Calmer waters seem to be on the horizon as the threat from Somali pirates is withering, NATO’s counter-piracy commander said, warning that the international forces shouldn’t lower their guard before the threat is completely removed.
Speaking in figures, in the first half of 2012 the number of Somali pirate attacks equaled to 69, a 32% fall in comparison to the same period in the previous year.
This is a result of a joint effort in exchange of experiences and ideas, which have to be continued in order to eradicate the problem, Cdre Ben Bekkering said, inter alia, while speaking at a press conference on a Dutch warship sailing in Oman’s waters, offshore Muscat, InterManager news site writes.
The search for pirates is underway in cooperation with the Oman’s navy, however, the commander specified that pirate groups tend to hide at distant locations at sea for considerable periods of time, using captured merchant vessels as mother ships.
As reported by Reuters, they meet their needs for refueling and supplies by using remote places, such as Yemen’s island of Socotra, which was used as a refueling center.
World Maritime News Staff, July 24, 2012; Image: Seasecurity