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Somali pirates hijack ship at it again Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Bobbjoe 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:42 AM

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/piracy

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members onboard, hundreds of miles from the nearest American military vessel in some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

United Kingdom maritime officials have been able to contact the vessel and were told "everyone is OK," according to a U.S. defense official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

British maritime and defense officials did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

The 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked, said Peter Beck-Bang, spokesman for the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk. It was the sixth ship seized within a week, a rise that analysts attribute to a new strategy by Somali pirates who are operating far from the warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden.

The company confirmed that the U.S.-flagged vessel has 20 U.S. nationals onboard.

Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said that it was the first pirate attack "involving U.S. nationals and a U.S.-flagged vessel in recent memory." She did not give an exact timeframe.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House was monitoring the incident closely and "assessing a course of action."

"Our top priority is the personal safety of the crew members on board," Gibbs said.

When asked how the U.S. Navy plans to deal with the hijacking, Campbell said she would "not discuss nor speculate on current and future military operations."

It was not clear whether the pirates knew they were hijacking a ship with American crew.

"It's a very significant foreign policy challenge for the Obama administration," said Graeme Gibbon Brooks, managing director of the British company Dryad Maritime Intelligence Service Ltd. "Their citizens are in the hands of criminals and people are waiting to see what happens."

Brooks and other analysts interviewed by the AP declined to speculate on whether American military forces might attempt a rescue operation. A senior Navy official in Washington said the Obama administration was talking to the shipping company to learn "the who, what, why, where and when" of the hijacking.

The U.S. Navy confirmed that the ship was hijacked early Wednesday about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southeast of Eyl, a town in the northern Puntland region of Somalia.

Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau, a piracy watchdog group in Kuala Lumpur, said depending on the speed of the ship, and where the pirates wanted to take it, it could take a day or two to reach shore.

U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said the closest U.S. ship at the time of the hijacking was 345 miles (555 kilometers)away.

"The area, the ship was taken in, is not where the focus of our ships has been," Christensen told The Associated Press by phone from the 5th Fleet's Mideast headquarters in Bahrain. "The area we're patrolling is more than a million miles in size. Our ships cannot be everywhere at every time."

Somali pirates are trained fighters who frequently dress in military fatigues and use speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades. Far out to sea, their speedboats operate from larger mother ships.



Most hijackings end with million-dollar payouts. Piracy is considered the biggest moneymaker in Somalia, a country that has had no stable government for decades. Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the London-based think-tank Chatham House, said pirates took up to $80 million in ransoms last year.

A NATO official said from Brussels that the alliance's five warships were patrolling the Gulf of Aden at the time of attack.

"That's where most of the shipping goes through and we can provide most of the protection in that vital trade route," said the official who asked not to be identified under standing rules.

The official said the taking of the crude-filled Saudi supertanker Sirius Star also happened in open water far off the Somali coastline. The Sirius Star was released in January,

NATO has five warships that patrol the region alongside three frigates from the European Union. The U.S. Navy normally keeps between five to 10 ships on station off the Somali coast. The navies of India, China, Japan, Russia and other nations also cooperate in the international patrols.

NATO sees piracy as a long-term problem and is planning to deploy a permanent flotilla to the region this summer. On March 29, a NATO supply ship itself came under attack by Somali pirates who appear to have mistaken it for a merchant ship. The crew quickly overcame the attackers, boarded their boat and captured seven.

This is the second time that Somali pirates have seized a ship belonging to the privately held shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk. In February 2008, the towing vessel Svitzer Korsakov from the A.P. Moller-Maersk company Svitzer was briefly seized by pirates. Before this latest hijacking, Somali pirates were holding 14 vessels and about 200 crew members, according to the International Maritime Bureau.


It seems easy enough to fix in the future by just arming the crews..

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#2 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:53 AM

They've never stopped being "at" piracy; they just got more publicity this time because it was an American crew.

In another era, America went to war over another government letting African pirates roam free and attack our ships. I'm betting Obama does nothing about it though. At the least, we could sink some pirate ships like the Indian navy did to send a message.

Although I agree with the idea of arming crews again so they are better able to respond to pirate threats.
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#3 User is offline   The Stuntman 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:00 AM

Ive been following this subject for awhile. Interesting and scary.
Its just been getting especially bad lately...so bad that alot of countries are co-operating more than they normally would. Japan & China are even sending warships to patrol the area...and Japan hasnt had a military vessel in those waters since WWII. Even the Iranians are getting annoyed.


