Cruising sailors in captivity with Somali pirates

Bruno Pelizzari and his partner, identified so far only as Deborah, kidnapped by Somali pirates  .
It's been a week of incidents on the world's oceans this week, the worst of which is the kidnapping of two South African sailors after the yacht they were sailing on was hijacked by Somali pirates.

This makes four cruising sailors in pirates hands, the British Chandlers, already in captivity for a year with no end in sight, and the Italian South African Bruno Belizzari and his partner, identified so far only as Deborah.

You can read the bizarre story of the most recent hijacking below, but the overriding question is, how will the South African government react to the kidnapping? If they negotiate and pay a ransom they will encourage the kidnap of other cruising sailors, but if they follow Britain's lead their two citizens will almost certainly languish in the pirates hands as the Chandlers have done. Their third option is force, and French commandos have been successful on two previous occasions when French yachts were hijacked, with the bitter twist that one of the sailors was killed by friendly fire. There are no easy options.

How often have you been in a quiet anchorage when speeding dinghies take risks they shouldn't? How tragic that a young Briton has lost his life. If his loss of life is to mean anything it can be used as an example to deter others from exceeding the mandatory 4/5/8 speed limits in closed waters. We always use a solar 'garden light', purchasable for a small sum at most hardware shops, attached to the stern of the boat to make us more visible on dark nights. It's true that the anchor light at the top of the mast is easily missed at close quarters, but it's hard to lose your life at 4 knots.

Lots of other news to keep you up to date with what's happening in the sailing world – tales from the adventurers, the hedonists, the philanthropic, the book reviewers and the practical minded. There's something for everyone.

Scroll down the stories to see what interests you

Sweet sailing, and watch out for change-of-season squalls!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Young sailor killed driving tender into anchored yacht
Sail-World Cruising,
A young British sailor has lost his life by colliding with an anchored yacht in the Port of Monaco. William Black, a crew member on the 56 metre ketch Burrasca, was driving his tender at 10.20pm and collided with an unmanned, anchored yacht, only illuminated by the regulation anchor light at the top of the mast.... [more]
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Somali hijack update and background
The Independent/Sail-World Cruising,
More details of the recent Somali hijacking of a yacht are emerging. Bruno Pelizzari, a South African citizen of Italian descent and his South African girlfriend known only as Deborah, who were first described as 'a woman and a boy' because of Pelizzari's small stature, are in the hands of Somali pirates.... [more]
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New U.S. Port for ARC Europe
Jeremy Wyatt, World Cruising Club,
World Cruising Club has announced Hampton, Virginia as a new U.S. departure port for their transatlantic rally to Europe, ARC Europe departing on 6th May, 2011. As well as the start from Nanny Cay in Tortola BVI, US-based yachts will have a dedicated start on the Chesapeake.... [more]
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Family adrift six days in skiff found by U.S. and New Zealand rescuers
Des Ryan,
A family that set out for a six mile cruise in a 13ft skiff were lost for six days in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean after their outboard engine failed. They have now been rescued. After their home nation of Kiribati made an international appeal for help, The U.S. Coast Guard and the New Zealand Air Force cooperated to try to locate the missing family.... [more]
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SY Coizil, one escaped, two captive, one dead - Somali pirate update
Round-up - Nancy Knudsen,
It has all the elements of a dramatic novel, with helicopter chases, commando raids, a captive woman and boy, a sailor who escapes into the ocean and a mysterious dead body. But the puzzle of the latest hijack of a yacht off the coast of Kenya and its progress to Somalia requires a detective of Hercule Poirot ability to work out exactly what happened from the mass of conflicting reports.... [more]
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Boat Sharing goes 'Do it Yourself' with generic software
Lee Mylchreest,
Not using your boat to the optimum yet don't want to join a boat sharing syndicate run by professionals? The designer of the software for such boat sharing companies as SailTime and Beneteau has now designed generic software so that you can efficiently and fairly run your own boat sharing arrangement with friends.... [more]
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US Sailor Michael Reppy - Sailing to stop dolphin slaughter
Erik Simonson,
Michael Reppy - At age 65, most people look forward to a nice quiet retirement, relaxing vactions and a less frantic existence. Marin County's Michael Reppy, a physical therapist by day, seeks to conquer something that has avoided him for much of his adult life.... [more]
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ARC Rally rallies to help St Lucia hurricane victims
Andrew Bishop, ARC Rally CEO/Sail-World,
Participants in one of the world's great rallies are to assist a Caribbean Island devastated by a hurricane by carrying supplies across the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]
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Sailing the Med in Eye Candy: Tunisia and the end of the season
Andrew and Clare Payne,
Andrew and Clare Payne are cruising the Mediterannean in their yacht Eye Candy, and have reached Monastir in Tunisia, where they will leave their boat for the European winter. After working on the boat for some days, they set out with another couple and an English speaking guide to explore Tunisia.... [more]
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Book of the Week: Coastal Turmoil, by Ken Endean
Sail-World Cruising,
Most boating is done in coastal waters, yet as many experienced yachties can tell you, the safest place in the ocean is in the middle, and being close to land can present much greater dangers than sailing in remote waters. While this may seem counter-intuitive, the reasons are clear.... [more]
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Saddam's Yacht - again for sale
ITN/Sail-World Cruising,
Iraq's Ministry of transportation has the luxury yacht Ocean Breeze, once owned by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, and now back in Iraqi waters, up for sale. The yacht has a very interesting history. Saddam Hussein ordered it in 1981, and it was built in Helsingor by Danish shipyard Helsingor Vaerft. But, occupied with the Iran/Iraq war, Saddam never took delivery of it.... [more]
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Yacht crew shaken after collision with cargo ship
Dispatch Online/Sail-World Cruising,
Three South African crew members on a yacht delivery trip between East London and Port Elizabeth had a narrow escape after their yacht was smashed from behind by a large cargo ship near Port Alfred. The incident happened in broad daylight at around 6am yesterday as the crew were underway to deliver the vessel to its owner, Quinton Dosson, in Port Elizabeth.... [more]
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Four rescued, yacht abandoned southwest of Fiji
Adam Ray/Sail-World Cruising,
3News in New Zealand has reported that four sailors from New Zealand have been rescued from the Pacific Ocean by a container ship, after their yacht's rudder was damaged by a massive wave, and their yacht has been abandoned.... [more]
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South Africa makes it official: Vessels 'required' to carry EPIRBs
Sarene Kloren,
As rescue coordination centres around the world step up their pressure on yachts, ships and all seagoing vessels, the South African Maritime Safety Authority's (SAMSA) Centre of Sea Watch Response has issued a statement that all 'ships' are 'required' to carry an EPIRB. All yachts in or likely to be in South African waters are recommended to take note. Here is their announcement:... [more]
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