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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The other kind of piracy

Just to keep things in perspective, let's mention the other kind of pirates. Not the software or music or movie kinds. Not the publishers-swiping-intellectual-property kind.

Actual real pirates, armed with guns, automatic weapons and in some cases rocket-propelled grenades. Some of you might be surprised that they're still in operation today. Indeed just the last few months there seems to have been something of an increase in pirate activity.

If you've ever scoffed at the captain or crew of a container vessel or bulk carrier, think again. It can be an awfully dangerous job, and these people literally risk their lives to carry food and goods across the open seas. The crew of a ship may be injured or killed just for a lifeboat, their food stores, or their personal possessions, let-alone their actual cargo.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) keeps a live piracy report with the most recent incidents.

If you never gave a second thought to this sort of thing, you might find it rather chilling.

Spare a thought for the unsung mariners who are daily risking their lives to transport books, magazines, pencils, food, plastic food containers, and a whole lot of other things we all tend to take for-granted. Sometimes people are killed for ballpoint pens.


  1. Trep Cosmo9:02 AM

    Never fear! The US and French Navy's are here!

  2. Maybe some day we'll live in a world where people don't have to resort to piracy and other forms of violence to survive. Then we could wholely retire piracy to the realm of folklore, and live happily ever after. *sigh* Yarrrr... :(


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