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Old 02-06-2011, 03:33   #106
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Originally Posted by capn_billl

Law enforcement is when ONE man breaks the laws of the society he lives in and THAT society removes him or censors him for that action.

When a group of men, with the complicent consent of the society they live in take an action against a class of people from another society THAT is a WAR.

We called the communist chinese conquoring of Vietnam, "a Law enforcement action".
The rights and many wrongs of the Vietnam conflict are many and varied and have nothing to do with this problem

First if all piracy and it's participants are a tiny fraction of the Somali people. A people blighted by internal and external conflicts, religious-ethnic conflict and interference by major powers.

An already impoverished fishing industry was then destroyed by 1st world fishing fleets able to do so, because no effective policing was present. Equally for toxic waste dumping.

Partially the " west" brought this problem onto itself. Somalis need our help not our " gunships"

The other thing to bear in mind is the US navy has virtually no presence or interest in the Gulf of Aden. This is a European/ Russia/china/India issue. The Iranians have more naval assets there then the US. ( and have been very successful)

This is most definitely not a WAR. WARs are politically defined between states. The ROEs for the various Navies are reasonable. Equally they are getting better, and interdictions are increasing and commercial ships are better prepared. The problem will be contained and that is all that can be done until the political process kicks in and order is restored to Putland.

In the meantime wealthy indigent western yachties have absolutely no place there, no more then " war tourists" have in Afghanistan. Thoses that do go there unfortunately deserve what may happen, certainly now, since the extent of the problem is well known

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Old 02-06-2011, 04:34   #107
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The rights and many wrongs of the Vietnam conflict are many and varied and have nothing to do with this problem

First if all piracy and it's participants are a tiny fraction of the Somali people. A people blighted by internal and external conflicts, religious-ethnic conflict and interference by major powers.

An already impoverished fishing industry was then destroyed by 1st world fishing fleets able to do so, because no effective policing was present. Equally for toxic waste dumping.

Partially the " west" brought this problem onto itself. Somalis need our help not our " gunships"

The other thing to bear in mind is the US navy has virtually no presence or interest in the Gulf of Aden. This is a European/ Russia/china/India issue. The Iranians have more naval assets there then the US. ( and have been very successful)

This is most definitely not a WAR. WARs are politically defined between states. The ROEs for the various Navies are reasonable. Equally they are getting better, and interdictions are increasing and commercial ships are better prepared. The problem will be contained and that is all that can be done until the political process kicks in and order is restored to Putland.

In the meantime wealthy indigent western yachties have absolutely no place there, no more then " war tourists" have in Afghanistan. Thoses that do go there unfortunately deserve what may happen, certainly now, since the extent of the problem is well known

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:52   #108
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In the meantime wealthy indigent western yachties have absolutely no place there, no more then " war tourists" have in Afghanistan. Thoses that do go there unfortunately deserve what may happen, certainly now, since the extent of the problem is well known Dave
Dave, I agree completely with your view.

Is your use of "indigent" here a typo? Or did I miss something along the thread? With apologies as necessary to RTW cruisers waiting to travel thru the GoA, I think "idiotic" might be a better adjective for people entering the region now knowing the potential danger, and then planning to press the "big red button" hoping for outside help if they run into trouble.
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Old 02-06-2011, 21:34   #109
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Dave, you & I seem to end up on opposite sides of the table fairly often I actually agree with most of your post but I also have issues with some of it...
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...An already impoverished fishing industry was then destroyed by 1st world fishing fleets able to do so, because no effective policing was present. Equally for toxic waste dumping.
I've heard about the toxic dumping, but never from a reliable source & it doesn't make much sense. Why would someone would go all the way to Somalia to dump their wastes when they could do it in ANY part of any ocean? Most of the countries around Somalia are not wealthy enough to have enough toxic wastes to matter, & countries further away wouldn't bother going all that way.
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Partially the "west" brought this problem onto itself. Somalis need our help not our "gunships"
I suppose we could have gone in & helped the Somali government when things started coming apart, but you also say our western influence is bad. You can't have it both ways. I think our responsibility for the Somali piracy is minimal at best. It's shipping (& us cruisers) who need the gunships, for protection from the Somalis.
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The other thing to bear in mind is the US navy has virtually no presence or interest in the Gulf of Aden. This is a European/ Russia/china/India issue. The Iranians have more naval assets there then the US. (and have been very successful)
Glad to hear the Iranians have been successful. But the US certainly has a presence there. Both times that we've been to the Seychelles there have been small multinational military flotillas there of 8-12 warships. At least 2 of each of those small flotillas were advanced US warships.
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The ROEs for the various Navies are reasonable. Equally they are getting better, and interdictions are increasing and commercial ships are better prepared. The problem will be contained and that is all that can be done until the political process kicks in and order is restored to Putland.
As I understand it, the piracy ROE for Canada (& most of Europe?) is that a Canadian warship can not fire on a pirate unless they see that pirate firing on a Canadian flagged vessel! Maybe you think this is reasonable, but I'd rather see more cooperation between nations. Having talked to Somali piracy victims, I still see Somali piracy as very close to terrorism &/or airplane hijackings.

