VDR: Risk of Pirate Attacks Remains High

The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) has once again warned that the threat to shipping posed by pirates has not yet been eliminated as the risk of attacks remains high around the Horn of Africa.

The warning was made only days after an alleged pirate attack on a German tanker some 300 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. The private armed guards on board the vessel only succeeded in chasing away the attackers after firing warning shots.

The crew and the vessel remained unscathed, according to information by the German Shipowners’ Association.

“The latest armed assault of a German merchant navy ship clearly demonstrates the piracy at the Horn of Africa remains an immediate threat to life and limb of seafarers and to peaceful maritime trade,” said Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the German Shipowners’ Association.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) earlier said that, while the number of piracy incidents world-wide declined this year, pirates took 110 seafarers hostage in the first nine months of 2016, and kidnapped 49 crew for ransom.

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