Somalia's pirates - Merged Threads

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RayJordandpo
21st March 2006, 18:12
If anyone is interested I am on a 'Flotell' (accommodation rig) being towed from Singapore to Mexico via the Suez Canal. We are being towed by the tug
'Wolraad Woltemade' and are averaging a speed of approx. 6.0 knots. We expect to arrive in Mexico around 25th.May, a total voyage of three months. There was some concern about 'Pirates' as we approached the Somali coast and we went into (still are) M****C LEVEL 2 security plan. I'm not fully convinced that fire hoses will stop grenade launchers but there you go. It was a relief when the nuclear powered aircraft carrier 'Charles De Gaulle' came close by and escorted us "through the gap" and now we are in the Red Sea things seem to be a lot more relaxed. Incidentally the carrier told us that out of a crew of 2,000. 600 are air crew, I find that amazing. Anyway we plod on.
Cheers
Ray

gdynia
21st March 2006, 18:43
If anyone is interested I am on a 'Flotell' (accommodation rig) being towed from Singapore to Mexico via the Suez Canal. We are being towed by the tug
'Wolraad Woltemade' and are averaging a speed of approx. 6.0 knots. We expect to arrive in Mexico around 25th.May, a total voyage of three months. There was some concern about 'Pirates' as we approached the Somali coast and we went into (still are) M****C LEVEL 2 security plan. I'm not fully convinced that fire hoses will stop grenade launchers but there you go. It was a relief when the nuclear powered aircraft carrier 'Charles De Gaulle' came close by and escorted us "through the gap" and now we are in the Red Sea things seem to be a lot more relaxed. Incidentally the carrier told us that out of a crew of 2,000. 600 are air crew, I find that amazing. Anyway we plod on.
Cheers
Ray

Ray
Will probally see you there Im off to the Gulf of Mexico on April 14th to join the Atlantis/Balder Project might get a few cervezas with you.

RayJordandpo
21st March 2006, 19:09
Ray
Will probally see you there Im off to the Gulf of Mexico on April 14th to join the Atlantis/Balder Project might get a few cervezas with you.
Will keep ane eye out for you. A few "Coronas" will go down a treat.
Ray

R651400
22nd March 2006, 08:02
"Me Perdona me perdona. Pero yo tomo Corona!"
"Corona una cervesa mas fina!"

This used to pump out of Guadalajara (Mexico) shortwave mariachi radio station I listened to crossing the Pacific in the early sixties.
Always wondered what it tasted like and now you can buy it almost anywhere just like San Mig...

vix
22nd March 2006, 08:09
Hey Ray, Have a few Cuba Libre for me when you hit Mexico, or even Bacardi & Kaluah. Have a safe trip, too! Vix

rushie
17th July 2006, 10:27
From Macon.com -

20 Filipino seamen freed by pirates

MANILA, Philippines - About 20 Filipino seamen kidnapped by pirates in Somalia in March have been released and are on their way home, officials said Monday.

The men were freed Saturday, and it was not clear whether any ransom has been paid, said Roy Cimatu, the government's special envoy to the Middle East.

The men were seized after their oil tanker, the United Arab Emirates-registered MT LIN1, offloaded its cargo at a southern Somali port on March 29, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department said.

Cimatu said the owners of the ship, who were not identified, negotiated for the release of the men. No other details were provided.

Piracy in Somalia rose sharply last year, with the number of reported incidents at 35, compared with two in 2004, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The bandits target both passenger and cargo vessels for ransom or loot.

Rushie

John Rogers
17th July 2006, 19:29
There was a program on TV last night 3 hrs long,all about the problem of Pirates. It showed the Chinese soldiers shooting the ones they caught in the head after the trial. They had shot the crew of one ship and stole the ship. What they like to do now is take the captain and the chief engineer hostage and hold them for ransom,so far they are getting the shipping company paying the money to the pirates in less than three days,not saying how much they paid.
John

Peter Fielding
18th July 2006, 09:58
The Chinese don't mess about, do they?

rushie
7th August 2006, 08:53
From the BBC -

Trawler safe after pirate ordeal

Crew members will receive health checks before flying home
A South Korean fishing boat with 25 crew members seized by pirates off Somalia in April has arrived in Kenya.
The Dongwon-ho 628 was released after the alleged payment of a ransom of several hundred thousand dollars.

Wearing tattered clothes, the sailors were greeted with cheers from diplomats and journalists as they disembarked in the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

The men - from South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and China - are to be given health checks before being flown home.

'Compensation'

The trawler was fishing with two other South Korean boats in international waters when speedboats landed attackers on board.

"We were not tortured but there was a lot of tension as the rescue mission continued," Vietnamese sailor Nguyen Xuan Qua told Reuters news agency.


The ship was released by the pirates after three months

"We did not know when we were going home. All our lives hung in the balance."

The Indonesian, Chinese and South Korean ambassadors to Kenya welcomed the crew in Mombasa, Reuters reports.

"We want to ensure that their rights are taken care of and that they will be compensated by the company they work for," the Chinese envoy said.

Hijackings and piracy have been frequent off the Somali coastline, with maritime gangs demanding ransoms for the safe release of crew.

The area became one of the most dangerous in the world for piracy after warlords ousted Somalia's former ruler in 1991 and divided the country among themselves.

However incidents of piracy are said to have lessened since the Islamic Courts Union militia imposed more control over the south of the country since June.

Rushie

rushie
1st November 2006, 16:38
From the BBC -

Ten Somalis have been sentenced to seven years in jail for piracy and hijacking by a Kenyan court.
The men were arrested earlier this year by the US Navy which responded to a reported hijack off the Somali coast.

The pirates had maintained they were fisherman and had not held 16 crew members of an Indian ship for ransom.

Somalia's coastline is one of the world's worst areas for piracy, but incidents have declined since the Islamic courts rose to power in June.

Somalia has been in the grip of warlords and militias for years and has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) has consolidated its control over much of southern Somalia after seizing the capital, Mogadishu.

The UIC was set up by businessmen who wanted to impose law and order, and their gunmen have become Somalia's strongest fighting force

The decline in piracy has also been attributed to foreign navy patrols.

When the case opened in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa in February the suspects said they were fishermen and did not know why they had been "abducted" from their fishing boat.

But Indian sailors identified the men, who were caught by the US Navy in international waters, and said they had been tortured by them.

The rescued Indian vessel was brought to Mombasa because it was the nearest port.

Expect them in the UK at anytime then...?

