We received an email on March 10th from Nancy and Burger Zapf, s/v Halekai, who are currently in Phuket, Thailand looking to make their way to the Med. Like many (and as they should be), they are wary of making the passage with the recent attacks on cruisers by pirates. While there has been much debate as to how cruisers should approach this journey–or better yet NOT approach this journey–one idea that continues to come up is to hire a private armed escort.
The Zapfs decided to look into this option themselves and have forwarded the response they received from Naval Guards, a leading supplier of privately owned, fully licensed armed escort vessels dedicated to protecting vessels in the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean. Here is the response from Mike at Naval Guards:
“I’m sure it would be cheaper to load your boat onto a cargo vessel than hiring an escort vessel. Costs are around 8-10,000 USD per day of escorting. We can on occasion give much better quotes if we are “empty” in the same direction you wish to transfer but that requires a bit of luck to get together.
We normally don’t do convoys of yachts, it is simply too dangerous. We could not effectively defend several yachts and we would never take on a boat under sail.”
For more information on Naval Guards, go to their web site at www.navalguards.com.