Pirates are again in the news. Somali pirates boarded the yacht of a vacationing British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, and kidnapped them last Friday. The couple is being held aboard a container ship (also hijacked) anchored about a mile off the Somali coast. Their last blog entry, made when they were taken hostage, contained three words “PLEASE RING SARAH.”
Mark has sailed by the Somali coast when the rule was to leave fifty miles between ship and coast. Now that Somali pirates have attacked as far as 400 nautical miles from shore, mariners are warned that there is no safe zone. Somali pirates have expanded their territory to include the unpatroled waters around the Seychilles Islands in the Indian Ocean. That’s where they boarded the Chandler’s yacht, as the couple slept. Modern-day piracy is big business: Somali pirates made more than $100 million last year. They are currently holding eight ships and 172 crew for ransom.
It is amazing to me that many people continue to hold a fantasy view of pirates. I’m expecting a crew of pretend pirates to come knocking at the door on Halloween.
Real pirates are murderers and terrorists, plain and simple.