Rushie

Cap'n Pete
1st November 2006, 21:23
It is now 7 years since Tony Blair downgraded piracy from being a capital offence. Of course, he was under pressure from the EU to remove the death sentence entirely from UK law and piracy, along with setting fire to HM Dockyards, treason and mutiny all fell foul of the PC sword. However, this sent entirely the wrong message to the pirates.

It's taken many years of fighting by piracy victims such as myself, to get Western Navies interested in taking on the pirates particularly when this involves "hot pursuit" whereby a foreign warship enters the terrritorial waters of another country to capture pirates. Now the US Navy has gone to the trouble of capturing pirates, for the Kenyan court to hand down such lenient sentences is disgraceful. In future pirates in Africa will know that even if they are captured by a Western warship while attacking a merchant ship, the courts will effectively let them off.

There is only one answer to this problem and it is one that was used successfully by the Royal Navy operating on the China coast during the 19th Century. Pirates should be fired upon and blown out of the water. Any survivors should be executed. After that the village/town the pirate vessel came from should be shelled and and distroyed.

Pirates are a disease. Killing them is the only way to remove the problem

william dillon
1st November 2006, 22:48
Wow !!!!!

rushie
2nd November 2006, 01:59
Cap'n Pete....very strong forthright comments there.

As a non-seafarer I admire your views and my mind says "yes"....off with their heads..!

Nice one Cap'n..!

Rushie

billyboy
2nd November 2006, 07:58
I have to agree with captain Pete. the penalties for piracy are far too lenient. lets have it as a capital offence and execute them. any threats about shelling the ports they come from would encourage the locals to stamp these guts out as well.
Fair play to you Captain Pete. Having been there you will know far better the situation than any who may dissagree with your comments.
Regards billyboy

John Briggs
2nd November 2006, 10:23
As Master I was boarded by pirates in the early 70's before it became newsworthy. I was also assigned to the three IMO piracy task forces that visited Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in the 90's. The problem is very complex and the only people who can solve it are the Governments of the areas where the pirates have their bases. This will never happen for many reasons.

Our seamans solution of, hang them and then send the gun boats in to the villages that they come from would be an excellent solution & would probably work. Again, it can never happen. Back to the drawing board.

Cap'n Pete
3rd November 2006, 00:16
Look John, if the United States can keep merchant seamen locked up for a year and then present them in court in leg irons and chains, just so they can appear as prosecution witnesses in a pollution case against one of their shipmates, then their ability to execute a few pirates off the African coast is not fanciful.

I once visited the family of a British master who'd been murdered by pirates in Indonesian waters in 1992. Perchaps we should ask them and the families of all the other hundreds of merchant seamen who've lost their lives in pirate attacks what the best answer is to eradicating the problem.

Joining a committee is not the answer!

John Briggs
3rd November 2006, 00:37
I agree with you Peter. What I am saying is that the people who need to take action are the Gov'ts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines & China. They are never going to do this. The only time the U.S will take action is if their interests are getting seriously affected - so it won't happen. The Russians sent warships to the South China Sea a few years ago after some Russian ships were boarded - this only lasted a few months until the threat to the Russians was resolved.

rushie
3rd November 2006, 11:18
From Shabelle Media Network -

United Arab Emirates-registered vessel has been seized off coastline of the Somali capital Mogadishu, the MV Fishana vessel is reported charted by Somali businessman.

Somalia Pirates
The Somali businessman charted-vessel was carrying charcoal from El maan port near Mogadishu, Somali capital.

Abdurrahman Olow, prominent Mogadishu-based businessman, who owns the charcoal shipment, told Radio Shabelle Radio that, the captain of the hijacked ship had contacted with him confirming that the ship has been hijacked.

Mr. Abdurrahman said, the hijackers let us speak with the captain of the vessel, who also confirmed that they were taken hostages,
The ship had anchored at Mogadishu international airport loading off food stuff before sailing to Elman port near Mogadishu for loading charcoal to United Arab Emirates.

At least 12 Indian crewmen were on board while the captain is reported to be an Ethiopian national.

According to Mr. Olow the hijackers have taken the ship to 45 miles away from Mogadishu coastlines.

"We don’t know who the hijackers were, but we have been told that a group of Somali armed men seized the ship, he told to Radio Shabelle.

It is amazing that to see or hear that the pirates have again resumed their evil operations in Somalia he added.

He said, that he has already informed the authorities of Islamic courts union for the hijack of ship adding that the Islamic courts have pledged to take deceive action against that.

The International Maritime Board has already warned of an alarming increase in piracy in Somali waters and has urged ships to avoid the area.

It is the first time to hijack a ship since the Islamic courts took control of the Somali capital Mogadishu and much of the southern part of Somalia, though more than 40 piracy attack took place before the Islamists came into force.

This move is coincided after 10 Somali pirates sentenced by a Kenyan court for seven years in prison for each in Kenya after convicting that they hijacked an Indian ship.

Rushie

Cap'n Pete
3rd November 2006, 18:12
I'm glad we're on the same page John. After the attack on my ship I was invited to see the UK Minister of Shipping. He and his senior civil servants were very well informed of the piracy problem in the Malacca and Singapore Strait. However, as he explained to me "We cannot just send in the gun boats, Old Boy, because we're the former colonial power, don't you see?"

I think it's time the Western powers stopped worrying about upsetting littorial states that refuse to tackle pirates and give their naval forces the ability to shoot on sight.

john shaw
3rd November 2006, 19:15
May I put forward a slightly different point of view--- 7 years is actually a pretty decent sentence, and they WERE convicted. Take into consideration that they will probably serve the full sentence, in atrocious conditions of incarceration, and I think we in the "west" have little to quibble about regarding this sentencing.

NOTHING is ever again going to attract a capital sentence in the "civilised" Western world. In the UK, IF they had been convicted, despite lots of top class representation at the public expense, they would almost certainly have attracted a lower scale of punishment-- perhaps not even imprisonment--- but even if so sentenced, take off time spent on remand from the term of imprisonment imposed, plus the statutory early release, and then the excellent conditions within the prison environment, the number of agencies/ persons involved in attempting rehabilitation.......... and so on ad infinitum

I also doubt that we will revert to the Palmerston theory of gunboat diplomacy---never mind that it is difficult enough for the RN to police the areas it is already involved in (war zones, drugs enforcement,fishing enforcement,civilian evacuations etc etc) never mind trying to be in the right spot at the right time in a vast area of sea.

