On board through the Gulf
Transiting through pirate waters.
How To Navigate The Pirate-Infested Gulf Of Aden
SUEZ CANAL — In Port Said, Egypt, at the mouth of the Suez Canal, three private guards, one from Romania and two from Ukraine, board the Monte Rosa, a 20,000-ton Swiss tanker captained by Viacheslav Gavrilov. Their destination is Sri Lanka by way of the Gulf of Aden, a 12-day journey.
The captain, a 44-year-old from St. Petersburg, heads a crew of Ukrainian and Russian officers, Filipino sailors and a Burmese electrician. There is not a single Swiss person among them. Only English and Russian are spoken.
Gavrilov and his crew have good reason to bring the guards aboard. In the Gulf of Aden, Somali pirates, often disguised as fishermen, stalk yachts and merchant ships to rob them or take their passengers hostage. Several years ago there was even talk in Switzerland about deploying the military to protect the country’s ocean vessels.
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