I agree that the long term solution for Somalia will take time (& probably a lot of western aid). But I think the piracy can & should be stopped sooner. And if you think the navies are getting better at interdiction, go look at the statistics for previous years. Somali pirate attacks have been growing alarmingly, as well as successful hijackings. If the navies are getting better, the pirates are getting better faster. We need to take some different action soon or it will get much worse.
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In the meantime wealthy indigent western yachties have absolutely no place there, no more then "war tourists" have in Afghanistan. Thoses that do go there unfortunately deserve what may happen, certainly now, since the extent of the problem is well known
Since I don't consider myself either wealthy or indigent, I guess you're not talking about me. This view has also been expressed many times - always by folks who are safely elsewhere & have no plans to go anywhere near the Indian Ocean. It's easy to say "don't go there" when you're not planning to go there yourself.

But there are a couple hundred Cruisers here in Malaysia & Thailand, & the next step for them is crossing the Indian - either up the Red Sea or around South Africa. To blithely say "don't go there" doesn't leave them many options: Go past Japan to Alaska & the US west coast? Sit here forever? Battle the South Indian Ocean (which has already claimed the life of a friend of ours, & in the process smashed & then sunk another friend's well found Swan 57)?

OK, we've heard your opinion. But it's not very useful to us. I was hoping that the brains on CF could come up with some better options. Like researching previous Piracy Maps and noticing that there have been no pirate attacks in the Madagascar/Seychelles area between the end of May & September, which leaves a reasonable avenue for sailing to South Africa & rounding the Cape of Good Hope, thereby avoiding the pirates.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:07   #110
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Jon thanks for another rational and reasoned response. I always enjoy your point of view.

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Old 03-06-2011, 10:31   #111
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Finding safe windows is a good move. The downside is several of those "safe" windows have closed recently as the pirates range further abroad. The danish family that was taken had gone far south of the usual attack sites.

Saying only a small minority of Somalians are engadged in piracy is disengenious, as most of the coastal villages entire economy is dependant on pirate income, as well as most of the political structure.

Piracy has always been a problem on the north coast of Africa for thousands of years. Saying the west "forced" them into piracy is simply wrong. All we did was donate a large number of fishing skiffs which allowed them to revive an ancient traditional cultural practice.

In the past only two techniques have worked to combat piracy. 1. Make ships harder to pirate, (arming, armor, safe rooms, guards, etc...). 2. Military action against those countries that allow their citizens to engage in piracy.

Once a citizen of one country commits a violent act against a citizen of another country that is no longer a "law enforcement", it is an international incident. A sovereign nation only has the power of "LAW" against its own citizens in its own boarders. This exact principle has been the major obstacle preventing prosecution of those pirates captured. And the direct cause of the restrictive Rules of Engagement.

An example lets say Ecuador passes a law saying no man may shave his head. No matter how much they want to enforece this law agains a citizen of a European nation, it is impossible. Even if you happened to be cruising nearby, they have no jurisdiction outside Ecuadorian territory. Once you cross the 12 mile line, they can arrest you and enforce whatever laws they choose, but at 13 miles they cannot touch you unless you fly an Ecuadorian flag.

Once a pirate boards a US vessel they are on US territory, and can be interdicted. The only other option to take any action against a citizen of another country is to declare war. (if the nations are on friendly grounds a protest can be filed with the embassy, and a treaty drafted to resolve differences). I don't see this as a possibility in Somalia.