Just my humble opinion-- in no way condoning piracy, I abhor it as much as the next person.

rushie
3rd November 2006, 19:22
Cheers John....they hang at dawn.....yip, yap, yahoo...

rushie
4th March 2007, 13:59
From the BBC -

Four pirates who are part of the gang that have hijacked a United Nations-chartered cargo ship in Somali have been arrested, aid officials say.
The UN said the authorities in Puntland arrested the gunmen when they went to purchase supplies in Bargal port

The hijacked ship, MV Rozen, had just delivered food aid to north-eastern Somalia when pirates seized it.

Piracy was rampant in Somalia but stopped last year when the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) were in power.

Since the overthrow of the UIC at the turn of the year, Somalia has been descending back into the violence and chaos seen in the previous 16 years, and this latest incident raises fears of a resumption of lawlessness on the seas as well.

'Ordeal'

"The arrest is welcome but the safe release of the crew and the vessel remains our chief concern. We very much hope the ordeal will end soon," Peter Goossens, the UN's World Food Programme Somali country director, said in a statement.

Four pirates are still aboard the hijacked vessel and the fate of the 12 crew is still unknown. The crew is composed of six Kenyans and six Sri Lankans.

Mr Goossens said the ship which had anchored six miles off the coast of Puntland region had started sailing southwards.

Initial reports indicated that the administration in Puntland had started negotiations with the pirates, but the WFP says no demands for ransom has been made.

On Monday, the UN said a US warship was heading towards the Somali coast.

The Rozen had delivered 1,800 tonnes of food aid to the semi-autonomous Puntland region and was returning to its home port of Mombasa in Kenya when it was seized on Sunday.

The Rozen was attacked last year off a port south of Mogadishu, but dodged the pirates that time, the WFP said.

In October, Kenya jailed a group of Somali pirates after they were captured by the by the US Navy off the Somali coast.

Rushie.

SN NewsCaster
5th March 2007, 14:59
A US warship is heading towards the Somali coast, say UN staff, after pirates hijacked a food aid ship.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/6395033.stm)

SN NewsCaster
3rd April 2007, 17:10
Heavily armed pirates have seized an Indian cargo vessel off the coast of Somalia's capital, maritime officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/6522793.stm)

rushie
5th April 2007, 17:31
From the China People's Daily -

Pirates who hijacked an Indian-flagged cargo ship as it was preparing to dock at Mogadishu port early this week are demanding a ransom of 20,000 U.S. dollars before releasing the freighter.

Kenya's maritime official said on Thursday the pirates reduced the ransom from 40,000 dollars earlier demanded for the release of MV Nimatullah, which was seized with 14-member crew while delivering 900 tons of cargo off the Somali coast.

"The vessel has been brought to coast off Haradheere, the well- known pirates' nest in central Somalia,"Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) said in a statement.

The freighter whose owner Issa Bhata is based in Dubai was hijacked by pirates armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades in a speedboat in Somali waters on early Monday.

This is the second vessel to be hijacked in the Somali waters in six weeks. The International Maritime Bureau has described the Somali waters as one of the dangerous ones in the world.

"WFP (World Food Programme) and SAP are very concerned with this second hijacking of a vessel in Somali waters within six weeks, as vessel owners will become very reluctant to transport goods to Somali ports because of that,"said Mwangura.

"This will endanger the lifeline of food aid by ocean transport, as WFP plans to transport urgently needed food aid for some 850,000 vulnerable population especially the displaced and women and children, in impoverished and war-torn Somalia,"he said.

"Any disruption in this lifeline will cause immediately hunger among this target group. We appeal for the immediate safe return of the 12 crew members of the MV Rozen and the 14 crew of the MV Nimatullah."

The latest seizure followed the hijacking of a United Nations chartered ship, the Rozen, with its crew of six Kenyans and six Sri Lankans in late February. The vessel had just delivered food aid in northeastern Somalia.

Waters off the unpatrolled 3,700 km Somali coastline saw scores of pirate attacks between March 2005 and June last year, when Islamists seized Mogadishu and then moved into much of southern and central Somalia.

Last month, Kenyan maritime officials monitoring the pirate- infested east African coast said raiders had returned to the Somali settlement of Haradere,about 300 km north of Mogadishu.

Rushie

hawkey01
5th April 2007, 17:54
Rushie,

have been looking for the Nimatullah but no listing anywhere in my usual search areas nor Miramar so reckon she must have changed name fairly recently.

Rozen:
Imo 7510688
Callsign J8rf9.
General cargo ship, 2,560 tons.
Built May 1976.
Reg: Saint Vincent & Grenadines.

No photos I am afraid.

Makes you wonder why there has not been an international Naval task force to eliminate these Pirates. Not a good place to be trading. I suppose it is like everything else these days in the World. No oil and nothing there that anyone wants. Just let the poor people die and turn a blind eye to everything that goes on.

Hawkey01

reklaw
5th April 2007, 21:43
I agree, why not station a submarine in those waters... or get a Q ship out there and sort these pirates out for once and for all. But then I suppose a whole boatload of lawyers will turn up waving their cards :-)

PollY Anna
6th April 2007, 18:31
reklaw

You got that right, Q ship would be nice, and take no prisoners that would alter things very quickly. Things have changed since I went to sea but then there was a Royal Navy.

Ron

Coastie
6th April 2007, 23:22
Well said, Ron.

SN NewsCaster
7th April 2007, 12:20
Somali pirates release two cargo ships hijacked off the Somali coast in February, a maritime official says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/6534557.stm)

SN NewsCaster
21st May 2007, 12:50
Shipments of food aid for some one million Somalis are suspended after an attack by pirates at the weekend.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/6675117.stm)

Bearsie
26th May 2007, 11:57
The whole thing seems idiotic. The same nations that have all the military power in the world to meddle in everyones affairs and the UN can't find an
armed escort for a few relief ships???
Next will be the announcement that the pirates, armed with slingshots captured a USN aircraft carrier???

ddraigmor
26th May 2007, 13:57
Ah Bearsie, how right you are!

The silly part of it is that if you opened fire on these Godless heathens, then you would probably be a) charged with carying weapons unlawfully and b) opening fire on innocent local fishermen and thus bringing the world to the brink of global war.......

Human Rights, I'm afraid. Someone, somewhere would make a fast buck out of it - and the only losers would be the starving people that are crying out for aid.

Jonty

hawkey01
26th May 2007, 16:07
Afternoon everyone,

well this will no doubt stir someone up. The reason there are no guard-ships.
NO OIL. It seems to me that unless there is something in it politically or some natural resources, then no one cares, except the like of us. The US did not make a good job of things when they last tried to sort it out and just withdrew. A land of Pirates and fighting factions. No interest in the poor who are but a nuisance. I am sure they are pleased with the easy picking of aid from the UN.

