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Old 10-04-2009, 20:50   #61
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It seems that the father was killed in the French raid to free the ship. It seems that the father was either killed by the pirates or maybe from a stray French round. If you put a bounty on the heads of the pirates, they would kill each other to collect the bounty and this would all end without firing a shot. These people would eat their young and they will kill anyone, their own included, to collect stone cold cash. Again, the nievitee of the general population of the world still thinks that all people can be reasonable and ageeable if you jus
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Old 10-04-2009, 20:54   #62
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It seems that the father was killed in the French raid to free the ship. It seems that the father was either killed by the pirates or maybe from a stray French round. If you put a bounty on the heads of the pirates, they would kill each other to collect the bounty and this would all end without firing a shot. These people would eat their young and they will kill anyone, their own included, to collect stone cold cash. Again, the naiveté of the general population of the world still thinks that all people can be reasonable and agreeable if you just take the time to feel their pain and try be understanding. Unfortunately, they are on step above animals with primal instincts without conscience or respect for any level of life. As with most militant groups, they understand only force.
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Old 10-04-2009, 21:34   #63
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Not sure I'd go quite that far about the somalis and whether or not they'll kill their own for cash. I'm sure there are plenty of good peacefully inclined Somali folks that just want a chance at a better life. The problem is that they'll definitely go pirate for the piles of cash that the ransoms generate, and that's the source of the problem as far as it affects the rest of the world. In effect, we're begging them to take our ships and that has to stop if we want to get rid of the piracy.
The botom line is that right now it makes good sense to roll the dice as a pirate if you're a Somali. The risk to return ratios make it a no brainer, so lots of them are doing it.

We need to increase their risk and eliminate the return. Till then, we probably should sail a LOOOONG way around to stay out of the area.

Looking at the blog from the boat, it kind of freaks me out how fragile a cruising dream can be when you get adventurous enough to go places like that. Man it must suck to be the crew of that boat. I really hope the French string the captured pirates up from the yard arm, even if they have to fabricate one for the purpose. If they get recycled back into the country I'm gonna be really disappointed.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:41   #64
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Horror... Florent, the father, was killed I read a few minutes ago. Someone was mentioning being tough, I believe the navy went in, 2 pirates were killed, but so was Florent. Very sad ending of their cruise...
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:58   #65
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First of all,congratulations to the French navy for a satisfactory outcome,its unfortunate there was a hostage killed but he,in fact all except the kid had accepted the risk in going there in the first place.
Now the thing i dont understand is how these boardings take place on huge commercial ships, dont they have lookouts? dont they see them coming? How the hell do the pirates make the transfer from small boat to the ship up that huge wall of vertical steel while presumably the ship is travelling at speed without encountering gunfire? I DONT GET IT. A friend of mine drives a pilot boat and its no easy feat getting the pilot on board when theve dropped a ladder for him. No guns on board? how about dropping a molotov cocktail or two down on their boat.Ive looked at the side of the ships in the harbor and i dont see how they could get on board with any kind of armed resistance,the ship should be easily defensible. So it seems to me that if every ship passing thru that region had a small well trained contingent of well armed ex millitary personel we wouldnt be having this problem. I would include a sniper to pick off their helmsman when they are still at a distance and steaming straight at me. That would likely deter them enough before they even got close. How about doing something of a barrier part way up the topsides that they would need to get past,something electrified perhaps. My point is it seems easily solvable.As for cruising sailboats,well,they shouldnt be there.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:28   #66
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How about lobbing a couple hundred pound cannonball filled with pork guts at the attacker's boat?
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:51   #67
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How the hell do the pirates make the transfer from small boat to the ship up that huge wall of vertical steel while presumably the ship is travelling at speed without encountering gunfire? I DONT GET IT.
Steve
Yes this is something that has been on my mind- Seems even if the pirate boat has RPGs they would still be at a disavantage- if a half dozen men had AUTOmatic weapons onboard the ship -ok I understand if its a fuel tanker then you have to just give it up-
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:48   #68
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It's not just fuel tankers, a lot of ships are carrying flammable or explosive cargo. That being the case I think the shipping company could still work around that issue. But, I think it's been shortsighted of the shipping co's to not more actively protect their vessels with trained guards. It's been to easy & inexpensive to just hand the case over to their insurance company.
Also, this current spate of hijackings has moved the issue to center court & the status quo won't remain of simply paying ransom. The pirates have overplayed their hand by elevating this risk to this level.
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Old 11-04-2009, 13:44   #69
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... Now the thing i dont understand is how these boardings take place on huge commercial ships, dont they have lookouts? dont they see them coming? How the hell do the pirates make the transfer from small boat to the ship up that huge wall of vertical steel while presumably the ship is travelling at speed without encountering gunfire? I DONT GET IT...
... Ive looked at the side of the ships in the harbor and i dont see how they could get on board with any kind of armed resistance,the ship should be easily defensible...
See the International Maritime Organization's
Guidance to shipowners and ship operators, shipmasters and crews on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships
Goto:
http://www.imo.org/includes/blast_bindoc.asp?doc_id=941&format=PDF
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Old 11-04-2009, 18:15   #70
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Clockwork Orange,
Since I work on ships, I can answer some of your questions. #1). If the pirates strike at night, there are only 2 watch keepers on the bridge, and a single watch keeper in the engine room. So not much resistance there. Lookouts main focus is on what is up ahead, due to the fact that it takes nearly 5 miles and in some instances longer to bring a ship of any size to a full stop, it also takes very long to make a turn, so one must keep one's focus very far ahead in order to avoid a collision at the earliest moment. #2). While the forward parts of ships and the sides of the ships are quite high, depending on how heavily they are in ballast, the stern is quite a bit lower to the water and are the most vulnerable point of access. #3). The vessels that are being used in that area are mostly wooden, and are quite difficult to track on radar, I have personal experience with this in the early 90s making way down the Somali coast, on a 580' ship, and I was tracking a Dhow, that was 12 miles ahead of my ship and I could see his masthead light, but the radar target was intermittent and if there had been any swell at all and he was running without lights, I would never have known he was there. The weather was so calm, you could see the reflection of the stars on the surface of the ocean. #4). On every ship there are blind spots in the radar coverage, due to masts and other obstructions, which if a person is a little bit knowledgeable about, they can take advantage of this fact. Most ships are run with the absolute minimum of crew, to enhance the shipping company's profits, and they see the possibility of the ship being taken by pirates an acceptable risk. They are unconcerned about the human factor, except for the possibility of lawsuits.
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Old 11-04-2009, 21:18   #71
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Now the thing i dont understand is how these boardings take place on huge commercial ships, dont they have lookouts? dont they see them coming? How the hell do the pirates make the transfer from small boat to the ship up that huge wall of vertical steel while presumably the ship is travelling at speed without encountering gunfire? . . .
. . . . So it seems to me that if every ship passing thru that region had a small well trained contingent of well armed ex millitary personel we wouldnt be having this problem. I would include a sniper to pick off their helmsman when they are still at a distance and steaming straight at me. . . .
Steve
C'mon ---- "pick off the helmsman when they are at a distance . .. ???" I'm as much in favor of an armed defense presence on commercial ships as you, but this is kind of over the top, dontcha' think?

