As reported by Sail-World.com
Pirates strike on the Amazon
Wed, 29 Jul 2009
When New Zealand’s revered Sir Peter Blake was killed by pirates in 2001 on the Amazon River, it was thought to be a one-off experience, but yachts thinking of venturing up the Amazon River should be aware that a tourist vessel has been raided by pirates and the passengers robbed this week on the Amazon River.
Aqua Expeditions, river boat expedition operators, who run luxury tours on the Amazon, have announced that the MV Aqua, its Amazon river cruise ship, was boarded this week by six armed bandits who robbed passengers of money and valuables.
There were 24 passengers and 21 crew members onboard at the time of the incident. The incident lasted less than an hour and nobody was hurt.
Aqua Expeditions is a Peruvian company, and the Peru Minister of Tourism Martin Perez has since said the government has launched an investigation into the incident. “My first priority is to ensure that safety measures are immediately set in place to ensure this cannot ever happen again,” Perez said in a statement.
The remoteness of the Amazon means that other attacks may have been under-reported, if they were on local vessels.
Other reports have indicated that there are armed pirates operating on the river, who are better equipped than the police and sometimes pose as police to dupe their victims.