Grumpy Hawkey01

ddraigmor
27th May 2007, 15:17
Stir someone up? You're telling it as it is!

Jonty

SN NewsCaster
22nd August 2007, 21:00
The crew of a Danish cargo ship held by Somali pirates have been released, Denmark's foreign ministry says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/6959329.stm)

SN NewsCaster
23rd August 2007, 08:30
The crew of a Danish cargo ship held by Somali pirates were freed after a ransom was paid, Danish officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/6959729.stm)

SN NewsCaster
16th October 2007, 15:30
Worldwide piracy attacks on shipping have increased largely because of attacks off Somalia, a report says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7046888.stm)

SN NewsCaster
30th October 2007, 13:10
Pirates hijack a South Korean ship off the coast of Somalia, just a day after a Japanese vessel was seized.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7069026.stm)

Gavin Gait
31st October 2007, 02:35
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20071030/tts-somalia-maritime-piracy-nkorea-c1b2fc3_3.html

SN NewsCaster
5th November 2007, 18:10
Pirates release a Taiwanese boat and its crew, taken almost six months ago off the coast of Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7079606.stm)

SN NewsCaster
19th November 2007, 17:50
Two ships carrying food aid have arrived in Somalia under French naval escort, to deter pirates.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7102295.stm)

Riptide
23rd November 2007, 03:26
Its about time smeone stopped these pirates no matter where in the world.
Kenny.

SN NewsCaster
12th December 2007, 09:40
A Japanese chemical tanker and its crew are freed by Somali pirates after being held for six weeks.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7139897.stm)

SN NewsCaster
4th February 2008, 16:10
An Irish man is among the six-man crew of a tugboat seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7226623.stm)

samuel j
4th February 2008, 18:54
Source RTE
Irishman among crew captured by pirates
Monday, 4 February 2008 16:37
Six people, including an Irish citizen, are being held on a ship captured by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Four Russian crew members, an Irish chief engineer and a British captain were aboard the Svitzer Korsakov, an ice-class tug vessel, when it was seized on Friday as it was making its way to Russia's Pacific Coast.

'We have been in contact with the master (of the ship), and subsequently also with the pirates,' said Patrick Adamson, a spokesman for Svitzer, the Danish firm that owns the ship.

What we have heard is that they are unharmed, they have got food, water and are getting some sleep. Morale is good,' he said.

Mr Adamson declined to comment on whether the pirates had made any demands. 'Discretion will be of the utmost importance to the safety of the crew,' he said.

Piracy has been rife in the waters off Somalia since warlords toppled military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Attacks have reached unprecedented levels due to instability onshore as the country's interim government battles insurgents.

The US State Department calls it the 'preferred venue' for pirate attacks in the region.'

The 34.5m Svitzer Korsakov was on its maiden voyage when it put out a distress call early on Friday.

The owners made contact with the ship by radio telephone yesterday afternoon.

The six men were crewing the ship as it made its way from St Petersburg via Singapore to Russia's Sakhalin island where it was supposed to service the oil industry.

Ransom demands are normally determined by the size of the ship, its cargo and the nationalities of its crew, experts say.

In August, Danish media said Somali pirates freed a Danish cargo ship, the MV Danica White, and its five Danish sailors after a security company paid a $1.5 million ransom.

UmbornePirate
11th February 2008, 17:55
Recent news here (http://www.indianmuslims.info/news/2008/feb/10/talks_pirates_over_hijacked_sakhalin_bound_tugboat _continue.html)and here (http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/02/ap_pirates_080211/) suggests that the crew of the Svitzer Sakalov are not forgotten.

Pirate, (but absolutely no connection with those operating off Somalia (Thumb))

samuel j
11th February 2008, 18:07
hi Pirate

Have been keeping an eye out for anything in press here but very quiet. Presume they hoping to resolve quietly out of publi eye and not make more out of it which could backfire on the crew.

Gavin Gait
12th February 2008, 21:48
http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/itm155_SVITZER-KORSAKOV.htm

SN NewsCaster
18th March 2008, 19:30
A Somali official condemns the reported $700,000 ransom payment to pirates to free a Danish-owned boat.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7302687.stm)

samuel j
19th March 2008, 19:14
Source Irish Examiner
Sligo man released after being held by pirates
19/03/2008 - 15:41:35
An Irishman who was held captive for more than a month by pirates off the coast of Somalia has been released unharmed.

Father-of-four Fred Parle from Sligo was released yesterday morning, reportedly after a substantial ransom was paid.

The engineer was one of six crewmen aboard the Danish owned Svitzer Korsakov, which was seized by pirates off North East Somalia on February 1.

The owners of the boat confirmed none of the crew members were harmed

sandman
3rd April 2008, 21:05
The captain of a ship captured by armed pirates off the Somalian coast is back home in North Devon after being held to ransom for more than six weeks.Captain Colin Darch, who at one point feared for his life, was freed after the owners of the vessel met the pirates' demands.

But the harrowing experience has not deterred the 70-year-old sea-dog, who will be at the helm of another ship in a matter of weeks.

His ordeal started on February 1, 70 nautical miles north of the Cape of Caluula, in the Indian Ocean off the north-eastern coast of Somalia, when the 35m Danish tug, Svitzer Korsakov he was transporting from St Petersburg to Sakhalin Island, off Russia's east coast, was hijacked.



Capt Darch, manning the ship with an Irish chief engineer and four Russian crew, said a boat with five armed men on board approached them very fast.

They managed to fend them off, but then saw a second boat approaching.

Captain Darch said: "When we saw the second boat coming, we knew the game was up as we could not manoeuvre enough.

"Someone then shouted that they were on board. They were firing guns. We then closed control and shut down the ship."

"We were told if we behaved no-one would get hurt, but if we did something wrong, we would be shot.

"I was very concerned, but prepared to comply with whatever they wanted," he said.

There was just one English-speaking pirate who asked questions about the ship and its cargo, but the tug was not carrying cargo.

The four Russians were ordered to lie down, but Capt Darch and the Irish engineer were needed to sail the ship.

The pirates told Capt Darch they wanted to go to Port Caluula, where they had come from, but kept changing the destination. A day-and-a-half later, Capt Darch was made to anchor off a village called Eyl.

More pirates arrived, making the total more than 20. The crew were told they were only interested in money and had been hijacked for ransom - they didn't want to hurt anyone.

