We enjoy and laugh at the antics of Captain Jack Sparrow, the protagonist in The Pirates of the Caribbean film series. In the context of the films, Sparrow is one of the Brethren Court, the Pirate Lords of the Seven Seas. He can be treacherous, but survives mostly by using wit and negotiation rather than weapons or force, preferring to flee most dangerous situations and fight only when necessary.
Unfortunately, today’s pirates are no Captain Jack Sparrow, as they are ruthless and are multiplying like a Biblical plague of locust. The International Maritime Bureau reported today that there were 266 pirate attacks in the first half of 2011 (A significant increase from the 198 reported last year). Most of the attacks were carried out by Somali pirates, who are becoming more brazen and callous in their tactics. Ships of all kinds, including cruise ships, like the Oceania Nautica attacked in 2008 and pictured above, have been attacked with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades. The NATO and the European Union have deployed special maritime surveillance vessels to protect the world’s busiest shipping routes. The report asserts the need for "sustained or increased naval presence. Being the only manned center to receive reports of pirate attacks round-the-clock, the IMB Piracy Reporting Center "strongly urged all ship masters and owners to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents" to it. This first step in the response chain is vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy, it added. The report can be read here.
Our firm continues to be safety advocates for passengers and crewmembers who are injured at sea.