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Keeping pirates at bay

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There are some expectations that piracy in the Gulf of Aden is about to tail off for a bit. It appears that pirates don’t like rough weather any more than anyone else does.

Exclusive Analysis, a political risk consultancy, has conducted a detailed study of incidences of maritime hijacking in order to give its insurer clients the heads up about when and under what circumstances piracy is most likely to occur. It has told the International Underwriting Association of London that the arrival of the monsoon in the Gulf of Aden about now usually keeps pirates on shore. Not so for Somalia, where the waters are generally calmer at the moment. Technically, it is when the Sea Scale hits 5 or 6, that is, rough to very rough.

Weather was not the only factor thrown up by the study when it comes to keeping pirates at bay. Among an array of conditions, it found that ships that have freeboards — the distance from waterline to deck — of six metres or more have a lesser chance of being hijacked.

One pirate ship, apparently, was found with a five metre ladder on board — a hint as to how far they are prepared to go, or at least climb.

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