Capt Darch said: "We could see they were not religious or political and they told us they had not had a government in Somalia for 17 years so had to rob to survive. Over the next 47 days, they talked about this a lot. Although we sympathised with the government problem, we couldn't agree with their methods, as we were innocent seamen.

"I was fairly sure we wouldn't be hurt, as long as they got the money."

For the first 12 days the crew were allowed to use their cabins, galley and mess room while the pirates slept on deck with some on guard.

Capt Darch, who lives in Appledore, had to make a daily phone call to the boat's owners, Svitzer, in Copenhagen.

"We had reached stalemate and the pirates were getting impatient," the Captain said.

"An American warship was in close attendance but dare not attack in case we got hit.

"We decided to try and help by blacking out the ship and hiding in a stern compartment behind watertight doors, in the hope the American crew would get the message and attack.

"We retreated to a ballast tank partly full of water and spent 18 hours in there - but the attack didn't happen. After 19 hours we gave ourselves up. They didn't punish us but they kept a much closer eye on us and we had to spend all day in the wheel house. From then on we were accompanied everywhere, even to the toilet, and were not allowed on deck. We were kept like that for 47 days.

"It was obvious the ship and our lives were balanced against a promise of money."

He said it was hard to describe how he felt.

"The worst scenario was we got shot and I worked hard to get a good relationship with the pirates," he said.

Language proved to be a problem and eventually the hijackers called in a teacher, who listened to the conversations with Denmark and the American warship, which had asked to hear from the crew every day to ensure they were well, and held a gun on guard, but also asked Capt Darch to help prepare notes for his students, including advice on choosing a wife.

Capt Darch said: "The pirates looted our cabins - phones, cameras, laptops and our clothes. They didn't bother so much with mine as they were too old-fashioned, but they told us we were all Muslim brothers and must share."

Capt Darch and his crew survived on Somali tea for breakfast and dinner with a meal at lunchtime. Two goats were brought on board, one each for the pirates and the captives.

The captain said: "They were amazed we did not kill our goat straight away. We didn't want to face killing it but didn't want to seem ungrateful.

"Eventually we went to the galley, I held its feet and one of them slit its throat. It was put in the deep freeze but I discovered they had eaten it themselves a few days later."

The crew were not hurt during their captivity, but Captain Darch was struck on the back of the head as the pirates believed he was not making the boat travel fast enough.

He feared for his life when there was talk of taking the crew onshore when negotiations stalled, but he remained optimistic at all times.

"They were unsophisticated hoodlums. They couldn't just drive the ship away, there is huge skill involved in controlling it."

He said the pirates would sit around chewing khat - an African weed which has a similar effect to amphetamine - to keep them awake, which was one of their main pleasures.

The captured crew received regular visits from a former government official, who said he was there to ensure the crew was treated well.

Once a ransom was agreed, the pirates found problems obtaining the money, as they had no passports, bank accounts or respectable friends.

Capt Darch said: "It was like a syndicate of factory workers who had won the lottery but couldn't find the ticket."

On March 18, the pirates left the ship and the crew was "free to steam away, out of bandit territory".

Capt Darch, who had joined the tug more than three months earlier, on December 6, said the American warship sent a doctor and officers on board, along with an extravagant breakfast.

Two days later the crew, arrived in Salala where they were debriefed at the Hilton Hotel before flying to Dubai to be reunited with their wives and partners.

Capt Darch's wife Barbara, who is secretary of Bideford Band, sat waiting for a phone call from the authorities every day. She was only able to tell a handful of close family and friends about her husband's ordeal, and did her best to carry on life as normal.

She said: "It was very hard, but I had to keep positive and busy. I was told they would have more respect for Colin as he was older, but it is something I never want to go through again.

"I had a huge sense of relief when Colin finally phoned and said 'I'm free'."

A statement from Svitzer saluted the "courage, leadership and strength" shown by the master and crew of Svitzer Korsakov .

The statement said: "As there have been a growing number of attacks on merchant ships over the past two years and an increase in...violent attacks, Svitzer believes it would be irresponsible and imprudent to provide any details of the on-going dialogue with the hijackers over the course of this incident, or to release any details of the operational issues.

"Any such details provided in the public domain would, we believe, encourage would-be pirates and add further danger to the victims of such attacks."

Captain Darch, who previously lived in Landkey and Braunton, first went to sea as an apprentice in 1954. He has travelled the world, mostly on cargo ships, and retired last year after four years as captain of Oldenburg, the Lundy Island ferry ship. He even celebrated his 70th birthday on the vessel.

He was a North Sea pilot for more than 20 years, and was an Appledore Shipyard trials master for 11 years.

He has worked for Dutch company Redwise, which specialises in delivering ships anywhere in the world, for the past six years.

He said: "I enjoy it. When asked why I still go to sea, I say I suppose there might come a time when I don't enjoy a trip because of extreme weather, or a clash of personalities and I guess this was the trip to end all trips.

"I told Barbara it would be the last while sat by the pool in Dubai."

But Barbara said "his eyes lit up" when she told him his agent had another job from Liverpool to Gibraltar at the end of April.

Captain Darch said: "I will continue, but not in pirate areas.

"It keeps me young. I enjoy it too much and I can't resist the call of the open sea."

Got this from the local paper Today.

John Rogers
4th April 2008, 20:01
Pirates seize French ship off Somalia By JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press Writer
39 minutes ago



Pirates seized control of a French vessel carrying 30 crew members Friday off the coast of Somalia, the French government and the ship's owner said.

Attackers stormed aboard "Le Ponant" as it returned without passengers from the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, toward the Mediterranean Sea, said officials with French maritime transport company CMA-CGM.

The corporate officials said they were in close contact with the French Foreign Ministry, which said in a statement that a cruise boat and its crew had been attacked by pirates.

The ship was in the high seas in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean, the ministry said. At least some of the crew members are French, it said.

Pirates seized more than two dozen ships off the Somali coast last year.

The U.S. Navy has led international patrols to try to combat piracy in the region. Last year, the guided missile destroyer USS Porter opened fire to destroy pirate skiffs tied to a Japanese tanker.

Wracked by more than a decade of violence and anarchy, Somalia does not have its own navy, and a transitional government formed in 2004 with U.N. help has struggled to assert control.

The International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy, said in its annual report earlier this year that global pirate attacks rose 10 percent in 2007, marking the first increase in three years.

__

Associated Press Writer Pierre-Yves Roger in Paris contributed to this report.

