Escorting past Somalian waters.?

Question by Atlas: Escorting past Somalian waters.?
I’m planning a circumnavigational trip around the world and after heading west from SE Asia I am left with a choice of going around Cape Hope OR going through the Red Sea and popping out into the Mediterranean.Honestly, I would enjoy going through to the Mediterranean since there are many places that I would like to visit(Dubai,Cairo,Athens, etc etc) but as we all know Somalian waters are infested with pirates and the last thing I want to do is get my neck slit from pirates. Is there any possibility to get escorted through those waters by jumping in a fleet that is already heading there? I thought about bringing a gun,butafter researching the restrictions of having a weapon and the obvious fact of being massively out gunned makes bringing a firearm a huge hassle and a waste of time. Any suggestions?
All right, yea I thought so. Its better to be safe than sorry. Wtih weapons in mind, does a bow and arrow count. Its not for defense , but for fishing. Would i get in trouble for have a bow and some arrows?

Best answer:

Answer by Pete M
The odds of being able to join any fleet heading there is pretty small.

Additionally, I’m assuming you’re on a sailboat, I don’t think you’d be able to keep up with any armed fleet.

Even if you were able to join an armed fleet it would be pointless due to the speed limitations with a sailboat..

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4 thoughts on “Escorting past Somalian waters.?”

  1. check with foreign office but very much doubt any real help can be given. sailboats are no match for pirates very fast motor boats and they are heavily armed and dangerous.
    more so since even navies will not use force against them rather taking their fuel and allowing enough to get home. apart from american navy vessels who are more normally able to pursue action involving force to protect its citizens. ( UK will not fire on pirates -only its boats and if anybody held as prisoner -have immunity from uk navy actions )
    if we do decide to sail near Somalia it is best to keep well away from the shore. boats are know to search for victims around 30 miles offshore. this is now increasing as folk travel further out.
    ps dont blame uk navy for firing any shots if you get caught by a pirate. troops want to but are not allowed by our government to upset anybody.

  2. Check frequently with the the yacht cruising clubs, for instance the Cruising Association, for the latest advice.

    From time to time (not at all regularly), yacht fleets get organised, with naval protection, and if so the CA will know about it.

    EDIT: For once, Captain John, I disagree with you. The CA and its members are truly worldwide and go everywhere, and have contacts everywhere. By comparison with the CA, it is the US State Department that knows diddley-squat about yacht cruisiing. What’s more, whatever the US State Dept knows or doesn’t know, they ain’t going to tell you, because if they get it wrong, you will sue them.

    Otherwise, go round Cape of Good Hope, staying a really long way out to sea while crossing the Indian Ocean. The Chandlers were several hundred miles out and still got taken because they were sailing solo (they are CA members, but thought being invisible was a good way to sneak past)

    Don’t take a gun (a) for the reasons you mention (b) if you get caught with it by local customms officers at any border, you will be whisked off to jail, which will be the end of your round-the-world trip.

  3. Experience is a wonderful thing. . . if you have it. . . Some of it comes with doing – some of it comes with age. My combined ‘experience’ tells me, you don’t even have the boat yet. . . But that’s OK, we all have to start somewhere – and most of us start with “the dream”.
    So, if you are ‘dreaming’ of such a voyage, here is what you need to know:

    Yacht cruising clubs don’t know squat. Most of the “yachties” in it never cruise far from the Yacht Club.
    The place to get good travel information and warnings when sailing around the world is from the State Dept. Bureau of Consular Affairs. Here is the link:

    For years now, the State Department has ‘severe & dangerous’ travel warning in this area. U.S. citizens are strongly urged to avoid sailing close to the coast of Somalia as attacks have occurred as far as 1,000 nautical miles (not 30 miles – 1,000 miles) off the coast in international waters. Recreational craft are a particular risk of seizure by pirates and having their crews held for ransom. Somali pirates captured and killed four U.S. citizens aboard their boat on last year because they did not have “kidnap and recovery insurance” and no ransom was paid. *Christmas Island to Cape Horn and Cape Town S. Africa is the route to take. If you want to visit the Mediterranean go around – Cape Town (Africa’s Wine Country) Freetown (on Africa’s west coast) Banana Island are all wonderful places to visit.

    My experience has always been safe & wonderful. I have never felt in danger, never had a single thing stolen, never felt threatened in any way – and my ‘experience’ tells me, people inevitably find what they are looking for. If you look for all the wonderful stuff in this world, you will find it. If you look for the dangers – you will find that too.

    Firearms tip – for those thinking of cruising with one. Don’t do it. Truthfully, in many (most in fact) countries, it will be confiscated and you also take the risk of being thrown in jail.
    So, what can you do if you feel a need for self defense? Use your head, and the law.
    Legally, the law says you must have a flare gun and updated flares on board. These babies are 12 gauge ‘pistols’ that fire a very mean ball of blazing hot (2,000 degrees) of fire. The Orion flare travels 443 feet per second, has 110 foot lbs of energy, and a range of 400 plus feet. When my son and cruised around the world, we collected a half dozen “flare guns” and put together an ‘arsenal’ of about 30 flares. . . We never need them of course, but it sure was comforting to know we had them. Furthermore, whenever Customs officials boarded our vessel, they never said a word about the flare guns.
    Suggestions? Work hard, save your money, buy a good used seaworthy boat – then live the dream – just don’t go messing around Somalia.

  4. Chances of getting an escort are next to none! The problem is that your boat is likely to slow! Small privately owned yachts even of similar type and size, make for a difficult convoy. Every now and then I will hear of a small group of sailboats going down the ICW (Inter Coastal Waterway) from Norfolk VA to Florida. Inevitably they break up long before Florida because some sailors find that it holds them back many miles each day. This adds days even weeks to the trip.

    One friend joined such a group, and lamented that she had to wait hours each morning to get under way because of a slow riser, then they anchored well before sunset, because they didn’t want to get caught in a isolated section of the ICW at night.

    You would have the same issues. If it where me, I’d simple avoid the area.

    Just as a suggestion, at some point in your trip you should find yourself off the Mediterranean Sea in Atlantic. You could then male a safe side trip to Cairo it’s still there) Dubai or Athens. You would just approaching from another direction.

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