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Pirates have long been romanticized, either as swashbuckling daredevils who steal hearts or buffoonish villains easily vanquished by stalwart heroes. But pirates are no mythical figment for today’s marine insurance underwriters. Modern-day piracy stubbornly persists in several areas of the world, endangering crews and driving up claims for cargo loss and ship damage.

In fact, at a recent conference on cargo shipping, participants discussed the emerging trend for pirates to be much more aggressive than in the past, using sophisticated vessels and high-powered weapons to take control of large ocean-going ships carrying valuable cargo.

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