Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Modern pirates

Level 2 Intermediate

1 Key vocabulary

Fill the gaps using these key words from the text.
machete ambush secluded decline jurisdiction
risk free detain vulnerable non lethal cost-cutting

1. A place is private and peaceful and not near other people or places.

2. If something is , it does not involve any danger.

3. If something it gets smaller, less effective or weaker.

4. If you someone, you keep them under arrest.

5. If you someone, you attack them after hiding and waiting for them.
6. If something is it will not kill you.

7. is the process of taking certain actions to reduce the costs of a business.

8. is the right or power to make legal decisions.

9. A is a large knife with a long wide blade used as a weapon or tool.

10. If something is , it is weak or easy to attack.

2 Find the information


Lookinthetextandndthisinformationasquicklyaspossible:
1. Which area is the centre of modern-day piracy?
2. How many pirate attacks have been reported since 1992?
3. How many people have died in these attacks?
4. When was the golden age of piracy?
5. What percentage of world trade is carried by sea?
6. How much do Filipino crew members on container ships earn each month?

The Return of the Pirates


A large container ship, the Australian Star, was sailing across the South China Sea on its way to New
Zealand. It was evening and Captain Peter Newton had returned to his cabin. As the ship passed the
Indonesian island of Bintan, nine armed men burst into Captain Newtons cabin. They held a machete to his
neck and tied his hands with rope. The gang leader told him that if he didnt open the ships safe or if he
set off its alarm they would kill him. When the pirates had taken the $20,000 they found in the safe, they
used a rope to leave the ship and climb down to their boat.

Pirateshavealwayshadaglamorousimage.Hollywoodlovestomakelmsaboutpiratesbutnowreallife
pirates are more active than ever before. Over the last ten years attacks by modern pirates have increased
by 168%. Since Captain Newton was attacked in 1992, there have been 3,583 piratical attacks reported
worldwide, causing 340 deaths. Last November, a ship called Seabourn Spirit was ambushed off the coast
of Somalia. The pirates who attacked the ship were armed with rocket-propelled grenades.
E ED
SIT D E
EB OA L
W NL IAB

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2006


OM OW P
FR E D CO
B O
CA OT

Downloaded from the News Lessons section in www.onestopenglish.com


H
N
P
Modern pirates
Level 2 Intermediate
The golden age of piracy was the 17th century, when European powers colonised the Caribbean. Pirates
such as Edward Blackbeard Teach and Calico Jack Rackham attacked trading ships, taking advantage of
the political vacuum and a secluded coastline that was perfect for ambushes. During the age of empire, the
navies of the great powers enforced order on the high seas and piracy declined; but now, as the empires
have vanished, piracy is on the increase again. It is helped by a number of things from cost-cutting by the
shipping industry to fact that there are no international arrangements to deal with piracy.

The centre of modern-day piracy is the South China Sea, where more than a third of last years 266 reported
pirate attacks took place. The seas around failing states are particularly dangerous. The Indian Ocean off
Somalia is home to a special brand of piracy, in which ships are hijacked and crews are kidnapped and
ransomed.

Modernpiratesuseintelligence(includinginformationfromcorruptportofcials),satellitephonesandtracking
technology to plan attacks on valuable cargo, but one tool of modern pirates remains the same: the rope
and grappling hook. Climbing onto a ship in motion requires special forces-style skills and many in the
shipping industry believe some modern pirates have a military background. According to Newton, the
increase in piracy is also the result of the fact that there are few risks for the pirates.

Our ships dont have armed guards and nobody is going to go after you because it is international waters
and no one has jurisdiction, he says. Once they are on your ship, there is nothing you can do if they are
armed and you are not. Another reason why piracy is so risk free is that many victims fail to report the
crime. Shipping companies would rather lose $20,000 stolen from a safe than report it to their insurers and
face a large increase in premiums. Insurance premiums rose by 300% for vessels entering Yemeni waters
after a suicide boat crashed into Limburg, a French oil tanker, in October 2002. Ships sometimes do not
report piracy because they think that no country will bother to investigate crimes in international waters.

