Bloomberg News

Somali Pirates Thwarted as Attacks Worldwide Rise to Record

October 18, 2011

(Updates with falling success rate of Somali pirates in first paragraph.)

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Navies and ships thwarted an increasing number of attacks by Somali pirates this year as incidents worldwide rose to a record, the International Maritime Bureau said.

Of 199 attacks by Somali pirates, 12 percent resulted in hijacks in the first nine months, down from a 28 percent success rate a year earlier, the London and Kuala Lumpur-based bureau said in an e-mailed report today. There were a record 352 incidents globally, it said.

The surge in attacks by Somali pirates spurred navies to increase patrols and caused shipowners to improve on-board security. The use of private armed guards may rise by 30 percent next year, according to U.K.-based Protection Vessels International Ltd., the largest company to deploy marines on vessels.

“Somali pirates are finding it harder to hijack ships and get the ransom they ask for,” bureau director Pottengal Mukundan said by e-mail today. “The navies deserve to be complemented on their excellent work.”

Attacks off Benin, West Africa, rose to 19 with eight vessels hijacked, according to the bureau, whose data show no attacks off the country in the corresponding period last year.

--Editors: John Deane, Claudia Carpenter

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaric Nightingale in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at

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