With an alarming number of tankers and cargo ships getting hijacked on the high seas, the nation’s maritime academies are offering more training to merchant seamen in how to fend off attacks from pirates armed not with cutlasses and flintlocks but automatic weapons and grenade launchers.
Colleges are teaching students to fishtail their vessels at high speed, drive off intruders with high-pressure water hoses and illuminate their decks with floodlights. At the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif., Professor Donna Nincic teaches two courses on piracy. Students learn where the piracy hot spots are and how they have shifted over the years.” If I’ve done anything, I’ve shown them that this isn’t a joke. It’s not about parrots and eye patches and Blackbeard and all that,” Nincic said. “It’s very real, and it’s a problem without an easy solution.” (AP)