Can voyagers be protected off Somalia?

The recent tragic killing of Jean and Scott Adam and their crew Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle from the 58-foot sloop Quest by Somalian pirates has raised many questions among voyagers about the best way to protect against/defeat pirates. Clearly individual voyaging boats trying to find off well-armed brigands doesn’t seem like a viable solution for most, although some cases of that type of self-defense have been reported. 

The Seven Seas Cruising Club (SSCA) is an organization with members voyaging all over the world and many are understandably upset about the killings. Some SSCA are highlighting what they call a lack of effort from the U.S. government and the U.S. military to either eradicate the pirate threat, or to protect voyagers on boats (and mariners on commercial ships) by using convoys. A good discussion of this issue is found on the Your Cruising Editor blog.

One comment that has filtered our way from SSCA members includes this from Nancy and Burger Zapf, “We’re hoping that  this tragedy involving four US citizens will finally increase pressure on the US and other countries to take serious action against piracy, which is threatening commercial shipping as well as private vessels.” The Zapf’s, who knew the slain cruisers, have more on their blog.

What should be the proper response of the U.S. authorities and the authorities of other seafaring nations?

By Ocean Navigator