World sea piracy falls to five-year low in 2012THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | January 17,2013KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — World sea piracy fell to its lowest level in five years in 2012, thanks to a huge reduction in Somali piracy, an international maritime watchdog said Wednesday.
The International Maritime Bureau said 297 attacks were recorded worldwide last year, down sharply from 439 in 2011. A total of 28 vessels were hijacked, with 585 crew members taken hostage and six killed during 2012, according to data compiled by the London-based bureau’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia.
The bureau said only 75 attacks were reported off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, down from 237 cases in 2011. Somali pirates hijacked 14 ships, half the total in 2011.
The bureau praised international navies patrolling the African waters, saying their preemptive strikes and robust action against mother ships helped deter piracy. Security measures by ships, such as hiring armed guards, also helped ward off pirates, it said.
“The continued presence of the navies is vital to ensuring that Somali piracy remains low. This progress could be easily reversed if naval vessels were withdrawn from the area,” said the bureau’s director, Capt. Pottengal Mukundan.
The bureau said pirate mother ships and skiffs were reported in the Gulf of Oman, southern Red Sea and the Somali basin. As at end of last year, Somali pirates still held 104 hostages on eight ships and 23 more were detained on land.
The report said waters off east and west Africa remained dangerous. Piracy rose in the Gulf of Guinea with 58 incidents recorded last year, including 10 hijackings and 207 crew members taken hostage. It said pirates in this area were particularly violent, with guns reported in at least 37 of the attacks.
Nigeria accounted for 27 incidents last year, up from 10 in 2011. Togo saw an increase from five reports in 2011 to 15 in 2012, including four hijackings.
The Ivory Coast had just one incident in 2011 but five in 2012, including the first-ever hijacking of a tanker off its shores.
Four vessels were hijacked in Southeast Asia, including a Malaysian tanker that was recaptured in Vietnam in the last quarter of 2012.
Across the Indonesian archipelago, the bureau said there were 81 reports of petty theft, accounting for more than a quarter of global incidents in 2012.MORE IN Wire NewsNEW YORK — The New York Police Department says a gunman who ambushed two officers in their car... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont Gas Systems puts Phase 2 on hold as the latest estimate for Phase 1 takes a 27 percent leap upward, to a total of $157 million; U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin quits for job with private firm; police cite man in pot bust.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Christmas bombing of North Vietnam ordered by President Richard Nixon, most lethal strikes of the war; in 1989, U.S. invades Panama to depose, arrest and charge Gen. Manuel Noriega with drug trafficking, racketeering.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Gov. Peter Shumlin announces demise of his single-payer health insurance initiative; convicted first-degree murderer Alan Prue sentenced to 50 years for killing teacher Melissa Jenkins; veterans chafed about park naming snub.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 497 BC, first Saturnalia festival celebrated in Rome, Scandinavians retain 'Yule Goat' as symbol of season, Krampus, evil side of holiday cheer, terrorizes children into better behavior, more advice from Christopher Hitchens.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 533 AD, Byzantine Emperor Justinian I gets the old empire back together again routing the Vandals from Carthage; in 1890, Lakota Chief Sitting Bull is killed at his home in South Dakota; in 1970, Soviets land probe on Venus.
- DUANE CARLETON: Rutland Herald Events Editor George Nostrand interviews musician Duane Carleton, whose new CD 'A GIRL LIKE THAT' drops Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, and will be celebrated that evening with a show at 9:30 p.m. at Killington's Pickle Barrel.