It is obvious the Somalian either cannot or will not take any action to end this problem. The only other Legal option is for some other nation to go in and take care of it for them. The pirates will not willingly give up hostages, (threat of mass slaughter has been mentioned), that only leaves the option of force.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:08   #112
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

" commercial ships are better prepared" - Perhaps, but very slowly. There are many things that one would think could be done - especially on commercial ships which have been / are the main focus. Many governments are part of the problem as they make it difficult for the traditional counter to piracy - arming the merchant vessels. A few tactics that come to mind are:

Assuming that one has a large multi-million dollar ship with a significant number of crew members; the pirates are lightly armed with AK-47s, RPGs, and the occasional LMG and attack in small numbers from relatively small open boats with large outboard motors and carry boarding ladders with grapnels attached. One wonders how many loaded AK magazines the pirates are carrying and how many RPGs. The more ammunition they carry, the harder it is to impersonate fishermen, but carrying less ammunition limits their ability to resist effectively.

Current attempts have been made to make it more difficult for the pirates to board using passive measures without consistent success. Maneuvering the larger ship has not been a proven countermeasure either, although large fast ships can use both of these techniques with some success. Since the pirates operate in a large area of ocean surface, the best strategy is to wait until they find your ship (which may not happen).

A commercial ship is made of steel which will resist small arms fire – as the pirates approach it should be possible to engage them at long range – perhaps 500 meters – with 1) a Barretts .50 cal BMG sniper rifle equipped with a suitable scope (day) or night vision device (night) – up to 2,000 meters; and/or 2) a .30 cal sniper rifle (Winchester 300 magnum, civilian M-14, etc) also suitably equipped with the appropriate day or night scopes – up to 1,000 meters. The ammunition used should be API and the marksmen should target the engine and or fuel on-board the small open boats as the pirates make more difficult targets until they are closer. A hit on the engine will likely abort a pirate attack. Shooting from the larger ship provides a much more stable platform than trying to shoot from a small boat moving at high speed and being tossed around by the waves – the superior elevation is also an advantage. A few sandbags should give protection for the marksmen.

Should this layer of defense fail and the pirates get along side the ship, the crew should have the option to use grenades to drop into the open boats – 1) if the ship is not carrying a flammable cargo then the best choice is likely a white phosphorous grenade which won’t do much damage to the side of a steel ship but will definitely discourage the occupants of an open boat, 2) a antipersonnel fragmentation grenade would be the second choice, and 3) a concussion grenade would also be a viable option – and 4) tear gas would disable the pirates still in the boat while 5) smoke grenades would interfere with the pirates being able to see well to provide covering fire. It should be simple for the crew to practice getting the timing right. Grenades typically come with five second fuses and it is likely to take less time for a grenade to reach the small boat. The crew could practice tossing rocks over the rail while out of sight below the rail and timing how long the rock takes to hit the water. Once the proper timing is known, the person tossing the grenade over the side merely releases the spoon but doesn’t toss the grenade for a second or two. Properly done this insures that the grenade is detonating as it reaches the small pirate boat and the pirates do not have time to pick it up and drop it in the water (even trying to deflect the grenade is problematical). One could also use bottles of gasoline in thin walled bottles with the outside dipped in something like potassium permanganate and put a bit of sulfuric acid in the bottle for ignition – or use the military TEA which ignites on contact with air.

Since a main pirate tactic is to board at night and run to the bridge to gain control of the ship and take hostages, a defense to this would be various traps: sharp caltrops which would disable a person in bare feet or light tennis shoes or flip-flops (or small ‘spike strips’ with sharp nails pounded through thin wood slats); thin wires invisible in the dark at neck height strung across selected passages; searchlights used to destroy (night) vision set in restricted corridors; and other such impediments.

To keep the crew from becoming hostages, they should have a safe location in which to hide with water, food, and communications available. All watertight collision doors should not only be shut but locked – from the inside if possible (simple padlocks with a welded on hasp would likely suffice) – to make it more difficult for the pirates to find the crew location and to slow them down (time is against the pirates until they have hostages under their control); and additional chain link fence gates can also be locked to make it difficult to use RPGs inside the ship. Given an unobtrusive location it should take the pirates some time to locate the position and if it is lightly armored and set up properly it will be difficult for the pirates to gain entry given their limited equipment and training. The entry can be further protected with remote controlled firearms which can cover the approaches without exposing the crew – like the steel ball with a machinegun as seen on the front of WW II era tanks or more recently on armored cars. Covering an internal corridor, this would make the use of explosives – the only viable way the pirates have of forcing entry – very difficult, and the use of an RPG likewise difficult as they do not shoot around corners and the back blast in an enclosed space may do more damage to the pirates that the protected crew – especially if the corridor has several locked chain link fences in the corridor that would likely stop an RPG in flight without setting it off.

