It isn't just major shippers who are at risk, said Klaus Hympendahl, a German yachtsman who maintains a piracy information clearinghouse on the Web and has written a book chronicling attacks on private yachts.
When he sailed around the world in 1986, Hympendahl's only worry was the weather. Now he cautions yachters to check the security situation along their route before they set out.
"The situation has changed completely," he said, blaming in part an increase in the number of wealthy people setting out to sea. Their well-equipped boats attract pirates looking for cash and gear.
Friday, November 18, 2005