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Old 11-04-2008, 07:21   #16
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Pirates release crew

Latest from the BEEB:

"The crew of a luxury French yacht held by pirates near Somalia have been freed "without incident", French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said.

"BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Pirates release French yacht crew
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:38   #17
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That was quick. Wonder if they paid them off, or did it by force?
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:41   #18
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Oh well...shoulda gone around the horn.
I think you mean the "good hope."
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:43   #19
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It would be worthwhile for the military to covertly run "escorts" through this area by having soldiers on board the vessels. Publicise a few pirate vessels being blown out of the water with RPGs and being cut up with 50 caliber machine guns, and I suspect the pirate trade would decline.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:42   #20
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It would be worthwhile for the military to covertly run "escorts" through this area by having soldiers on board the vessels. Publicise a few pirate vessels being blown out of the water with RPGs and being cut up with 50 caliber machine guns, and I suspect the pirate trade would decline.
Most western militaries respect the rule of law.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:43   #21
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Most western militaries respect the rule of law.
What is your point?
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Old 11-04-2008, 13:31   #22
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What is your point?
That they can't just blast the pirates out of the water. They need to arrest them, and turn them over to their own government for prosecution - how effective do you think the Somali government is?
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Old 11-04-2008, 13:34   #23
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That they can't just blast the pirates out of the water. They need to arrest them, and turn them over to their own government for prosecution - how effective do you think the Somali government is?
I suspect that if the Pirates come full guns blazing, they will meet a barrage of 50 caliber fire.

Even better if they can "arrest" them and turn them over to the Samali govt. They will probably just be shot within a day or two.
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Old 11-04-2008, 13:52   #24
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Lodesman, I know you live in or near Ottawa, but I think you deal with people with what they understand, and hopefully the rest will get the hint. Was wondering is the Ottawa river open yet as know launch day is in early May for NYC
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Old 11-04-2008, 14:08   #25
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Wife and I were talking about the pirate situation in the Gulf of Aden and it seems as though the pirates have given-up on attacking sailing vessels and have focused on larger ships. I was thinking that it was due to the fact that many sailing vessels actually put up a fight...while there is a much larger potential pay-off with little risk of a fight from cruise ships.
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Old 11-04-2008, 14:12   #26
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'Interesting bags'
Gen Georgelin, head of the French armed forces general staff, told a news conference that in the operation to capture the pirates, troops had recovered "interesting bags" and "some of the ransom that had probably been paid."
A source quoted by AFP news agency suggested $2m (1m) may have been paid in ransom money.
Gen Georgelin said negotiations to free those held had taken place by radio between the boat-owners - a subsidiary of the CMA-CGM company - and the pirates.
As the pirates later made their escape by car in the Somali region of Mudug, they were intercepted by French forces in four helicopters, he said.
Gen Georgelin added that the pirates were not directly fired upon and those captured would be handed over to French justice officials.


The governor of Mudug, Abdul Kadir Ahmed, said three bodies had been recovered after the operation.
The French presidency has strongly denied that anyone was killed. President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier thanked the French military for their role in ending the crisis. "The president expresses his deep gratitude to the French armed forces and all the state services which enabled a rapid and peaceful solution to this hostage-taking," Mr Sarkozy's statement said.
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Old 11-04-2008, 14:22   #27
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A.D. - No, the river is still quite frozen. Fingers crossed for mid-May, but who knows; it was snowing today.

Kevin
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Old 11-04-2008, 14:25   #28
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"Sailboats putting up a fight." Thats an interesting assumption. Dunno where you got it from, but interesting none the less. OTOH, it could be that sailboats (privately owned ones) are a hell of a lot smaller than 200 to 500 foot long boats. With all the water out there, probably be a lot easier to spot some huge vessel than a small sailboat. Not to mention that larger boats have larger payouts - both with content and ransom. How would the contents of a small sailboat (or powerboat for that matter) help support the 15 to 20 gunmen. How or who would they contact for ransom?

While the gunmen ARE criminals, and probably not the brightest folk, they probably aren't too stupid - at least not so stupid as to NOT do a basic risk:reward evaluation.
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Old 11-04-2008, 15:46   #29
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Here's just one example from last week...
Sailing Boat Shot At Between Venezuela and Trinidad.

Created by val. Last modified on 2008-04-06 14:34:12
Topic: Piracy
Countries: Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela

At about 18:00 AST, March 28, 2008 the sailboat "Mr Hopper" was passing the Gas Well Platforms about 24nm north of Trinidad on the rhumb line to Grenada. A small boat with 6 Venezuleans approached from amongst the Gas Platform and when it was about 30 meters away opened fire on the sailboat. They continued to approach closer while shooting until the skipper of the sailboat was able to fire a flare using his flare gun into their boat. They then departed. The sailboat continued north to Grenada under cover of darkness without lights. They discovered at least 4 bullet holes in their boat after arrival at Grenada. No physical injuries to the crew.

