When Returning Home From a Pirate Attack Isn’t Everything You Thought it Would Be

We hear about pirates attacks in the news—a vessel hijacked off the coast of West Africa, a crew taken hostage near Somalia, ships fired on in the Strait of Malacca—all the time, but it is only once in a great while that the public really hears about what happens to the victims of pirate attacks after they’ve finally returned home. While most people imagine victims returning home to celebration and fanfare, the truth is that many victims of pirate attacks are confronted with unexpectedly strange or lukewarm receptions from those they believed they could count on. While it’s not often publicized, victims often struggle with conflicting emotions within themselves and in relationships with other people, and in all, it’s not what they expected for their return home.

Strange Responses From Friends and Family

Your family and friends are the first faces you want to see, and being back with the people you care about is the highlight of the entire ordeal. However, in the weeks and months after the incident, you may feel that your loved ones treat you differently, react strangely to you, or sometimes have even started drifting away.

Although it’s hard to deal with these kinds of changes and reactions when you need your loved ones the most, remember that everyone reacts differently to trauma—and people may act in strange ways in response to the trauma you went through.

A Less-Than-Welcoming Response From the Company

After a pirate attack, some crews are shocked at the response from the companies and organizations they work for. Where you expect support, you may encounter scrutiny, pressure, tricks, and even harassment. Your coworkers may even treat you differently. What makes it worse is that you may be discouraged from even speaking about what happened to you—to the press, to coworkers, to friends, etc.

A Difficult Transition Back Into “Normal Life”

If you have had the misfortune of being involved in an attack by modern-day pirates, no matter where in the world, you probably dreamed of home while you wondered if you and your crewmates would survive the day. But, now that you’re back, chances are you’re feeling a little unwanted, unwelcome, uncomfortable, or just plain awkward. Your injuries create overwhelming physical, social, and emotional challenges that others may not understand. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor, seek a therapist, or get help taking care of the details.

Share your experiences with our team and others who have gone through similar experiences. Connect with VB Attorneys on Facebook, or call our office directly for immediate answers and assistance.

Brian Beckcom
Highest Possible 10/10 AVVO ranking. Husband. Father. Fisherman.