While sailing alone one night in the shipping lanes across one of the busiest waterways in the world, John Burnett was attacked by pirates. Through sheer ingenuity and a little bit of luck, he survived, and his shocking firsthand experience became the inspiration for Dangerous Waters.
Today's breed of pirates are not the colorful cutthroats painted by the history books. Unlike the romantic images from yesteryear of Captain Hook, Long John Silver, and Blackbeard, modern pirates can be local seamen looking for a quick score, highly trained guerrillas, rogue military units, or former seafarers recruited by sophisticated crime organizations.
Including new, up-to-date information for the paperback edition, Dangerous Waters is both a dauntless investigation and an epic, breathtaking modern tale of the sea.
For many, the word "pirate" only conjures up kitschy images of mustachioed villains with eye patches and gold hoop earrings. But as Burnett, a freelance journalist and former United Press International reporter, shows in this original and intriguing work, piracy is alive and well. A firsthand experience with pirates-in which his private sloop was attacked near Borneo-inspired Burnett to explore the modern world of thievery at sea. He hitches rides on two ships, a British carrier transporting crude oil from the Middle East to Western and Asian refineries, and a tanker carrying jet fuel and diesel oil to Vietnam. He describes some hair-raising close calls and shares his research along the way. Pirates, he explains, are often "gangs of poverty-stricken young men" (or sometimes women) employed by warlords, organized crime syndicates and terrorists. They attack mostly cargo ships, but anything might be fair game. The most likely spots for attacks are off the coasts of Malaysia and Indonesia. He also "dramatizes" some recent, extremely brutal real-life examples of piracy. As Burnett shows, the most terrifying scenario is that of a major terrorist attack on the seas. The USS Cole incident suggests that big ships are really quite vulnerable-especially since much of the world's sea cargo is oil. Burnett's well-researched investigation is spiked with plenty of seafaring action. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.