Thursday, November 1, 2007

Piracy in modern Southeast Asia, Setting the record straight

A tourism and yacht industry report
Imagine ghosting along at sunset far from civilization on an extended cruise of Southeast Asia and the tranquility of twilight is shattered by the distant whirr of a powerful outboard engine. Within moments a high-speed boat emerges from the shadows of a hidden cove on an intercept course with your own hopelessly becalmed yacht. As the vessel closes in, you see the silhouette of a group of men and they’re holding what look like assault rifles. It’s every cruiser’s worst nightmare. But how real is the threat?

Bianca Hein and Scott Neuman are both sailors and journalists - who are addressing the piracy issue in Southeast Asian waters. An ambitious report that covers all aspects of piracy as it relates to the modern day tourism and yachting industry. The ancient mariner Warren Blake who has sailed throughout the archipelago for over 40 years provides an interpretation of their findings in Piracy Against Overblown Fear is worth a read at the end of Part II as it contains some good advice for yacht skippers and crew worried about cruising through the region. This three part report is the definitive word on the subject. It is available for reading online at:

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