A Hostage Story
OBP highlights the plight of crew taken hostage.
A Hostage Story
A new report published by Oceans Beyond Piracy and One Earth Future, both programs of the One Earth Future Foundation, explores the long-term impact of piracy on seafarer and family recovery. The report relates one hostage’s story using the assumed name Mark:
In 2009, Mark was a seafarer aboard a merchant vessel that was attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean. He described his experience:
I woke up Sunday quite late, as we slept quite late the other night. Suddenly, the emergency alarm went off. The emergency alarm was the most common alarm on board. Then it was followed by a public address by the duty officer, the Third Mate, asking all of the crewmembers to go up the bridge. So, I immediately run to the bridge from the cabin. All the officers were already at the bridge. The master said that there was a speedboat chasing us, the ship. So, we look for it. At that time, we can see the speedboat with our bare eyes, approximately two miles away. It was really fast, and our ship was running only at 14 knots. …After 30 minutes, the speedboat was very close to the ship. Within 30 minutes, the speedboat was approximately half a mile near the ship.
The ship defended itself with maneuvers to create waves to swamp the pirates, which the pirates easily avoided in their more nimble craft. Seafarers manned the water hoses, but abandoned them when the pirates began firing at the crew.
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