Download latest version of CA/ISAF advice

Warnings of an increase in pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden were given by Royal Navy sources at a briefing in London last week.

Image: IMB Live Piracy Map 2010

It was revealed that ten vessels, including a warship, were attacked in the five days between 28th March and 2nd April.

A spokesman for the Navy said “We cannot rule out the possibility of attacks occurring as far east as the coast of India and as far south as Madagascar”.

The Foreign Office now advises yachts to avoid the entire Seychelles area except in the immediate vicinity of the main island.

It was just over five months ago that Paul and Rachel Chandler were taken hostage by pirates off the Seychelles.

The spokesman also revealed the number of vessels currently being held by pirates pending ransom negotiations stood at six, roughly half the level experienced over the past year and new targets were likely to be sought.

In response to these warnings the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), with input from various bodies including The Cruising Association, has updated and re-issued its guidelines to yachts contemplating making a passage through the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin.

A single-sheet summary of the guidelines has been sent to marina managers, Port Captains and ships’ Agents in all the places frequented by long-distance sailors. They have been requested to display it prominently and, where possible, copy it and distribute it to visiting yachts.

The complete guidelines can be found here:

http://www.pbo.co.uk/fileBank/pbo/PDF/advice_to_yachtsmen_v2.3.pdf

A summary can be found here:

http://www.pbo.co.uk/fileBank/pbo/PDF/summary_of_advice_to_yachtsmen_v6.2.pdf

A press release from the Cruising Association states: “The Association’s Regulation and Technical Services committee has been working with ISAF on updating the Anti-Piracy Guidelines issued to yachtsmen.

“We are very keen that these guidelines are seen by as many yachtsmen as possible. We have been sending the guidelines to as many marina managers, Port Captains and ships’ Agents in appropriate places as we can.

“We are determined to do all we can to inform the long-distance sailing community of the very real risks passages in these waters entail” said Alan Green, chairman of the ISAF International Regulations Commission. “and to make sure that skippers and crews are aware of the advice of the naval authorities who co-ordinate warship operations in the area”.

Further ISAF information regarding piracy guidelines can be found at: http://www.sailing.org/piracy

Information on the anti-piracy operations may be found at: www.mschoa.eu