Derek Roger
4th April 2008, 20:16
Two dozen ships !!! Time for some positive action methinks John . Pity the French Foreign Legion is not still around ; they would know how to deal with these types .

Derek

John Rogers
4th April 2008, 20:33
I believe they still are Derek but not the hard core of yesteryear,The Brits,US,Ger,and France need to station a couple of warships to patrol that coast and rotate the mission. I think the US has a ship out there at present but thats a lot of area to cover with one ship.

John.

AncientBrit
4th April 2008, 21:37
Maybe we should apply for a Letter of Marque and do a little bounty hunting
AB

John Rogers
4th April 2008, 21:57
I think if they know more countries are patrolling the area it will keep them away from the ship traffic lanes.

John.

RCHARLTON
5th April 2008, 00:54
Maybe if these ships carried a few well armed "trigger happy Americans" it might help solve the problem don't you think? (Thumb)

Derek Roger
5th April 2008, 01:09
Ray ;
I know you are having a laugh when you say that ! Don't wind up the members .

But it does pose the question that should ships carry arms when navigating " Pirate Waters " ?? I think it would be a deterrent .


However on another note I understand vessels are warned not to navigate these waters ???

Cheers Derek

James_C
5th April 2008, 08:48
Derek,
Current guidelines are to stay at least 200 nautical miles off the coast, although there have been reports of Pirates attacking ships up to 390 nautical miles.

AncientBrit
5th April 2008, 11:21
Where are the old "Q" Ships when you need a couple? A few burst of Triple A will cure their piratical habits. If done properly, mercilessly and efficiently those that remained would soon be persuaded to take up farming.
AB

SN NewsCaster
5th April 2008, 12:40
France says it has had no contact with the crew of a luxury yacht seized with its crew by Somali pirates.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7332003.stm)

billyboy
5th April 2008, 13:07
I agree with Ancient Brit on this. I think they should be armed if sailing in that area. they need to be able to defend themselves against these ruthless Pirates who are too lazy to work for a living.

Noddy-Billing
5th April 2008, 13:26
I don't agree with arming Merchant Ships ( except in very limited circumstances). Merchant Seamen are just that, Merchant Seamen. It needs a concerted effort by flag states, ie. the French, British, American, et al. navies to patrol these waters and bring the pirates to book. I know the major armed forces are busy with Iraq, Afghanistan, etc but surely a warship or two could be spared for this task?

John Rogers
5th April 2008, 14:31
Billyboy, there is no work for the pirates thats why they have turned to highjacking ships. Bring back the D.E.M.S. gunners and place a couple onboard.

John.

AncientBrit
5th April 2008, 14:58
"Q" Ships were manned by naval personell but made to look like easy pickin's merchant vessel. At the prime moment, the sides would drop and they would blast away. Something like that would be much more efficient against pirates than warships, with the speed of their boats, all warships do is chase them off to another area.
AB

R651400
5th April 2008, 21:05
The French sailing cruise ship "Le Pontant" has been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden by, according to the French news, Somali pirates. Fortunately the ship had no passengers on board but the crew includes at least one female. The latest is the French navy have surrounded the cruise ship.
Sorry no images, Le Pontant resembles
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=60082

R651400
6th April 2008, 10:29
Pity the French Foreign Legion is not still around ; they would know how to deal with these types . Derek

Not around? Since when?

I posted above after searching forums for "Le Pontant" and drew a blank.
There is nothing new in the local press this morning. Lets hope if there is not a peaceful solution, the pirates don't get too much up the French "pif" like "Rainbow Warrior!"

Chouan
6th April 2008, 10:49
Maybe if these ships carried a few well armed "trigger happy Americans" it might help solve the problem don't you think? (Thumb)

It might, but the Americans, by which I mean the American government, don't seem to be interested. They seem to like the role of "World Policeman" only when it suits them, ie when they get something out of it.

wigger
6th April 2008, 12:14
It seems like ages ago that I read about the development of Long Range Acoustic Devices, it may not be "non lethal" but it seems to be a bit less final that gunfire. There has been an incident of one being used against pirates off Somalia.

Gavin Gait
6th April 2008, 12:23
The French have a very novel and effective sonic weapon for using against rioters , etc which would be ideal for use against pirates. It generates a 7Hz sound wave which just so happens to be the closest natural frequency for the human sphincter , yup it makes you sh1t yourself uncontrollably!!

http://crab.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/a-short-history-of-sound-weapons-pt2-infrasound/
http://www.wikimirror.com/Sonic_weaponry

Chouan
6th April 2008, 13:14
I remember a story about a band in the early 70's whose bass player played a note in a concert that acheived this frequency, with "hilarious results". I'll try and remember their name.

RCHARLTON
6th April 2008, 13:21
It might, but the Americans, by which I mean the American government, don't seem to be interested. They seem to like the role of "World Policeman" only when it suits them, ie when they get something out of it.

If you read this report you will see that the American Government is trying to do something about this.

http://www6.comcast.net/news/articles/world/europe/2008/04/05/Somalia.Pirate.Attack/

John Rogers
6th April 2008, 14:05
The US Navy also helped the crew of the highjacked crew of a Tug two weeks ago and never fired a shot. The tug had an Irish captain and Russian crew. Story Below.

A BRITISH sea skipper yesterday told of his nightmare ordeal at the hands of pirates who held him captive for almost seven weeks.

Captain Colin Darch, 70, and his five crew were locked up in a makeshift jail by gun-toting thugs and warned they could be killed.

They were only freed when the ship’s owners paid a ransom – believed to be £350,000.


Shot

The bandits seized the 114ft Svitzer Korsakov in a dramatic attack off the coast of Somalia. Two boats of armed men rushed towards the tug which could not evade them.



Captured ... Colin Darch

Colin said: “Someone shouted that they were on board. They were firing guns and we were told if we behaved, no one would get hurt. But if we did something wrong, we would be shot.”

Twenty pirates took over the tug and one, who spoke English, demanded a ransom and ordered Colin to contact his Danish bosses to negotiate.


He said: “We reached stalemate and the pirates were getting impatient. A US warship was in close attendance but dare not attack in case we got hit.

“We decided to try and help by blacking out the ship and hiding in a stern compartment behind watertight doors – in the hope the American crew would get the message and attack.


Advertisement

“We retreated to a ballast tank partly full of water but the attack didn’t happen. After 19 hours we gave ourselves up.”


Colin said the pirates then imprisoned them in one section of the tug.

“They didn’t punish us but they kept a much closer eye on us and we had to spend all day in the wheelhouse.”