One possible option is to put the entrance to the crew safe area at the bottom of a deep vertical well which has no natural light and the lights are controlled from inside the safe area. The shaft should have a steel baffle which will trap any dropped explosive charge and roll it away from the safe area – this will also prevent direct vision to the bottom of the shaft and slow down anyone descending. Once in the safe area, the crew will flood the vertical shaft with 20%+ carbon dioxide (or Halon? Etc) displacing the air so when a pirate climbs down to check out the shaft they pass out and suffocate, ending up on the bottom of the shaft dead where they cannot be seen from above – so another pirate will have to physically investigate and suffer the same fate. This should eliminate at least two pirates and possibly more and keep the entrance to the crew safe area hidden longer.

With the crew protected, at least for a while, the ship’s navigation system could be set to head away from likely pirate havens on a set and locked course – or, if the ship is sufficiently far from such pirate havens, the engines and navigation/electrical systems are shut down and locked in their disabled state so the pirates cannot move the ship to an area where they have assistance. Given the number of military ships in the vicinity which are likely to respond to an automated distress signal/GPS, if the crew is safe then military personnel can effectively engage the pirates. It is likely that the crew need only hold out for three days before the pirates will have to abort or the military arrive.

Imagine the difficulty facing a limited number of pirates (perhaps 4-8 per boat) on board an unfamiliar medium sized cargo ship where the captain and crew have retreated into a hidden and secured location. The ship is broadcasting an automatic distress signal with GPS location from a battery powered hidden and locked location, and the ship is either 1) on a locked course away from pirate havens; or 2) the engines have been shut down and the ship is without power and drifting. All electrical power on board has been shut down and locked off so the ship is dark – all water tight collision doors have been closed and locked, as have all doors throughout the ship (including any added chain link fencing barriers). It is night and the armed pirates are on board – where do they go? Standard pirate procedure would be to immediately head for the bridge by the fastest route possible – and knowing this, the obvious main route to the bridge has been trapped (since entering pirate waters the crew uses more obscure alternate routes).

When they reach the bridge, the entry is locked and they pile up outside the entrance – an entrance that can be covered by simple but lethal protective fire initiated either by pirate activity breaking into the bridge or command from the safe area. These could be simple set shotguns, essentially a 12 gauge shotgun shell fixed in a short steel pipe with an electric firing pin. They need not be left armed all the time but loaded and armed when danger of attack is immanent. Likewise, it can be assumed that the pirates will try to gain access to the engine room in order to control the propulsion and restore electrical power – notably lights – and again the entry area is trapped.

It is likely that the pirates will try to gain entry to the quarters of the ship’s officers and crew – and again the entry can be trapped. Inside they would find a small corner table with an attractive jewelry box on it where valuables might be kept – on the front of the box is a small hasp with a locked lock. The small lock is to keep curious crew from opening it as the box contains a shotgun trap which fires when the lid is opened about forty five degrees. Since the box is welded to the steel table and is in a corner the pirate will be standing directly in front of the box when the 12 gauge shot shell goes off and probably the pirate will be struck with all nine (twelve if magnum) .32 cal 00 buckshot discharged. It is likely that the pirate will be thrown backward and killed releasing the lid of the box to fall back into position and arming another shot shell – four altogether, incase the pirates are persistent (or greedy - they are pirates). If the pirate was alone in the room as might be typical, a fellow pirate will hear a gunshot and upon entering the room to assist, will find a dead pirate and no sign of the assailant – but there will be an unlocked jewelry case in the corner waiting to be looted.

Long corridors can also be protected by microwave emitters which beam a concentrated stream of energy down the corridor to the detriment of any pirates attempting to transverse the area. So a limited number of pirates will have to search an unfamiliar ship while running into numerous traps knowing that their time is limited to find and take hostages before armed assistance arrives. The other areas that one might expect the pirates to explore would be the galley where they could find expensive removable food and drink items which naturally will be under lock and key (doesn’t stop pirates) – the only problem being that these items are poisoned with a delayed agent which acts quickly and fatally perhaps an hour after ingestion – a binary perhaps, or something non-contagious like anthrax.

