Why Large Commercial Vessels Aren’t Always Able to Stop Pirate Attacks

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Everyone once in a while, we’re asked why a larger commercial vessel might be unable to fight off an attack from pirates in much smaller boats. Unfortunately, although it’s easy to imagine that modern-day pirates are just bands of disorganized criminals, most modern pirate attacks are probably more sophisticated than you might imagine. Here are a few factors that allow even large, well-equipped vessels to become overwhelmed in a pirate attack:

  • Use of multiple smaller craft. Pirates often employ well-orchestrated tactics with several small, coordinated groups, easily overwhelming slower commercial vessels.
  • Use of “motherships.” As larger vessels are taken over, pirate attacks in smaller craft can be launched from a nearby “mothership,” meaning attacks are now happening further and further from the coast.
  • Modern weapons. Modern-day pirates generally carry modern-day weapons, including guns, grenades, and missiles. Attacks are often violent, and ships are generally boarded. 
  • Poor defense. Without proper security measures and safety training, even larger vessels or groups of vessels may be unable to deter an attack at sea. 

While many commercial vessels—especially those with an armed security force—are able to deter pirate attacks, not every crew is so lucky. Pirates increasingly have the ability to overwhelm even large ships or groups of ships, and piracy remains a threat to anyone who must travel through these high-risk waters.

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know by leaving a comment below. And, for more information about your rights after a pirate attack, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today at 877-724-7800.

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