Colin, of Appledore, North Devon, and his crew were released after 47 days on March 18 when the boat’s owners, Svitzer, paid the ransom.

The married mariner said he had not been put off seafaring by the ordeal, adding: “I will continue – but not in pirate areas.”

samuel j
6th April 2008, 20:53
This is the French boat that has been captured
http://www.cruiseco.com/products_01/Sailing%20Ships/Le%20Ponant/ponant.htm

Supergoods
6th April 2008, 21:44
It seems like ages ago that I read about the development of Long Range Acoustic Devices, it may not be "non lethal" but it seems to be a bit less final that gunfire. There has been an incident of one being used against pirates off Somalia.

A couple of years ago I attended a demonstration of one of these contraptions.
Very good in theory, but in practice some poor fool has to stand in full view to aim the thing and I doubt the opposition will be sufficienty humane to use a sound beam back.
Since then "specialist contractors" are the preferred method.
The only good pirate is a dead pirate and the sooner the performing arts realize this, the better for the world.
The yard arm was put on a ship for a good purpose and should be used traditionally.
When Britain abandoned capital punishment, High Treason and Piracy on the High Seas were still kept as capital offences for good resons.

Jim MacIntyre
6th April 2008, 22:56
It might, but the Americans, by which I mean the American government, don't seem to be interested. They seem to like the role of "World Policeman" only when it suits them, ie when they get something out of it.
Tut tut Chouan - shame on you. For someone who takes pride in teaching students to 'interpret and assess evidence', 'look for bias' and 'think for themselves', and by his own admission is 'good at it' what went wrong here?.
All one has to do is google six characters - ctf150 - to access the evidence of the US involvement in Combined Task Force 150, the multinational maritime force that is responsible for patrolling the waters off Somalia among other duties.
Such lack of investigation into the basics might result in a failing grade for a student.
Could we be heading for different sides of an issue again ?
Cheers
Jim Mac

Chouan
6th April 2008, 22:56
If you read this report you will see that the American Government is trying to do something about this.

http://www6.comcast.net/news/articles/world/europe/2008/04/05/Somalia.Pirate.Attack/

I'm very pleased to hear it. Genuinely so. If only we had a Navy that could do so too, rather than duilding new Aircraft Carriers that we don't need!

Derek Roger
6th April 2008, 23:17
Not around? Since when?

I posted above after searching forums for "Le Pontant" and drew a blank.
There is nothing new in the local press this morning. Lets hope if there is not a peaceful solution, the pirates don't get too much up the French "pif" like "Rainbow Warrior!"

If the French are around in Somalia they are not doing much of a Job .

Derek

quietman
6th April 2008, 23:22
"Q" Ships were manned by naval personell but made to look like easy pickin's merchant vessel. At the prime moment, the sides would drop and they would blast away. Something like that would be much more efficient against pirates than warships, with the speed of their boats, all warships do is chase them off to another area.
AB

Surely if these warships had an Apache helicopter properly armed the only place these pirates would be chased to is Davey Jones's locker(Cloud)

RCHARLTON
6th April 2008, 23:53
Apparently the French are now in contact with the pirates.

http://www6.comcast.net/news/articles/general/2008/04/04/Somalia.Pirate.Attack/

RayJordandpo
7th April 2008, 10:49
If the French are around in Somalia they are not doing much of a Job .

Derek

They certainly where around last year. I came through Suez on a rig under tow. When we approached the Red Sea we were escorted through the gap by the French aircraft carrier 'Charles de Gaulle'

vchiu
7th April 2008, 17:11
According to press sources

The Elite French Military Police Corp (GIGN) is currently on standby. (Those guys handled challenging previous situations with terrorists taking hostage very well.)

The pirated ship is currently shadowed by the aviso Cdt Bouan
http://www.netmarine.net/bat/avisos/cdtbouan/photos.htm

French government said all options are still open (including paying a ransom) and claim priority on saving the hostages.
Local Somali Government plainly support military intervention against the Pirate and already granted access to French forces in the area. It is considered that the Pirates' operation was well organized and prepared, as LE PONAN was hijacked pretty far off the coast

R651400
8th April 2008, 11:53
If the French are around in Somalia they are not doing much of a Job . Derek

Wouldn't expect them to be on mainland Somalia but TV shows them shadowing
"Le Ponant."
My question was ref your posting "the French Foreign Legion is still not around."
"Le Pontant" I quoted from local rag, apols if it misled.

UmbornePirate
11th April 2008, 22:14
Some of Ponant's crew appear to have been released and some pirates subsequently captured by French Forces. There are many conflicting stories emerging in the international press, the two here (http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,23527043-5005962,00.html) and here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article3731628.ece) being typical.

The dust will settle soon and a consensus story will emerge.

Pirate

Derek Roger
11th April 2008, 23:11
I humbly stand corrected about the French being inactive . It just seems they need some help if these pirate raids are to be reduced .

Kind Regards Derek

SN NewsCaster
12th April 2008, 00:20
French commandoes carry out a raid on Somali pirates soon after they release 30 hostages from a luxury yacht.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7342292.stm)

John Rogers
12th April 2008, 00:49
Well done,congrats to the French commandos.

John.

vchiu
12th April 2008, 04:31
According to "le Figaro", a ransom of 2 million EUR (3 Million USD) was paid by the ship owner, confirming commitments from French Officials that no public money was spent in this form.
French commandos captured 6 Pirates in an airlift operation shortly after the hostages were freed. During the capture, a portion of the ransom was recovered. This operation was performed with the Somali authorities' consent

According to Somali sources, 3 bodies were recovered after the French raid. French sources deny any involvement with those alleged deaths.

Personal Comments
While paying a ransom is certainly not glamorous, I guess there was no better way to secure the hostages' safety.
I am very happy this commando operation took place though. This is a clear message that pirates won't get away that easily

Derek Roger
12th April 2008, 04:41
According to "le Figaro", a ransom of 2 million EUR (3 Million USD) was paid by the ship owner, confirming commitments from French Officials that no public money was spent in this form.
French commandos captured 6 Pirates in an airlift operation shortly after the hostages were freed. During the capture, a portion of the ransom was recovered. This operation was performed with the Somali authorities' consent

According to Somali sources, 3 bodies were recovered after the French raid. French sources deny any involvement with those alleged deaths.

