Modern piracy has nothing to do with Jack Sparrow or the romanticized mercenaries of popular culture. It is a billion-dollar business that takes advantage of inadequate international law, lax enforcement and under-staffed ships. Gangs armed with AK-47s and small rocket launchers have been emboldened by recent successes and are demanding'-nd often receiving'-ix-figure ransoms. Theft of cargo and rocketing insurance premiums mean the cost of transporting goods is rising, not to mention the increased physical danger to mariners in all corners of the globe. In this eye-opening account, respected author and seaman John C. Payne lifts the veil on modern piracy, detailing hundreds of very real and frightening accounts up until now. The recent hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates merely brought worldwide attention to an issue that has been simmering for years. ama by ama by Today, as in medieval times, travelers and businessmen'-nd especially cargo ships'-re learning that after they set sail they'd better watch their backs. John C. Payne's ama by ...will help them chart a safe course and remind them of what happens if they don't.