And another..

Violent Pirate Attack On Two Yachts Off Yemen

Created by doina. Last modified on 2007-03-23 15:29:12
Contributors:
Topic: Piracy Reports 2005

Here is a firsthand account of a pirate attack on two yachts. It took place only 30 miles off the coast of Yemen at 1328' North 4807' East on 8 March 5pm local.
This report has been filed with the relevant authorities: the Yemen Coast Guard, Yemen Navy, Aden Port Control, US Coalition 5th Fleet, US Embassy and State Department.
Richard Donaldson-Alves, Controller, Mobile Maritime Net, South East Asian Waters (14,323 MHz 0025 Z daily Wx @ 0055 Z daily)
On 8 March 2005, two sailing yachts, Mahdi & Gandalf, were moving SW 30 miles off the coast of Yemen proceeding to the port of Aden from Salalah, Oman.
At about 0900 two outboard powered boats, about 25 feet long with 3 men in each one, passed off our stern moving south at about 25 knots. An hour or two later they returned, one coming quite close and looking us over carefully. The second boat passed our bows but quite a ways away. These boats were obviously not engaged in a normal activity such as fishing, etc. At that time we were south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The area around Al Mukalla is well documented as being a piracy problem area and we started watching carefully for anything out of the ordinary. At about 1600 we observed two different boats approaching us head on from the SW. These boats were 25-30 feet long, had higher freeboard and diesel powered. They were coming very fast directly at us. There were 4 men in each boat. The boats separated at about 200 yards, one boat ahead of the other, coming down Mahdi’s port side and firing into the cockpit. The other boat was firing an automatic weapon at both Gandalf and Mahdi from ahead, more at Gandalf. These guys were shooting directly at the cockpits, and obviously intended to kill us. The first boat swung around behind Mahdi’s stern to come up and board us. At that point I, Rod Nowlin aboard Mahdi and armed with a 12 gage shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot, started shooting into their boat. I forced them to keep their heads down so that they could not shoot at us. I am not sure I hit anyone at that point although I could see the driver of the boat crouched down behind a steering console. After firing 3 shots at them their engine started to smoke and I swung around to shoot at the boat ahead. At that point, I saw Jay Barry on Gandalf ram that boat amidships almost cutting it in two and turning it almost completely over. I turned back around to shoot again at the boat behind Mahdi and that is when they turned away from Mahdi and were heading toward the stern of Gandalf. Gandalf was beside us, about 100 feet away. The bow of the pirate’s boat came right up against Gandalf’s stern and two men stood up on the bow to board Gandalf. That was a serious and probably fateful error on their part. I shot both of them. That boat then veered away and I shot the driver, although I am not sure of the outcome because they were farther away and I did not knock him down like the other two.
Mahdi and Gandalf kept going at full speed to put as much distance between the pirates and us as possible. As soon as we were out of rifle range we looked back and both boats were drifting and appeared to be disabled.
If Jay on Gandalf had not had the presence of mind to veer over into one boat and ram it, the outcome of this attack would have been totally different. All they needed to do was stand off a ways and shoot us to pieces with automatic weapons. We were extremely lucky. We broadcast Mayday calls on all VHF and HF radio frequencies, including two HF emergency frequencies supplied by the US Coast Guard a few days before. The Coalition Forces in the area were supposed to be monitoring these frequencies. There was no response except from a commercial ship in the area on VHF 16 who approached and observed the disabled pirates for a bit, then sailed along side of us for 2-4 hours until dark to make sure we would be all right.
The pirates were well organized and well armed. There were at least 4 boats involved. They had set up a picket line out from the Yemen coast probably at least for 50-75 miles, so if you transited the area during the day they wouldn’t miss you. The two boats that attacked us appeared to have come from the south.
There has been speculation in the past that this ongoing piracy problem off the Yemen coast was being carried out by Somali pirates. Given the number, type of boats involved, and the direction the spotter boats came from, this does not appear to be correct in this case. This problem is getting worse and the pirate attacks are getting deadly. One could only expect that the Yemen Government will take more direct action. At the very least, allow yachts to group in Salalah, Oman and at some point on the NW Yemen coast to request an escort along the Yemen coast.
March 11, 2005
Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retired
S/V Mahdi


OTOH Interesting none the less!
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Old 11-04-2008, 15:50   #30
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Kevin is right - no navy is entitled under international law to engage in policing/hostilities in foreign territorial waters. That is why foreign navies have been unable to hunt down and engage even the freighters carrying their own flags that have been seized by pirates near Somalia or Indonesia.

In this case, the publicity seems to have pressured the government of Somalia into extending an invitation to intervene. In the ordinary course (and absent solid proof that the vessel and pirates are within their territorial waters), the standard response of the governments of these piracy hotbeds has been denial. Regardless, absent an invitation, any naval/military action would be illegal and therefore would have to be covert and with a cover of plausible deniability.

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