Setting traps on a ship should be relatively simple: 1) the areas in which people move around are relatively restricted; 2) the places to which pirates want to go are limited; 3) the ship areas are accessed by relatively few people – officers, crew, and security team – and they can be trained to avoid trapped areas.

The technology of trapping is mostly simple and low technology: 1) use a standard 12 gauge shotgun barrel with a single shot shell containing ‘00’ buck shot – each a .32 cal soft lead ball (2.75”=9 balls, 3”=12 balls, 3.5”=15 balls). The barrel lengths can be swivel mounted on powerful magnets making placement on a steel ship very easy. After the shot shell is inserted the cocked striker (firing pin) is screwed on and then can be connected to various types of release: 1) electric solenoid for command trigger; 2) trip wire; 3) tension release; and, 4) combo tension release and pull. The security team can quickly place and arm the units as needed covering the appropriate target areas. The expended lead balls should do minimal collateral damage to the steel ship (perhaps a bit of repainting). Light weight covers for the set guns could also be easily provided using smaller magnets to hold them in place so the set guns are unobtrusive.

A two person security team should be sufficient – ex snipers with one using the .50 and the other using a .30 sniper rifles; each stands a twelve hour watch. The security team and optionally the crew should be armed with high capacity 9mm pistols equipped with silencers, laser sight (comes on when the slack is taken out of the trigger), and loaded with frangible ammunition (to reduce collateral damage). These are easy to use and the security can train the crew using paint ball guns (pistols). To use the command trigger the set guns can be deployed with simple cameras that work in visible and infrared light – the captain would have a console in the safe room where he could monitor pirate activity and trigger the weapons. The security team may be in the same safe room as the officers and crew or they may have their own hideouts from which they can operate against the pirates. There is no reason to burden the security team with bullet proof vests as the weapons typically used by the pirates will defeat them anyway and they are hot and cumbersome.

A semi passive defensive measure would be to develop a rope launcher – a ‘V’ shaped projector on the fantail which would launch two dark spheres with a half inch black polypropylene rope fixed between them (optionally the rope could have a mild steel wire core coated in plastic). If the projector could launch the sphere a hundred meters in each direction, this would place a two hundred meter length of rope on the sea surface (polypropylene rope floats). With some judicious maneuvering following the launch it should be possible to get the pirate boat to run over the rope at high speed and foul their propellers. This should end the attack which could be followed up by using the larger ship to run over the pirate craft or leave them to be taken care of by military forces. To avoid creating a permanent hazard to navigation, the steel spheres could have a corrodible plug which will sink the rope after some days.

An inexpensive way to arm a commercial ship would be to use a 106mm recoil-less rifle on the highest part of the ship – since one would be shooting down at pirate craft the back blast will to up and be relatively harmless. Because of the nature of their open boats, the pirates are most likely to be out in relatively good weather and the large ship will be a relatively stable firing platform. The ideal ammunition is likely to be a form of canister for a shotgun like effect covering the vicinity of a small fast moving boat, or perhaps shrapnel. The new generation of fuses that set range by counting shell revolutions could be used with a standard laser rangefinder – there are several light weapon systems that use this technology. The USMC used the 106mm RR some years ago with a slaved .50 caliber single shot M2 Browning heavy machine gun – and an especially loaded round that matched the shell ballistics of the 106mm RR. Note that and the Barretts .50 sniper rifle chambered for BMG would likely be cheaper and work as well (especially with a detachable box magazine). The weapon system would be relatively light weight and the technology is known. Training is minimal for the crew as they only need to plink at the pirate boat until on target – triggering the main gun will then put the canister on target and the fuse will explode the shell at the appropriate time. The ranging shots from the .50 would serve as a ‘warning’ shot and may be enough to abort a pirate attack. Certainly if some ‘honest fishermen’ are maneuvering against a commercial vessel on the high seas, this would be a strong disincentive. Use of a video gun camera would reduce or eliminate misuse if that is a concern. Night vision would be a useful addition. A shaped steel plate welded to the gun mount could keep the gun from being trained on any part of the ship being defended (and prevent accidents).

A more aggressive countermeasure might be to use a small remote control boat/jet ski with 100 kg of explosive that can be guided to the pirate craft and detonated – an older model that is used is probably sufficient. This should be relatively easy since the pirates are trying to get close to the ship. Even easier and probably less expensive would to launch a small drone aircraft that the military use in the front line. The remotely piloted drone should have a camera for flight and observation - and optionally be fitted with an M-18 Claymore antipersonnel mine on the belly rigged to shoot down. The drone could be used to check out suspicious boats and take them out if necessary. Such a drone can be launched using powerful elastic bands and be retrieved by flying into a net (although it might be safer to just detonate an armed drone rather than trying to retrieve it).