I heard reports that they use grappling hooks and ropes to gain access to the deck. With these huge ships and only a few crew on watch at any given time, while a dangerous enterprise, it does seem feasable that you could get on board such a large vessel without being seen.

Listening to lots of talking heads on the various news networks this week, and there seems to be a problem with having arms on board a commercial vessel because of the fear of arms importation in many countries (ie. they won't let the ships enter their territory if they are armed -- fear of using this as some kind of cover for arms smuggling --- judging from the arms displayed in the video of these supposedly poor and destitute Somali pirates, I'd say they have no problem getting all the firepower they need already! ).

Anyone with merchant marine experience want to address this? I think we'd all be interested in firsthand experience on this issue.

I should think that some kind of international maritime body could set up a way for there to be a small, trained, force on board these commercial vessels, with procedures for accounting for the weapons upon entry and exit of a port.

or . . . send in the Marines!

DGC
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Old 11-04-2009, 21:31   #72
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Wake up and smell the coffee ... this ain't about hyjacking!

See editorial opinion below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/op...plan.html?_r=1

This ain't about hyjacking, though as with anywhere where there are terrorists, "joe public", or in this community's case "sailor joe" become the "pawns".

I like the French's approach: they will not allow pirates to take French hostages anywhere and they DO something.

Shortly before writing this I learn the pirates shoot at a small craft from the US destroyer approaching the out-of-fuel life boat .... and the US small craft "ran away".

Talk about the strongest power on Earth acting like a Gelding .... simply increases the probability of any yacht's risk of becoming a victim!
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Old 11-04-2009, 21:48   #73
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Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships that are going into war zones, have arms that are locked in an on board gun safe, since they are under the auspices of the US military, they are not given a hard time when they get into the ports that the US military has agreements with, the weapons stay locked up even when going into a war zone, unless there is an eminent threat. I was shipping into Mogadishu, Somalia, with containers of food, shortly after the shooting died down there, well almost died down, the combatants did lob a couple of mortars our way when we were in the process of leaving the harbor. And the crew was still not given the arms we had on board, and most of us were prior military. Perhaps the IMO (International Maritime Organization) could establish reciprocal treaties with all the maritime countries that would allow a limited number of arms aboard vessels that are engaged in international trade.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:46   #74
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So military radar has the same capability as something I could put together with parts from my microwave?
Not even the military can defeat the laws of physics.

The biggest problem is the identification of the pirates, and even when identified as potential pirates - what do you do until they are actually commiting piracy - if you keep an eye on them, the zillion others are doing their dirty deeds over the horizon - not an easy situation for the military. Very frustrating, as they probably have legitimate fishing vessels passing intelligence on to the pirates about the actual location of the warship.
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:53   #75
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These people are just poor impoverished souls who have suffered from the imperial manifest destiny policies of a corrupt and immoral oppressive government of the USA. Almost all of the severe problems of these UDC's (under developed countries) are the result of capitalistic domination and genocidal objectives of the USA. Look what we did to the the American Indians! Everyone knows that the extermination of the American Indian has been the basis for all other regime genocide in the world. I am still a hard working, blue blooded, American tax payer and I say we should stop supporting the useless needs of our own citizens, such as welfare and heath care, and send our hard earned tax dollars to the UDC's which we have ravaged by our environmental and cultural pillage.

Oh my, where is Che Guevara when you need him the most!
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