Piracy ‘no longer an issue’ for superyachts in the Seychelles
by Sophia Heath
Piracy should no longer be a concern for superyachts looking to visit the Seychelles according to the country’s Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange.
The luxury yacht industry in the Seychelles has been impacted by its location, close to Somali waters, but Minister St Ange told Boat International that piracy is no longer a threat.
“There is no issue today,” he said. “In the thick of it, when there were potential problems, we made it law for every ship travelling to have armed guards on board but now this has been stopped. This is because we have not had one single attack in the last two years. We are happy that we are safe.”
Minister St Ange believes that more private yachts and luxury yacht charters are now returning to the Seychelles .
“We are seeing a lot more people putting their superyachts in the Seychelles to be used for their holidays and their friends. The numbers have increased a lot and so have the size of the yachts coming.”
Despite positivity about the Seychelles Maritime Asset Security and Training Ltd (MAST) still recommend being cautious in the region.
“We would advise that yachts continue to take armed guards when routing in and out of the Seychelles archipelago,” said Gerry Northwood COO of MAST and former Royal Navy counter-piracy commander. “This advice applies when approaching from the Mozambique channel, from East Africa or from the north. Yachts approaching the Seychelles from the east and therefore not venturing into the Somali basin need not take security.”
MAST also recommends seeking expert advice when in the Seychelles.
“Inside the Seychelles archipelago superyachts need not take armed guards, though we would advocate they embark security advisors who understand the maritime domain. They can advise the Master and assist him in maintaining situational awareness and building an appreciation of pattern of local behaviour as the vessel moves around the islands.”
If you are concerned about security don’t miss our guide to things you need to know about piracy right now.