A more active but temporary defense might be to setup an automatic cannon (20mm - 30mm chain gun used on attack helicopters, the old 40mm Bofors, ‘duster’ for example) in a modified steel container. With the container closed up it blends in with all the others and can be locked and sealed. Lower the sides and the cannon is ready for action, with the ammunition co-located with the gun. Minimal crew training should be all that is necessary as the target will be on the surface and at relatively close range – just use all tracer and sensitive impact sensitive fuses. Closed and sealed the container can be handled like any other container and only placed on the ship when it is going to traverse dangerous areas – a security crew can also be added.


None of this is typically available to a cruiser - but then the problem didn't start out with cruisers as a target. Perhaps if the majority of the pirate criminal enterprises can be disrupted, cruising will again become relatively safe as it was for some considerable period of time.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:04   #113
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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None of this is typically available to a cruiser - but then the problem didn't start out with cruisers as a target. Perhaps if the majority of the pirate criminal enterprises can be disrupted, cruising will again become relatively safe as it was for some considerable period of time.

only only part I read

in the end there are various actions that can be taken, all of which is going to be disagreeable to someone
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:17   #114
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

For commercial ships it is simply a money thing. Easy thing to do would for the US / EU etc to declare that anyone paying a ransom would be treated as if they were paying money to Terrorists / Organised crime - plenty of laws in place already to combat that.

If the insurance companies / ship owners no longer have a plan B, might encourage them to spend a few more dollars on defending the ships.

For those ships already captured - I would sink them, to remove the hope of reward and to simply make a point. Don't have to explode them, just a few holes under the water line to sink them over an extended period - and maybe also cut the anchor cables in an onshore wind. For the crews I would kick that off to the AU / UN - $1000 a head for "expenses".
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:06   #115
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Bruce, all of those are good ideas. The downside is if we were allowed to actually kill the pirates none of this would be neccessary. Killing the pirates by whatever means is the only proven method to end it.

But as soon as just one pirate set off one of your booby traps, you would have bleeding hearts all over the world, (and several on this board), all over you for killing an "innocent" fisherman that was just trying to catch some fish, and accidently found himself onboard your ship with a grenade launcher in his hand. And killing a pirate might make him mad.

The well with the CO2 is a good plan, (arguably a pure self defence measure). I would just have oxygen masks, and a good co2 detector in the safe room in case that seal leaked.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:18   #116
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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"

None of this is typically available to a cruiser - but then the problem didn't start out with cruisers as a target. Perhaps if the majority of the pirate criminal enterprises can be disrupted, cruising will again become relatively safe as it was for some considerable period of time.
I agree; once we take out the big paydays of a merchant ship capture, the onesy twosy of the occasional yacht isn't enough to support thousands of ships scouring the entire indian ocean looking for targets. Once the big ships are safe the pirates, as they finish several seasons with low payouts, will slowly lose funding, and have to return to coastal waters. Leaving the far offshore once again relatively safe from wanton attack. At this point even if we acted today, it would take several years for them to run out of money.
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Old 08-06-2011, 15:28   #117
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post
Dave, you & I seem to end up on opposite sides of the table fairly often I actually agree with most of your post but I also have issues with some of it...

I've heard about the toxic dumping, but never from a reliable source & it doesn't make much sense. Why would someone would go all the way to Somalia to dump their wastes when they could do it in ANY part of any ocean? Most of the countries around Somalia are not wealthy enough to have enough toxic wastes to matter, & countries further away wouldn't bother going all that way.
A 2005 United Nations Environmental Program report cited uranium radioactive and other hazardous deposits leading to a rash of respiratory ailments and skin diseases breaking out in villages along the Somali coast. According to the U.N., at the time of the report, it cost $2.50 per ton for a European company to dump these types of materials off the Horn of Africa, as opposed to $250 per ton to dispose of them cleanly in Europe.

