Anarchy at Sea

A Voyage through Pirate-Infested Waters
By Andreas Ulrich

While the European naval mission Atalanta avoids definitive contact with the pirates who plague the waters around the Horn of Africa, shipping companies are protecting their vessels with armed private security personnel. SPIEGEL joined one such ship as it ran the pirate gauntlet on the world’s most important trade route.

A cardboard carton the size of a shoebox bobs about in the Red Sea waves. As James Roles observes it through a telescope, a shot rings out. “Not bad,” he says, “but you’re a little bit short. Go ahead and aim it a little higher.” Kevin McGregor sets his rifle’s telescopic sights on the box and pulls the trigger once again. Roles is satisfied. It’s a hit. He’s ready.

Roles and his British team arrived onboard two days ago. The GasChem Antarctic had just left the Suez Canal when a motorboat approached the ship carrying the men. They are four ex-Royal Marines who now work for the British security company [continue reading the original Spiegel article]

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