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Yacht crews cautioned against traveling near Somali coast

Zahra Rashid
Thursday, December 06, 2012

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Nairobi, Kenya (HOL) - Yacht crews have been cautioned to beware of the continuing threat of piracy attacks off the Somali coast.

According to a report released by The Africa Report, Admiral Potts pointed out that nearly every recorded attack on a yacht in the region has led to the crew being taken hostage and moved to Somalia and huge ransoms being demanded.

Rear admiral Potts also warned yachts against traveling near the East African coast north of Mombasa, or in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

“We are witnessing a tactical yet wholly reversible success in the reduction of pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa and we very much welcome the shipping community’s efforts to protect merchant ships transiting the area,”

The report released stated that the operational commander of the EU counter-piracy mission off the Somali coast warned cruisers despite the drop in the number of recorded incidents over the past year during the launch of the Watch-Sander system, an anti-piracy system designed for the US navy.

The gadget is meant to mark both the anti-piracy measures taken by the EU naval task force and merchant ships and the targeting of pirate groups at shore by naval forces.

According to shipping experts, the system is said to automatically repel attacks on ships transforming the battle against Somali pirates off the Coast line.

“The advantage of the system is that it is fully automated and can defend the vessels without the need for human intervention,” the report stated.

The experts explained, “it cannot be stressed enough, the significant danger that pleasure craft owners will put themselves in if they choose to transit the high-risk sea area where pirates are known to operate.”

A report showed that the pirate attacks off the Somali coast are down from 199 for the first nine months of 2011 to 70 so far this year and only one attempted attack between July and September this year.

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