Are there pirates in the real world

Telegram / Piracy and yachting, better knowledge for better planning

Olivier TourchonPublished on

Piracy is defined as an act of violence that is committed for private purposes outside the territorial waters against a ship, its passengers or the equipment on board. All types of ships are affected, commercial cargo ships, pleasure boats and ferries are at risk from these types of attacks. The authorities, with the Quai d'Orsay in the foreground, issue recommendations and relative opinions.

Few attacks, but very severe

In 2019, 360 piracy events were registered worldwide. While this number is relatively modest, the majority of attacks are violent and result in injury or death. These attacks are usually carried out with the aim of putting enormous pressure on the crews to take possession of the items on board, the cash or the ship, or worse, to take hostages, depending on the pirates' motives to take in hopes of getting a ransom. In general, all equipment that can be stolen on board a ship (mobile phone, VHF, jewelry, identity papers ...) is stolen.

Southeast Asia and the Gulf of Guinea, two areas to avoid

The authorities state that two regions are now affected by piracy

  • the Gulf of Guinea (a third of all piracy acts)
  • south-east Asia, where there is a real risk of kidnapping

The good news is that this phenomenon has all but disappeared from the Indian Ocean. This does not mean that it is safe to sail there, because the economic and political situation has not stabilized, especially around Somalia.

East Africa

Critical risk area that gulf of guinea . Kidnappings are on the rise, with a total of 146 in 2019, representing 92% of the global total for this zone alone Ghana / Gabon . Most of this abuse takes place on the bottom of the Gulf of Guinea. The area that begins on a line from Libreville (Gabon) to Accra (Ghana) is to be banned. The zone of Sao Tome & Principe should be avoided as much as possible.

More or less local pirates act from Guinea-Bissau in the Angola ... mainly near the coast. The most critical area in this environment remains the area between the Togo and the Equatorial Guinea s, especially in the anchoring areas.

Indian Ocean

The area of ​​the Indian Ocean has again become an area in which there is hardly any piracy. The 25 cases recorded in 2019 were never hijacked. It is undeniable that the massive European military presence along the coastline Somali woman what better to avoid.

Red Sea

From the southern Red Sea to the east of the golf of Aden (in the street of Bab el-Mandeb ), not an act of piracy but a high risk of encountering illegal fishing vessels or various forms of human trafficking. Since the reactions of the crews of such ships are inherently unpredictable, it is best to stay away from suspicious activity.

South East Asia

Southeast Asia remains a moderately growing area of ​​distrust, particularly around the Strait of Malacca in which seizures may occur at night or in the morning. Similarly, are the coasts of Brunei Darussalam are to be avoided at all costs. Finally, as a whole, that java lake is a risk area in which navigation has to be considered twice.


Latin America cannot be beaten, with a steady increase over the past 3 years. In 2019, 135 cases were recorded, particularly in the Caribbean . The main risk areas are the waters Peru and Venezuelan women . The coasts of Brazilian mountain country and the Colombia . Eventually, some attacks took place in the Gulf of Mexico .

In general, it is advisable to keep watch near the coast, regardless of the sailing area, especially if you are driving a sailing boat, which is a relatively slow means of transport. In addition, discretion is required, both with regard to the route and the time of departure from a risk zone, in particular so as not to arouse desires.