PIRACY | 1 in 6 attacks successful: report

From Tradewinds, 2011.06.28

Pirates have captured ships with a market value of almost $480m in the past 12 months, Clarksons says.

It counts 33 vessels hijacked since 1 June last year, with one in six ships chased by pirates actually being hijacked.

Handysize bulkers proved to be the pirates’ most successful target with the 12 seized accounting for over one third of the total, according to research guru Martin Stopford.

Multi-purpose vessels also proved vulnerable, with eight falling into pirate hands, just ahead of the seven small tankers snatched.

“Together the ‘big three’ accounted for 82% of the ships caught during the 12 months,” Stopford wrote in a report.

“Since piracy is about money, this leads into the question of what the ships detained were worth, the size of the ransoms and who pays for it all.

“The CRSL estimate of the market value of the 33 ships is $473m, an average of $14m per ship.”

Stopford notes the ransoms paid to free ships seems to bear little resemblance to the value of the vessel involved.

“In one case the ransom was 10% of the vessel value, but in another it was 153%, presumably due to a valuable cargo,” he said.

He added: “Piracy is back and, like the terrorists that cause air travellers so much aggravation, do not seem likely to disappear. The risk is small, but in pirate infested waters is significant.

“The financial costs are significant too, but no more than an owner can see disappear off the market value of his ship in a bad market. And the cost for the unfortunate crews, like all hijack victims, is inestimably unpleasant.”

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