We very often hear about piracy attack on ships and very few cases of hijacking of aircrafts. Why so ?
Piracy attack on ships are different from Hijacking of aircrafts. Though there are some similarities in both cases, the differences are more. For clarity, I prefer to use the term ‘piracy’ for ships and the term ‘hijacking’ for aircrafts.
Here are the similarities in Piracy and Hijacking:
- Surprise element: In both the cases, there is no specific warning and we come to know only after the ship or aircraft is trapped.
- Organized groups: In both the cases it is carried out by organized groups.
- Use of compact,lethal weapons: Compact, lethal weapons find immediate applications in both the cases.
Here are the 15 differences in Piracy and Hijacking:
Piracy is a terrorist act to earn quick money.
In case of hijacking, it is a terrorist act to demonstrate or draw the world attention to meet political cause.
Ransom is demanded against the ship and ship’s cargo. Ship’s crew are generally not harmed.
In case of aircrafts, the hijackers demand release of terrorists who are in prison or simply blow up the aircraft to draw world attention or expect the government to meet their political demands.
Piracy takes place at certain known places, mostly in coastal areas.
In case of hijacking, it can take place anywhere.
Piracy is by local criminals and is restricted to certain regions only.
In case of hijacking, it is carried out by worldwide network of criminals.
Hardly any planning is done by pirates to attack a ship. They carry out the attack on sighting a ship.
In case of hijacking, foolproof planning to hijack a specific aircraft is done meticulously.
Sea pirates are only males, less educated, poor and good navigators.
Hijackers can be males and females, well educated, intelligent, misguided youth with strong will power.
Piracy is going on for centuries and is an old profession.
In case of of hijacking, it is a recent development going on for the past few decades.
8.Speed of the craft:
Ships are bigger in size and move very slowly comparing to the aircrafts. Pirates come in fast moving crafts with modern weapons to capture the ship.
In case of aircrafts, the hijackers have no means to chase an aircraft and capture the aircraft.
9.Type of Craft:
Pirates prefer to capture generally cargo ships because of less number of ships crew to resist the attack. Pirates prefer to take possession of costly ship and costly ship’s cargo.
In case of aircrafts, hijackers prefer passenger aircrafts to take possession of the passengers to use them as human shield. Also, they prefer to use the aircraft to crash on soft targets.
10.Mode of Attack:
Pirates approach towards the ship in fast moving crafts with lethal weapons to attack after sighting a ship.
In case of aircrafts, hijackers board the aircraft as passengers and commence their operation after getting airborne.
Pirates can be scared or repelled by the ship’s crew if the ship is provided with light arms, ammunition and training to the ship’s crew.
In case of hijackers, repulsion by the passengers is impossible as the hijackers are ready for suicide missions.
12. Meeting the demands:
Shipping companies or Ship owners meet the demands of the pirates to release the ship and ship’s crew.
In case of hijacking, the government takes action to meet their demand.
13.Punishments and Preventive actions:
Tougher punishments or preventive actions by the countries are the least to stop piracy.
In case of hijacking, tougher punishments and foolproof preventive actions are being taken by all countries to stop hijacking.
14.Intelligence inputs or warnings:
No definite intelligence is available of a piracy attack.
Reliable intelligence is available on hijacking because of global determination to fight out terrorism.
15.Government reaction and Global efforts:
In case of hijacking, all countries are united and determined to fight out hijacking. This is the only reason for the reduced incidents of hijacking of aircrafts.
Your views are welcome.
Update: June 11
For reference on Piracy:
Update: June 12
Female pirates were there in olden days. Read more from Life at Sea.
Update: June 15
Update: June 21
What global average temperature has got to do with number of pirates ? There is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature. Read more from The Church of FSM.
Update: June 26
BIMCO is pleased to announce the start of a new ‘Piracy Reports’ web service to be found under the Security heading. Read more from BIMCO.
Update: July 15
Five pirates boarded a yacht off Venezuela coast and robbed 61 year old couple who were on a round the world voyage. Also pirates shot their pet dog. Read more from BBC News.
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