NUMAST has expressed alarm at new figures showing an increase in violent attacks on seafarers during the first half of this year.
A new report from the International Maritime Bureau has revealed a sharp rise in maritime piracy cases in which seafarers have been killed, injured, kidnapped and assaulted.
According to the IMB, the first six months of 2006 witnessed a total of 127 attacks on shipping throughout the world – the same figure as in the first half of last year.
There were 74 cases in which ships were boarded by pirates, and 11 in which ships were hijacked. A total of 156 crew were taken hostage, 13 crew kidnapped and six crew killed.
NUMAST says the statistics underline the continuing need for concerted action to combat piracy and the wider threat of terrorist attacks on shipping. At a time when a Hollywood movie is topping the charts, the Union has backed the IMB in pointing to the ‘brutal reality’ of present-day piracy.
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