Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Adults - Nonfiction
Much of what we consume today travels by sea, and some of that transport is through regions where pirates prey. Reporters, victims, researchers, and historians document the majority of modern piracy accounts, but this book examines the problem from the perspective of a ship’s master (the captain). Prior to commanding his first vessel in 1983, Corbett served in the Royal Marine Commandoes and has twice come close to becoming a victim of modern pirates. His perspective is unique and informative.
Every Master of a ship transiting pirate infested areas is aware of the risk and of the consequence of a pirate attack. However many still remain ill prepared…. (p10)
To combat this lack of preparedness, the author provides readers with usable and worthwhile ways to prepare for the inevitable attack in a manner that is clear, concise, and effective without costing a lot of money. He defines piracy, encapsulates piratical history, examines various regions of the world’s seas where piracy has been or is a problem, and presents a hierarchy of causes to help readers understand why pirates do what they do. He also explains flags of convenience and their potential to endanger ship security. He summarizes the various types of piracy, how to assess a ship’s risk – including the various tactics pirates employ to gain control of targeted vessels – and ways to respond. While the principal goal is to provide low-cost alternatives to lessen the risk, he includes high tech solutions as well.
Corbett also includes interviews, including one from a Somali pirate, and appendices covering conventions and transiting the Gulf of Aden.
The better we understand pirates and the better prepared we are to deal with a pirate attack the better equipped we will be to deal with it. (page 44)
This quote best sums up what this book does. It provides practical, hands-on ways for ship masters to protect their crews, ships, and cargoes to lessen the chances of being attacked by pirates, and, if captured, what to do to survive. Perhaps of key interest to landlubbers is Corbett’s ability to put into perspective how severe the problem is in relationship to the vastness of our oceans and the smallness of the world’s nations and their territorial waters. A Modern Plague of Pirates is a truly eye-opening account of the problem of modern piracy with ways the people most likely to experience an attack can do something to combat it.
Book Review Copyright ©2009 Cindy Vallar
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