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May 18 , 2009

Hostile Seas

A Mission in Pirate Waters


In late 2008, piracy around the Horn of Africa escalated dramatically, threatening the passage of international merchant ships through a critical waterway. Not only were ships carrying goods to North America and Europe affected, but also vessels entrusted with food aid for a Somali population suffering the effects of prolonged drought and civil war.

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In response, the Canadian government redirected naval frigate HMCS Ville de Québec from the Mediterranean Sea to Somali waters to escort pirate-menaced vessels carrying World Food Programme aid to Mogadishu. Told from the perspective of a ship's officer, Hostile Seas is a personal account of life on board a deployed navy ship that explores the tension between military imperatives and individual needs as a succession of hijackings brings into focus the reality of Somali piracy.

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