How to Pirate Proof Your Tanker

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http://A%20shocking%20rise%20in%20pirate%20attacks%20over%20the%20last%20decade%20has%20left%20many%20in%20the%20shipping%20industry%20scrambling%20for%20protection,%20leading%20to%20a%20new%20market%20for%20security%20forces%20trained%20to%20fight%20off%20the%20swashbuckling%20foes.%20Photographer%20Amnon%20Gutman%20witnessed%20this%20scramble%20for%20security%20first-hand%20as%20he%20sailed%20one%20of%20the%20most%20dangerous%20waterways%20in%20the%20world%20with%20a%20crew,%20their%20cargo%20--%20and%20a%20private%20security%20detail%20trained%20in%20pirate-deflecting%20techniques.%20The%20fear%20of%20attack,%20especially%20near%20Somalia,%20is%20a%20well-founded%20one.%20As%20Gutman%20notes,%20of%20the%20439%20attacks%20reported%20to%20the%20International%20Maritime%20Bureau%20(IMB)%20in%202011,%20275%20attacks%20took%20place%20off%20Somalia's%20east%20coast%20and%20in%20the%20Gulf%20of%20Guinea%20on%20the%20west%20coast%20of%20Africa.%20However,%20while%20Somali%20pirates%20continue%20to%20account%20for%20the%20majority%20of%20attacks%20--%20approximately%2054%20percent%20&ndash%20and%20while%20the%20overall%20number%20of%20Somali%20incidents%20increased%20from%20219%20in%202010%20to%20237%20in%202011,%20the%20number%20of%20successful%20hijackings%20decreased%20from%2049%20to%2028.%20The%20802%20crew%20members%20taken%20hostage%20in%202011%20also%20marks%20a%20decrease%20from%20the%20four-year%20high%20of%201,181%20in%202010.%20%20%20This%20may%20be%20because%20of%20more%20aggressive%20policing%20--%20the%20European%20Union%20recently%20authorized%20its%20most%20expansive%20mission%20against%20pirates%20in%20Africa%20--%20but%20many%20ships%20aren't%20taking%20any%20chances.%20On%20this%20journey%20through%20the%20Indian%20Ocean%20on%20a%20shipping%20vessel %20that%20wishes%20to%20remain%20anonymous,%20SeaGull%20security%20walked%20through%20the%20methods%20still%20being%20developed%20to%20combat%20modern%20piracy.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20crew%20members%20secure%20barbed%20wires%20on%20the%20side%20of%20the%20tanker%20to%20prevent%20potential%20pirates%20from%20climbing%20aboard%20two%20days%20before%20going%20into%20the%20high-risk%20zone.

A shocking rise in pirate attacks over the last decade has left many in the shipping industry scrambling for protection, leading to a new market for security forces trained to fight off the swashbuckling foes. Photographer Amnon Gutman witnessed this scramble for security first-hand as he sailed one of the most dangerous waterways in the world with a crew, their cargo -- and a private security detail trained in pirate-deflecting techniques. The fear of attack, especially near Somalia, is a well-founded one. As Gutman notes, of the 439 attacks reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in 2011, 275 attacks took place off Somalia's east coast and in the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa. However, while Somali pirates continue to account for the majority of attacks -- approximately 54 percent &ndash and while the overall number of Somali incidents increased from 219 in 2010 to 237 in 2011, the number of successful hijackings decreased from 49 to 28. The 802 crew members taken hostage in 2011 also marks a decrease from the four-year high of 1,181 in 2010.

This may be because of more aggressive policing -- the European Union recently authorized its most expansive mission against pirates in Africa -- but many ships aren't taking any chances. On this journey through the Indian Ocean on a shipping vessel  that wishes to remain anonymous, SeaGull security walked through the methods still being developed to combat modern piracy.

Above, crew members secure barbed wires on the side of the tanker to prevent potential pirates from climbing aboard two days before going into the high-risk zone.

http://One%20of%20the%20SeaGull%20security%20team%20members%20does%20yoga%20on%20the%20deck.%20In%202011,%20there%20were%2045%20vessels%20hijacked,%20176%20vessels%20boarded,%20113%20%20vessels%20fired%20upon,%20and%20105%20reported%20attempted%20pirate%20attacks.%20A%20total%20of%20eight%20crew%20%20members%20were%20killed%20throughout%20the%20year,%20the%20same%20number%20as%202010.

