Seafarers Routes Prone to Pirates Attack
In the past years, pirates are known to attack ships travelling along certain marine routes. They nab ships with whatever vital cargo they have, and even take into hostage the crew for ransom money from their shipping company.
Most ships sailing in narrow water passages are vulnerable to such pirate invasion. It is likely for them to come out of nowhere and jump over to the ship, take control and rob it with whatever they can get.
These shipping routes known as chokepoints are essential for the global shipping operations, and each of them is also likely to be a favourite hangout for pirate attacks.
The Suez Canal. It is a101-mile long canal which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez. The Suez Canal is one of the world’s most significant waterways because it reduces transit time for worldwide trade. It supports 8% of the world’s shipping traffic, allowing almost 50 ships pass through it daily. Only one ship at a time can pass through, taking around 11 to 16 hours to travel at slow.
The Bosporus (Bosphorus) Strait. Also known as the Istanbul Strait, the Bosporus strait connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits that separates the European part of Turkey from its Asian part one of the primary oil export routes for Russia and other former Soviet Union republics.
The Strait of Hormuz. This is a strategically important strait, 21 to 60 miles wide, which links the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. It is a main artery for transporting oil from the Middle East.
The Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The ‘Gate of Grief or Tears’, is the strait between Africa and Arabia that connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It’s location in the north-eastern part of Africa makes it susceptible to African pirates near the Somali Peninsula.
The Malaccan Strait. Located between Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, this 500-mile long funnel-shaped strait is used by ships as passage to transport seaborne oil across the globe. It has been a recent favourite site for pirates to attack at night and empty the ships petrol or diesel cargo.
The Danish Strait. The Danish Strait is composed of three sea passages between Denmark and Sweden, connecting the Baltic Sea to the North Sea. These three passages are Oresund, Storebælt (Great Belt) and Lillebælt (Little Belt). It is an important route for Russian oil exports to Europe.
The Panama Canal. This international waterway allows ships to pass between the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, making the trip from the east coast to the west coast shorter. It being a busy shipping route facilitating international cargo shipping activities makes it vulnerable to maritime piracy.
These passageways are essential for seafarer’s journey. Though travelling to these waterways may be dangerous, different maritime foundations are working closely with authorities to give aide and protection for seafarers’ sake.