1. Jupie
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    Jupie New Member

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    Modern Piracy (for research)

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Jupie, Oct 16, 2013.

    Hi all. I haven't posted here in a very long time and I've finally gotten back into writing. I'm happy to be back!

    I won't go into the main background of the story just yet but I am 22k into my novel and this new section of the story begins with the main character on a ship. My story isn't anything to do with pirates but I do want the other characters to be outlaws at sea and I am aware of modern-day piracy (Ie Somalian pirates) but not much in Europe.

    I was wondering if any of you have any knowledge of any activity in Europe which could be considered to be piracy or illegal -- in other words criminals out at sea running against the law. In my story it turns out that the outlaws are in fact trying to help the main character but that's not revealed straight away. I just wanted to try and bring some accuracy to the story instead of just talking about pirates at sea and making it completely unbelievable in this day and age.

    (PS: If you do ever get time reading about modern piracy in Indonesia etc is very interesting...such a trade is often not spoken about and quite shocking...)
     
  2. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    Well I was mislead by the title XD I thought you meant Internet Piracy... (I have alot of experience in that ;) )

    This could help If I skimmed over the article correctly

    http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1916161,00.html
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you could have your pirates operating off the riviera, hijacking luxury yachts, as happens fairly often in the caribbean...
     
  4. larmita
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    larmita New Member

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    I am not aware of any piracy in European waters mainly due to them being some of the most crowded in the world. Most of European waters are within 2 hours reach of a chopper. Plus most piracy today involves using small boats to board large ships with low crew count. You have to hijack a vessel a good way out at sea or the response from the authorities in Europe would not allow you time to hijack a vessel. European waters are also cold water (average survival time in them less than 2 hours) so if you have to go far out to hijack a boat in a small boat and get thrown over board much higher chance of dieing.

    I can give you some idea about what its like on-board ships and there systems. So vessels will often sail from place to place for months on end it is not uncommon for the crew to be away from home for 8 months straight. All large vessels have transmitters on board so that there location is know by any vessel in the area. Though there are aways exception for the large cargo vessel the crew will set the auto steer function and go to sleep sometimes! I know of cases were cargo vessels where running without ID transmitters with sleeping crew resulting in them running across gear a ship was towing in the water costing millions of dollars in damages.

    Ships can have a wide mix of nationalities on them depending on what sort of people they need. The ones I work on have mostly filipino maritime crews. One thing I have heard of is violations of maritime work hours which limit the amount of time you can work in one day and say you must have a certain amount of rest. Cases have occurred of crews being forced to work long hours without rest for days on end. Then when they have free time being locked in there cabins and not allowed to go home for more than a year or more. I know its not quite what you were asking for but nowadays a lot of effort goes into making the sea's safer especially around Europe and America.

    I can suggest this website http://www.marsecreview.com/category/industrysectors/merchant-marine/human-element/

    It should give you some idea about life at sea. I would suggest to keep your modern day-piracy as anything can get past all the systems and be an exception after all thats why its a good story. Try to add the realism overall to the story with regards to maritime life as that would give you want you want but still keep it a good story.

    I hope that was of some help :)
     
  5. Jupie
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    Jupie New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help! I'll keep looking over the links you've sent me and see what I can do. So far my story is split between two different realms and the ship only features for about 20,000 words or so, so it's not the core of the story but I would like to show some background knowledge. I've gone against the piracy idea as I quite like the idea of them being mariners but the captain goes against the orders of the government which causes a ruckus. My other problem is the main character has been onboard this ship most of his life, so I'll have to think of a reason why it's been out at sea for roughly 12 years...
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    doing so could be just as serious a crime as piracy...
     
  7. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    As far as I know we don't have much any piracy in Europe.
    Recently some people have been charged for trying to board a Russian oil platform and I believe they called it piracy (those people were greenpeace activists though :p), but that's the only time I heard about it. So I feel safe to say there's no piracy in north-west Europe.

    What you could try -if it fits in the story- is a couple of people who own a boat and don't care too much about what is and isn't officially legal. In the Netherlands quite a lot of people own a boat because there are many canals, rivers and lakes and the sea surrounds the country on two sides. I also know plenty of people who couldn't care less about the law, so you can use that without making the story unrealistic. The only thing you would have to think of is why people with enough money to buy a good boat would go against the law.
     
  8. swetty
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    swetty New Member

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