Why Cargo Ships Can’t Rely on Navy Intervention in Pirate Attacks

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The problem of modern-day piracy is a complex one, and simple measures of military enforcement and rescue aren’t enough in current high-activity areas. Although many cargo vessels still enter these areas poorly prepared and often unarmed, seafarers could be risking their safety—and even their lives—by assuming that naval intervention will prevent a pirate attack.

Anti-Piracy Enforcement Efforts Not a Realistic Substitute for Safety Precautions

Although there has been a national and international focus on anti-piracy enforcement, cargo vessels still cannot solely rely on military efforts because:

  • Realistically, many nations cannot afford adequate enforcement in high-risk areas.
  • Pirates are sophisticated and organized in avoiding enforcement patrols.
  • Large patrol ships may not be able to effectively follow smaller pirate craft into some areas.
  • Pirates know how to most effectively operate and maneuver in their home waters. 
  • The cost of enforcement and rescue rests solely on taxpayers, not on billion-dollar companies that refuse to secure their vessels.
  • When heavy enforcement controls piracy in one area, pirates move on to another area.


Pirate attacks are a real problem on busy shipping routes in several parts of the world, and the problem is too pervasive for ship owners and operators to continue to rely on outside enforcement and luck when sending crewmembers into high-risk waters. Although the military has bravely deterred attacks and rescued hijacked ships and crews, it’s shouldn’t be a one-sided effort—and the hardworking men and women who must travel through these areas deserve better protection from this known risk.

If you were attacked by pirates because your employer did not take steps to ensure your safety, our experienced legal team can offer support and answer your questions. Questions? Simply reach out to us today at 877-724-7800. For more information and helpful tips, follow us on Facebook!

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