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What we feared most when we sailed down "pirate alley",
This review is from: Kidnapped (Paperback)
In February 2010 I led a convoy of 27 yachts through "pirate alley" from Salalah to Aden between the "safety corridor (IRTC) and the Yemen coast. Luckily we weren't attacked by pirates but a ship less than 30nms from us was. Therefore I was looking forward to reading Colin Freeman's account of his time as a hostage in Somalia. I wasn't disappointed. Not only is his harrowing account of his ordeal graphically portrayed but he manages to do so in an almost lighthearted way without one ever forgetting that his and Jose's lives were in the hands of dangerous, unpredicatable and often heavily drugged up pirates with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
However, what interested me just as much was his explanation of the pirates "raison d'etre" and how they evolved from semi legitimate coastguards to self regulating brigands and now unalloyed pirates.
As a circumnavigating sailor I have to assess risks routinely and righly or wrongly I assessed the risk in 2010 as acceptable. It no longer is. It was fascinating, therefore, to read how Colin and Jose assessed their risk, the measures they took and the ultimate futility of those measures. Hindsight is wonderful but with it we would not have the pleasure of enjoying a thoroughly good read.