Increased security in Yemen causes decline

There have been no recorded incidents of piracy against yachts in the first six months of 2010.

A report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) showed that yachts were unscathed for the first time since the organisation began releasing piracy statistics in 2005.

Four yachts were attacked in the same January to June period last year, with 22 yachts affected in total over the first six months of five previous years.

IMB attributed the decline to policing increases off the Yemeni coast, as piracy attacks against all vessels in the Gulf of Aden fell from 100 attacks in the first six months of 2009 to 33 attacks this year.

In 2007 Yemen set up three anti-pirate coordination centres, which has reduced the number of Somalian pirates attacking near to the Yemeni coastline.

Despite all authorites, including the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), warning against passing to close to Yemen, most yachts travelling through the Gulf of Aden, en route to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, choose to do so within 15 miles of the Arab republic’s coast, after gathering in Oman to travel in convoy.

The report says that Somalia is still the hotbed of international piracy. 51 of the 196 total attacks were in Somalian waters, while 33 attacks in the Gulf of Aden and 14 in the Red Sea have also been blamed on the lawless African nation.

British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler (pictured) are among 575 seamen being held hostage in Somalia, after they were kidnapped from their Rival 38, Lynn Rival, in October, while on passage from the Seychelles to Tanzania.

To see where pirate attacks have occured so far in 2010 click here to visit IMB’s live piracy map.