Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pirates of the Mediterranean

Pirates, the scourge of the seas, dread menace to boat and crew alike, are real life threats in many waters around the world. But would you expect them in the apparently mellow Mediterranean?

Captain JP has heard of a highly suspicious and potentially serious incident that happened to one of the competitors of the recent Rolex Swan Cup in Sardinia.

Due to poor organisation, this yacht was forced out of the marina to anchor close to the shore. To the skipper and crew this was routine - from many years sailing they knew that with calm seas and gentle winds the anchor and chain laid was amble to hold her steady. And so they headed off to eat - annoyed at the race organisers inability to book sufficient berths but not concerned about their yacht's safety.

During their meal a fellow competitor warned them there were intruders onboard - uninvited guests who turned out to be divers. Their story was that the boat was drifting, and they therefore saved her and could claim salvage but would accept a "mere" 1,000 Euros for their troubles.

With the collective experience of those involve it seems extremely unlikely that there was a risk of drifting - if so, what was it? It could be anything from a misunderstanding to attempted blackmail - we will never know.

But the moral is clear: watch your boats. And watch those that watch the boats.

No comments: