Good Company

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

An on-line piracy attack map service

Reported by ICC Commercial Crime Services:
Sea captains and ship owners whose vessels must travel through piracy hotspots have a new tool to help them prepare their voyage. The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has launched an online piracy map which gives users a visual on the nature and location of attacks to help them better understand and track incidents.

The map is available as either a satellite view, provided by Google, a plain view (indicating countries and borders), or a combination of both. Viewers see not only the relief of the coastline but also the bays and coves from which pirates may initiate their attack.

“It is not easy to get an immediate picture of the piracy risk of an area by reading lengthy reports full of data and numbers,” said IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan. “We hope the map, coupled with the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) alerts, will help seafarers spot the warning signs and better prepare for possible attacks.”

While the map is primarily aimed at helping ship owners, managers and their crews, Captain Mukundan noted that law enforcement officials will find it useful in deciding where best to concentrate their searches for pirates, and researchers will benefit from actually seeing the geographical circumstances of piracy attacks to predict trends.
This user-friendly map can be accessed on the IMB website ( Red balloons mark actual attacks while yellow balloons show attempted attacks. Clicking on these initiates a pop-up with a summary of the attack including the date and time, the type of vessel attacked, the type of attack and the number of crew affected.
Map site here.

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