Maritime piracy cases have been a problem for centuries. The United Nations (UN) has implemented four anti-piracy resolutions. Attacks have increased significantly in the past several years. In 2013, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center recorded 138 piracy events in the first six months of 2013. There were approximately 7 hijacking incidents and 127 sailors taken hostage.
In June 2013, several heads of West and Central African countries signed the Code of Conduct Concerning the Repression of Piracy. It is expected that this will significantly reduce the number of piracy incidents in Africa.
Recent Piracy Hijacking Attempts
On April 22, 2013, the vessel Hansa Marburg, a German container ship was hijacked by pirates who took four hostages. The ship was owned by Leonhard & Blumberg. It was four weeks until the four seamen were released on May 24, 2013. At the same time, a smaller attack occurred in April, the vessel City of Xiamen, was attacked off the coast of Nigeria and the crew was released after five days. In August, Nigeria’s navy killed 12 pirates after they attempted to flee a fuel tanker that they had hijacked.
Increase in Oil Piracy
With the increased need for oil and significant profits for it on the black market, there has been an increase in oil piracy. It is predicted that the United States along has lost one-fifth of its oil imported from Nigeria. In total, 117,000 metric tons of oil production around $100 million has been stolen by pirates.
This increase in maritime piracy has significant safety concerns. Maersk, the Danish company that was depicted in the hijacking by Somali pirates in blockbuster film Captain Phillips, has taken extreme measures to prevent future piracy incidents by keeping their approach to unsafe ports a secret. They do not announce their docking until minutes before their arrival. However, these measures have not prevented hijacking incidents and there has been a spike in these events in West Africa over the past several years.
Experienced Maritime Piracy Lawyers
Frequently shipping companies fail to implement proper safety and security measures to protect their crew members. If you have been a victim of a hijacking and experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or physical injuries, please contact Pierce | Skrabanek.
We have significant experience handling piracy incidents and can provide you with the guidance necessary. Please feel free to call Pierce | Skrabanek for a free consultation. We handle all lawsuits on a contingency basis. We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients injured offshore.