Piracy Attacks Plunge as Armed Guards and Navies Secure Shipping

Piracy attacks plunged in the first three months as armed guards and naval forces protected merchant shipping, a group monitoring incidents worldwide said.

There were 66 incidents in the first three months of 2013 compared with 102 in the corresponding period last year, the London-based International Maritime Bureau said in an e-mailed report today. Four ships were hijacked, 51 were boarded, 75 crew members were taken hostage, and one was killed.

The decline was because of interventions by naval forces and also because more ships are being protected by armed guards, the IMB said. Vessels are also deploying on-board security measures to deter pirates.

“There can be no room for complacency,” IMB director Pottengal Mukundan said in the report. “The attacks will rise to past levels if the naval presence is reduced or vessels relax their vigilance.”

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