Thieves of the Sea
By: Alison Somers
Composition 1 Blue
24 July 2012
Most people see pirates as swashbuckling and rum drinking bums. But over the years pirates have become a large threat to international waters, especially off the coast of Somalia. These new very dangerous pirates have devised ways to hijack cargo ships and take its entire crew and products hostage. They then use these products and crewmembers to their advantage and demand ransoms of a high dollar trade. Piracy off the coast of Somalia has grown in large numbers in the last half decade. The pirates are regularly now demanding and receiving million dollar ransoms from the cargo ships they hijack. Therefore, there should be a greater naval presence on the coast of Somalia to reduce the number of hijackings.
Piracy is an issue that cargo ships have dealt with for years. But since the big piracy boom in 2008, the cargo ships have lost more money and crewmembers than they ever have. Somali pirates have organized ways to hijack large cargo ships that carry millions of dollars worth of products. The pirates then take all the products and the ships crew members for ransom. Between 2005 and 2008 the ransom rate was in the hundred thousands. Now the rates are much higher and have “hovered between half and million and two million dollars”(Middleton). And the total ransom rate for 2008 lie’s in the area of 18 to 30 million US dollars. The shipping companies and sometimes the governments are prepared to pay these outrageous amounts, because compared to the price of the cargo ship itself and the life of the crew the ransom amount is significantly smaller. According to Roger Middleton consultant researcher for the Chatham House, the international shipping association BIMCO has said that the payment of ransoms has probably only made the problem worse. And would really prefer the industry not to pay the sums the pirates are demanding. But...
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