Read more: How Somalia's Fishermen Became Pirates - TIME

Quote:
" commercial ships are better prepared" - Perhaps, but very slowly. There are many things that one would think could be done - especially on commercial ships which have been / are the main focus. Many governments are part of the problem as they make it difficult for the traditional counter to piracy - arming the merchant vessels. A few tactics that come to mind are:

... lots of man trap stuff etc...
You might like to talk to some captains doing that run, the last thing they want is a ship full of arms, likewise the crew on these modern boats have absolulty no experience of firearms and no interest in being heros. Arming boats is not the answer.

Some companies have hired various militaries for protection , for example various Spetnaz combat groups have been used. Private groups also exist, but the legal grounds under which they operate are very unclear and can need to prosecutions of those involved.

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Saying only a small minority of Somalians are engadged in piracy is disengenious, as most of the coastal villages entire economy is dependant on pirate income, as well as most of the political structure.
Capn_bill can you back that up with hard facts.

Quote:

Once a citizen of one country commits a violent act against a citizen of another country that is no longer a "law enforcement", it is an international incident. A sovereign nation only has the power of "LAW" against its own citizens in its own boarders. This exact principle has been the major obstacle preventing prosecution of those pirates captured. And the direct cause of the restrictive Rules of Engagement.

An example lets say Ecuador passes a law saying no man may shave his head. No matter how much they want to enforece this law agains a citizen of a European nation, it is impossible. Even if you happened to be cruising nearby, they have no jurisdiction outside Ecuadorian territory. Once you cross the 12 mile line, they can arrest you and enforce whatever laws they choose, but at 13 miles they cannot touch you unless you fly an Ecuadorian flag.
Not true at all, we have the ICC ( international criminal court), we have a large body of International Law. We have the UN which regulary polices it ( see Libya for example).

Quote:

It is obvious the Somalian either cannot or will not take any action to end this problem. The only other Legal option is for some other nation to go in and take care of it for them. The pirates will not willingly give up hostages, (threat of mass slaughter has been mentioned), that only leaves the option of force.
see US says Somalia needs governance to defeat piracy - Yahoo! News for a US perspective


see also SomaliaReport: Puntland Waging Anti-Piracy War


shoot em up stuff didnt work in Vietnam, Korea,afghanistan, chad, Chetnya, etc It can be used to temporarily suppress or reduce the violence,( often at great cost to the innocents) but it never solves teh underlying problem.


Quote:

For those ships already captured - I would sink them, to remove the hope of reward and to simply make a point. Don't have to explode them, just a few holes under the water line to sink them over an extended period - and maybe also cut the anchor cables in an onshore wind.
Well David,,, Pity about the 800 crew held hostage huh...



All this arm this and that, booby trap this or the other, is complete nonsense.


The immediate solutions are ( a) Closer Naval co-operation and a consistent multi-national ROE, that allows one countries navy to assit another countries vessels, (however will the US allow the Irianian navy to board a US commercial vessel ???. )
(b) International effort to restore order and government in Somalia and deal with the issue from the Land. (c) Yachts to stay away.


Dave
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Old 08-06-2011, 16:44   #118
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by Jon Hacking View Post

I've heard about the toxic dumping, but never from a reliable source & it doesn't make much sense. Why would someone would go all the way to Somalia to dump their wastes when they could do it in ANY part of any ocean? Most of the countries around Somalia are not wealthy enough to have enough toxic wastes to matter, & countries further away wouldn't bother going all that way.
It's called CYA for a small price, cheap insurance. Sure they could dump it anywhere, and probably not get caught, but in Somalia, they could get a PERMIT, in case someone caught them.

And, yes, the less often repeated and similarly less substantiated rumor out on the Internet is that someone at some time in one failure of a government or another was issuing permits.

It's easy for me to believe that anyone with that kinda waste and the resources to hire a ship to dump it there would have no problem finding someone who held some claim to authority to sell them a permit to dump anything they wanted in that water for the right price.

But living under the corruptions of thugs does not justify becoming a pirate, in my humble opinion.
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Old 08-06-2011, 16:58   #119
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by wannago View Post
I

But living under the corruptions of thugs does not justify becoming a pirate, in my humble opinion.

no of course it doesnt, it does however go some way to explaining, without condoning, why desperate people engage in desperate acts.

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Old 08-06-2011, 18:08   #120
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Well David,,, Pity about the 800 crew held hostage huh...
Yeah. pity about them. but that's business.

But $1000 a head (via the AU / UN) for expenses would be better than nothing. Could maybe even throw in some sweetners to clear the backlog. Odds on the crew will either be onshore already, or will get transferred ashore when the ship starts sinking. If not, well............
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