Bulgarian Expert: Somali Pirates Risk Cheaper than Going round Africa

Diplomacy | January 4, 2010, Monday // 18:18|  views

A handout picture released by French Navy on 13 November 2009 shows a Somali pirate 'mother ship', being boarded on 12 November 2009, while sailing the Indian Ocean. Photo by EPA/BGNES

It is disputable whether it is worth sailing all the around Africa to avoid the threat of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

This is the opinion of Captain Nikola Hristov, Chair of the Bulgarian Association of Ship Brokers and Agents regarding the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia as cited by Darik Radio. Over the last week, Somali pirates hijacked two UK ships with a total of 13 Bulgarian sailors in their crews.

Captain Hristov has stated that the sailing around Africa meant additional costs of about USD 1,5 M – for example, additional 30 days of sail with daily costs of about USD 30 000-40 000. This means it might be cheaper to face the risk of having your ship seized in the Gulf of Aden and even to pay the ransom demanded by the Somali pirates.

“But it is best if – instead of facing any risk, NATO and the UN put together a special force and go clear up the mess. Just as the British Royal Navy did it back in the days. It is ridiculous to talk about piracy with today’s means of communication, intelligence, and control. Unless there is some sort of secret support for the pirates which aims to destabilize the regions there,” Captain Hristov is quoted as saying.

Captain Hristo Donev, CEO of Navigation Maritime Bulgare, has announced that four Bulgarian flagged vessels were currently sailing through in the zone threatened by the Somali pirates.

The 14 000-ton Sofia Ship is leaving the Gulf of Aden heading east, the 21 000-ton Vola 1 ship is heading west, and the 42 000 ton ships Hemus and Stara Planina are expected to go through the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday-Wednesday.

“All ships have been insured against hijacking. But this means nothing because if the ships are hijacked for a month, this incurs great losses. The moral loss, however, is the worst. It is surprising how in the contemporary world with so much money spent on navies and satellites we cannot handle those uncivilized pirates. It turns they are better than NATO and EU forces,” Captain Donev has stated.

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Tags: somali pirates, Navigation Maritime Bulgare, ship, hijack, ransom, Africa, Gulf of Aden


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