There are growing concerns that the yacht Quest and the Americans onboard may have been specifically targeted.
Before the attack a Somali pirate allegedly told an Associated Press reporter in Somalia that pirates would target Americans in retaliation for the sentencing of a young pirate in the US for 34 years. The pirate, who identified himself by the name Hassan, said Americans would suffer ‘regrettable consequences’.
Given this threat, the use by the US sailors of their website to communicate their whereabouts and travel plans does call into question the use of information security.
Loose lips sink ships they used to say in the Second World War – but now it seems communications technology can put ships and yachts in peril all too easily.
It’s sad to look at the website given the circumstances, but view http://www.svquest.com/2011_travels.htm and there you have it…a clear passage plan straight into this particular heart of darkness. With dates too – leaving India on 30th Jan, heading to Salalah, Oman then a refuel stop in Djibouti.
The message is clear – all yachts should avoid the area, and should be very careful about who they broadcast sensitive information to. It may be prudent to assume the worst when planning travel in potentially hostile areas and a judicious use of common sense could be very useful indeed.