One of the SeaGull security team members does yoga on the deck. In 2011, there were 45 vessels hijacked, 176 vessels boarded, 113 vessels fired upon, and 105 reported attempted pirate attacks. A total of eight crew members were killed throughout the year, the same number as 2010.

http://Deck%20seamen%20take%20a%20break%20during%20a%20day's%20work.

Deck seamen take a break during a day's work.

http://The%20tanker%20during%20the%20day.

The tanker during the day.

http://A%20SeaGull%20security-team%20member%20waves%20his%20weapon%20in%20the%20air%20as%20dew%20skiffs%20(small%20engine%20boats%20used%20by%20pirates)%20get%20within%20a%20range%20of%20%201.5-2%20miles%20from%20the%20tanker.%20The%20gesture%20is%20meant%20to%20make%20the%20pirates%20understand%20that%20there%20is%20a%20security%20team%20onboard%20the%20tanker,%20hopefully%20discouraging%20attacks.

A SeaGull security-team member waves his weapon in the air as dew skiffs (small engine boats used by pirates) get within a range of 1.5-2 miles from the tanker. The gesture is meant to make the pirates understand that there is a security team onboard the tanker, hopefully discouraging attacks.

http://The%20Bab-el-Mandeb%20%20area,%20meaning%20"Gate%20of%20Grief"%20in%20Arabic,%20is%20a%20strait%20%20located%20between%20Yemen%20on%20the%20Arabian%20Peninsula%20and%20Djibouti%20and%20Eritrea%20on%20the%20Horn%20of%20Africa.%20It%20connects%20the%20Red%20Sea%20to%20the%20Gulf%20of%20%20Aden. %20It%20is%20one%20of%20the%20world's%20most%20pirate-infested%20%20areas,%20as%20it%20is%20very%20easy%20to%20hide%20small%20boats%20in%20%20the%20island%20areas.

The Bab-el-Mandeb area, meaning "Gate of Grief" in Arabic, is a strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa. It connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.  It is one of the world's most pirate-infested areas, as it is very easy to hide small boats in the island areas.

http://A%20dummy%20is%20used%20as%20decoy,%20a%20common%20strategy.%20If%20pirates%20are%20thinking%20about%20%20attacking%20the%20tanker,%20dummies%20provide%20"extra"%20men%20on%20the%20bridge%20and%20%20deck.

A dummy is used as decoy, a common strategy. If pirates are thinking about attacking the tanker, dummies provide "extra" men on the bridge and deck.

http://On%20the%20bridge,%20a%20paper%20map%20is%20used%20to%20navigate%20the%20high-risk%20zone.

On the bridge, a paper map is used to navigate the high-risk zone.

http://The%20tanker%20radar%20shows%20various%20other%20tankers%20and%20smaller%20boats%20in%20the%20vicinity%20%20of%20up%20to%2012%20miles%20from%20the%20tanker%20location.%20The%20small%20dots%20are%20often%20just%20waves,%20%20making%20it%20very%20hard%20to%20spot%20an%20actual%20pirate%20skiff.

The tanker radar shows various other tankers and smaller boats in the vicinity of up to 12 miles from the tanker location. The small dots are often just waves, making it very hard to spot an actual pirate skiff.

http://SeaGull%20security%20members%20adjust%20barrels%20filled%20with%20water%20on%20the%20wing%20of%20the%20boat%20in%20order%20to%20%20protect%20the%20bridge%20from%20bullets.

SeaGull security members adjust barrels filled with water on the wing of the boat in order to protect the bridge from bullets.

http://Night%20cruising%20through%20the%20high-risk%20zone.

Night cruising through the high-risk zone.

http://An%20officer%20on%20a%20night%20watch%20sifts%20through%20papers.%20The%20curtains%20on%20the%20%20bridge%20are%20closed%20so%20that%20no%20light%20can%20be%20seen%20coming%20out,%20possibly%20drawing%20out%20pirates.

An officer on a night watch sifts through papers. The curtains on the bridge are closed so that no light can be seen coming out, possibly drawing out pirates.

http://A%20SeaGull%20security%20team%20member%20during%20a%20night%20patrol.

A SeaGull security team member during a night patrol.

http://SeaGull%20security%20team%20members%20during%20a%20drill.

SeaGull security team members during a drill.

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