I say bring back the old "Q-Ship" concept...back in WWI, the Royal Navy took old tramp steamers & armed them with concealed guns & navy crews to lure U-boats into getting close for a gun kill...then the crew would blast the sub from point blank range.
Imagine how suprised the pirates would be to find out that the "tanker" they just boarded was actually crewed by 50 US Marines! Oops...
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#4 User is offline   Thalion 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:33 AM

Looks like we took it back.

American Crew Regains Control of Hijacked Ship, One Pirate in Custody
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#5 User is offline   I.K.E. 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:40 AM

Awesome that they got it back....I wonder how? :) Ain't it funny that some are "in the water"? Got their butts dumped overboard....:D
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#6 User is offline   Fenrisulfr 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:46 AM

Why don't they have a machinegun nest on those nessels? Put a .50 up top... That's probablly stop quite a bit of piracy right there. Nothing says, "Welcome aboard," then a half inch entrance hole.

EDIT: Looking at the ship, you'd probablly need at least two... one on each side. Then maybe have another up front and another on the rear. Some may mistake it for a war vessel... But really, what's a MaDuce or M60 to a modern battleship?

This post has been edited by Fenrisulfr: 08 April 2009 - 09:48 AM

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#7 User is offline   C0N0R 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:52 AM

damnit we got caught.
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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:22 PM

all they have to do is put Marines on those ships and problem solved. Or at least have the crews hire there own armed security details.
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#9 User is offline   Bobbjoe 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:22 PM

View PostFenrisulfr, on Apr 8 2009, 11:46 AM, said:

Why don't they have a machinegun nest on those nessels? Put a .50 up top... That's probablly stop quite a bit of piracy right there. Nothing says, "Welcome aboard," then a half inch entrance hole.

EDIT: Looking at the ship, you'd probablly need at least two... one on each side. Then maybe have another up front and another on the rear. Some may mistake it for a war vessel... But really, what's a MaDuce or M60 to a modern battleship?



There's no way in hell i'd go through Somali waters without being armed, especially if i was riding on millions of dollars.

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#10 User is offline   Slynder 

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Post icon  Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:28 PM

They should arm the crew with paintball guns and marlbles add some pepper spray balls and they'll be fine. Then they can do as they please for revenge.

No but they should be armed to say the least. If pilots can be armed than captains should too. Arm them with assult weapons and call it a day, The more we kill the less there are.

This post has been edited by Slynder: 08 April 2009 - 08:30 PM

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#11 User is offline   scurvy 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:54 PM

Mass. Maritime Academy was just in the news for training grads for just this kind of thing(Captain and Chief of Maersk Alabama both happen to be grads). Good video.
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#12 User is offline   I.K.E. 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:58 PM

View Postscurvy, on Apr 8 2009, 10:54 PM, said:

Mass. Maritime Academy was just in the news for training grads for just this kind of thing(Captain and Chief of Maersk Alabama both happen to be grads). Good video.


Chief's dad is a professor at the Academy. No joke. He was on the radio today talking about it.
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#13 User is offline   Fenrisulfr 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:28 PM

View PostSlynder, on Apr 8 2009, 09:28 PM, said:

They should arm the crew with paintball guns and marlbles add some pepper spray balls and they'll be fine. Then they can do as they please for revenge.

No but they should be armed to say the least. If pilots can be armed than captains should too. Arm them with assult weapons and call it a day, The more we kill the less there are.


And using a paintball gun rather than a mounted machine gun is better... why? Talk about useless solutions... Let's put it this way... If I have an automatic rifle, and I'm boarding your ship, your dinky paintball gun isn't going to stop me. Period.

This post has been edited by Fenrisulfr: 08 April 2009 - 09:34 PM

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#14 User is offline   captain ownage 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:55 PM

View PostFenrisulfr, on Apr 8 2009, 11:28 PM, said:

View PostSlynder, on Apr 8 2009, 09:28 PM, said:

They should arm the crew with paintball guns and marlbles add some pepper spray balls and they'll be fine. Then they can do as they please for revenge.

No but they should be armed to say the least. If pilots can be armed than captains should too. Arm them with assult weapons and call it a day, The more we kill the less there are.


And using a paintball gun rather than a mounted machine gun is better... why? Talk about useless solutions... Let's put it this way... If I have an automatic rifle, and I'm boarding your ship, your dinky paintball gun isn't going to stop me. Period.


I think he was joking about the first one lol.

Awesome that we got it back. I wish there was more detail on how they did it :blink:
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#15 User is offline   Green Army Men 

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:07 PM

being a pirate sounds like an cool line of work.

This post has been edited by Green Army Men: 08 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

THP

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