Coping with Capture

Hostage Handbook on Somali pirates

In general, seafarers have only a limited knowledge of pirates, their ways of attacking and boarding and their breaching strategies for the citadels.

Many seafarers are uncertain about their general situation should they become a hostage, and the treatment they will receive from their captors.

This handbook aims to prepare seafarers for encounters with Somali pirates, and contains valid information about the situation as a hostage on a ship or on land. It provides the seafarer with a set of behavioral guidelines, and coping strategies, to assist him in the event of boarding, citadel break-in and during captivity.

Coping with Capture addresses issues such as

  • Conduct in the event of a citadel break-in
  • Deescalating behavior towards armed pirates high on khat
  • Dealing with the stress of captivity
  • Coping with threats and torture
  • Psychological first aid and group dynamics

Coping with Capture is created by a team of experienced specialists, consisting of certified hostage-survival instructors, a crisis psychologist,
a Somali culture and piracy specialist, a military linguist, and soldiers from the Naval Special Forces. Read much more about the authors here.


Book reviews

Review by Lars Bangert Struwe
PhD, research fellow specialising in antipiracy strategies
Centre for Military Studies, University of Copenhagen

Review by Birgitte Dam Jensen
Teacher of hostage and kidnapping survival studies since 2005.
Associated with the Danish Defence’s training in hostage and kidnapping survival.


Downloads / Inside the book

Download the beginning of the book here (PDF).
(Content, Introduction and Forewords).

Download the chapter “Pirate Holding Team” here (PDF).

Download the Somali vocabulary from the book (PDF)

Sound Files

Boarding I Commands, De-escalation

Download Boarding I Commands, De-escalation

Boarding II Manoeuvering

Download Boarding II Manoeuvering

Transit Navigation

Download Transit Navigation

The Ship

Download The Ship

Ship’s Crew

Download Ship’s Crew

Basic Words

Download Basic Words

Hostages Basic Needs

Download Hostages Basic Needs


Download Questions

Medical Conditions

Download Medical Conditions

Natural Remidies

Download Natural Remidies

Food & Drink

Download Food & Drink

Interaction – Polite Phrases

Download Interaction – Polite Phrases

Interaction – Family and Relations

Download Interaction – Family and Relations

Interaction – Fishing

Download Interaction – Fishing

Interaction – Common Topics

Download Natural Remidies


Download Colours

Phonecalls, Messages

Download Phonecalls, Messages