Naval vessels often discourage pirates but rarely want to capture and detain them in international waters.
TheUSnavyrecentlycaughtanddetainedpirateswhoattackedaThaishingvesselnearSomalia,buthad
to release the men because neither the Thai government nor any other government was willing to put them
on trial. When ships have been seized and crews kidnapped off the coast of Somalia, shipping companies
simply pay the ransom demands.

About 90% of world trade is carried by sea. Cost-cutting has made modern cargo ships extremely vulnerable
toattack,accordingtoAndrewLiningtonofNumas,theshipofcersunioninLondon.Thereareonly2024
crew members on modern container ships. Usually, just two crew members patrol the bridge at night. You
canhaveshipsthesizeoftwofootballpitchesandatanyonetimeyouwillhavejustveorsixpeopleup
and working, says Linington.

Few companies are willing to pay for security measures such as non-lethal electric fences or sonic weap-
ons. As well as being small in number, modern multinational crews are poorly paid. Many boats use Filipino
crew members, who earn just $400 a month. For that money, few captains expect their crew to risk their
lives by defending their ship.

Even oceans full of warships have seen an increase in pirate attacks. There were no attacks in Iraqi waters
in 2004, yet last year there were 10 attacks on oil tankers and cargo vessels near Basra. Ships are soft
targets for terrorists. It would only take couple of major incidents in a key area such as the Suez canal to
cause chaos. Piracy isnt fantasy, says Linington. It is happening every week. It is an advertisement to
terrorists that it is easy to attack something that is so crucial to world trade.
E ED
SIT D E
EB OA L
W NL IAB

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2006


OM OW P
FR E D CO
B O
CA OT

Downloaded from the News Lessons section in www.onestopenglish.com


H
N
P
Modern pirates
Level 2 Intermediate

3 Comprehension check

Choose the best answer according to the information in the text.


1. Why dont navy ships capture and detain pirates?
a. because its too dangerous
b. because no country wants to put them on trial
c.becauseitstoodifculttocatchthem

2. What is the main reason for the increase in piracy?


a. many victims do not report the crime
b. cost-cutting by the shipping industry makes piracy easy
c. the pirates often have inside information

3. Why dont captains expect their crews to defend their ships?


a. because its impossible to defend a big ship
b. because the ships are the size of two football pitches
c. because they are poorly paid

4. Why do some experts believe some pirates have a military background?


a. because they are able to climb onto a moving ship
b. because they wear special uniforms
c. because they use intelligence

4. Vocabulary two-word expressions


Matchthesetwowordexpressionsfromthetextwiththeirmeanings:

1. failing state a. a metal hook attached to a rope and used for climbing

2. cargo vessel b. a military ship

3. political vacuum c. a country with no government or social order

4. golden age d. a ship carrying goods

5. grappling hook e. the money paid for an insurance policy

6. naval vessel f. the money kidnappers ask for to free their victim

7. insurance premium g. a period when something was the most successful

8. ransom demand h. a situation when political leadership is missing


E ED
SIT D E
EB OA L
W NL IAB

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2006


OM OW P
FR E D CO
B O
CA OT

Downloaded from the News Lessons section in www.onestopenglish.com


H
N
P
Modern pirates
Level 2 Intermediate

5 Vocabulary prepositions
Complete these expressions from the text by adding a preposition. Check your answers in the text.

1. take advantage a situation

2. the coast of Somalia

3. the increase

4. deal a problem

5. put someone trial

6. vulnerable attack
7. armed grenades

8. shipping is crucial world trade

6 Vocabulary word-building
Complete the table.

Verb Noun

1. arrange

2. hijack (person)
3. kidnap (person)

4. move

5. risk

6. investigate

7. advertise

8. insure

7 Discussion

What measures should countries adopt to defend themselves against pirates?


E ED
SIT D E
EB OA L
W NL IAB

Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2006


OM OW P
FR E D CO
B O
CA OT

Downloaded from the News Lessons section in www.onestopenglish.com


H
N
P