S. Korean ships remain safe from pirates amid drop in piracy in 2013

No South Korean ship was attacked by pirates last year while piracy on the whole dropped significantly from a year earlier, the government said Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, there have been no reports of an attack on South Korean ships since May 2011.

“The ministry believes the reason our ships have not suffered any damage from piracy is partly due to the country’s active efforts to prevent such damage that includes 24-hour satellite surveillance of vessels operating in waters with high risks,” the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry also noted international efforts to curb piracy, especially in waters near Somalia where the number of pirate attacks dropped from 237 in 2011 to 15 last year with the number of hijacked ships also declining from 28 to 2 over the cited period.

Globally, the number of pirate attacks came to 264 in 2013, down 40 percent from 439 in 2011. The number of ships hijacked by pirates throughout the world also dropped 73 percent from 45 in 2011 to 12.

South Korea has maintained a 300-strong contingent in waters near Somalia since 2009 as part of global efforts to tackle piracy in the region.

The South Korean Navy earlier said its Cheonghae unit has so far rescued a total of 25 ships as of January, while safely escorting 6,872 ships, including 3,332 Korean vessels, in the area.

Via: http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/

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