Personal Comments
While paying a ransom is certainly not glamorous, I guess there was no better way to secure the hostages' safety.
I am very happy this commando operation took place though. This is a clear message that pirates won't get away that easily

I have to agree with your comment to a point . I do not agree to ransoms however as it tends to cause more problems in the same vein .
This one has worked out reasonably well . One hopes the message will get through to the Pirates . However I doubt it as only some of the money was recovered and any Gain by these Pirates will only cause more aggression

Derek

Life is Cheap in Somalia ; therefore the risks are worthwhile for the Pirates .

vchiu
12th April 2008, 06:18
I am also opposed to ransoms as a matter of principle, but I am pretty conviced the whole situation was assessed carefully with the French authorities and that the risks weighting upon the hostages were deemed too high.

The subsequent raid from the Marine commandos brought some compensation to the apparent weakness displayed by the ransom negociation.

I see some French forums filled with people bickering about the taxpayer money spend by the full operation. I am really ashamed to see such a low level thinking.

R651400
13th April 2008, 05:52
According to "le Figaro", a ransom of 2 million EUR (3 Million USD) was paid by the ship owner, confirming commitments from French Officials that no public money was spent in this form.
French commandos captured 6 Pirates in an airlift operation shortly after the hostages were freed. During the capture, a portion of the ransom was recovered.

Nice footage on French TV of the French special forces helicopter action. No mention of any deaths. Understand half the ransom money has been recovered.

Dave Edge
13th April 2008, 09:27
I only had minor problems with 'pirates' during my time at sea - threats to my life, I am pleased to say, were not acted on - but my attitude would be; pay the ransom, recover the victims, destroy the perpetrators. It may not be PC but it sure prevents recidivism.

R651400
16th April 2008, 19:18
Today's French tv news announced that the pirates captured during the helicopter action have been taken to Djiboutie in transit to France for trial with
eventual life sentence if found guilty.
This contrasts somewhat with Sunday Times front page "Pirates can claim UK asylum."
RN instructed by Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their civil rights!!!!

John Rogers
16th April 2008, 19:47
Why take them back to the homeland for a trial when you have a rope and a yardarm.

John.

John Williams 56-65
16th April 2008, 21:27
When I read about these pirates I often wonder how they would have fared if they tried it on with one of our old troopships These ships had well stocked armouries and plenty of troops aboard who knew how to handle firearms. They were used to keep the troops in practise during a voyage and we often had shooting competitions between the ships company and the military.I`m sure the squaddies would have relished some live targets to practise on.

R651400
17th April 2008, 11:49
Why take them back to the homeland for a trial when you have a rope and a yardarm.
John.

The pirates are from Somalia. Djibouti is a separate country, what was French Somalia and where the French still have some sway..
My point was how the French tackle things compared to the British foreign office policy above.

Chouan
17th April 2008, 11:58
The French have no qualms about acting with a neo-colonialist perspective, hence their quickness to act in the Cote d'Ivoire, Tchad, Mali, Central African Republic, etc, whenever French interests are potentially at risk. Compare that to our governments of both persuasions!

R651400
17th April 2008, 12:43
The French have no qualms in acting. End of story!

RayJordandpo
20th April 2008, 14:05
but my attitude would be; pay the ransom, recover the victims, destroy the perpetrators. It may not be PC but it sure prevents recidivism.

I agree 100%

SN NewsCaster
22nd April 2008, 11:40
Forces from Somalia's Puntland region storm a UAE-flagged cargo ship hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/in_depth/7360282.stm)

SN NewsCaster
23rd April 2008, 22:10
Waters off the coast off the coast of Somalia have become some of the most treacherous in the world. The area is swarming with pirates, many of whom are after one thing: ransom.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7358764.stm)

SN NewsCaster
23rd May 2008, 18:50
A ship carrying sugar, an aid donation to Somalia, is released after being seized by pirates last week.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7417601.stm)

SN NewsCaster
30th May 2008, 13:40
Two cargo ships have been hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast, a Kenyan maritime body says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7427455.stm)

Outlawtorn70
5th June 2008, 16:43
Hi everybody,

According to AFP, the UN adopted a resolution in order to combat pirates off Somalii coasts, here is the full article:

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The UN Security Council was set Monday to adopt a resolution empowering states to send warships into Somalia's territorial waters with the government's consent to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea..... (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ikWhGDMcM15EKykwZfhpnJ_MRdNQ)

I don't know whether such 'authorization' could be good or not. For us, sailors and seafarers, it could be a good sensation to forget our fears when going out eastbound from Bab-El-Mandeb, but, in the meantime we hope that this will not legitimate the inconceivable.....
Regards,

UmbornePirate
5th June 2008, 21:26
I gather this clears one difficulty in that it allows international warships in the area to enter Somali territorial waters in pursuit of pirates, something that has been a difficulty in the past. What it does not address is the subsequent judicial arrangements should any pirates be captured.

In general terms it would apparently be up to the nation whose warship captures them to bring them to justice in that warship's home country. With all that we hear regularly about the cost of legal representation at taxpayers expense trials, prison overcrowding, not to mention human rights etc are we sure that European and American legal sytems are ready for this interesting challenge?

Pirate

Geoff_E
5th June 2008, 22:00
"Somali territorial waters"? an interesting oxymoron!

Perhaps, "shot whilst attempting to escape" would be the pragmatic solution. But don't make them martyrs!

Outlawtorn70
6th June 2008, 00:52
I gather this clears one difficulty in that it allows international warships in the area to enter Somali territorial waters in pursuit of pirates, ...
Pirate

You are right in qualifying it by a step, but i would rather say that it's an oily and steepy step..(POP)

Regards,

cptpugwash
6th June 2008, 01:53
if caught in the act of piracy they should be sunk no prisoners taken

SN NewsCaster
9th July 2008, 13:50
Somali pirates release a Ukrainian ship for $800,000 ransom, as another vessel is taken hostage.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7497419.stm)

SN NewsCaster
23rd July 2008, 13:10
A Japanese ship with 20 Philippine crew has reportedly been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7521313.stm)

SN NewsCaster
14th August 2008, 20:40
Pirates have hijacked a Thai ship off the coast of Somalia, the International Maritime Bureau says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7561593.stm)

mrcanoehead
16th August 2008, 07:21
Did I see right on CNN today that their way a ship hyjacking in the Red Sea, Thai Crew Held Hostage, a heavy lift ship, of some kind..

K urgess
16th August 2008, 12:52
Yes you did. (Thumb)
And I've merged your post with the original so you can compare it to what you saw.

SN NewsCaster
20th August 2008, 07:00
Pirates have hijacked a tanker with more than 20 crew on board in the Gulf of Aden, says a global maritime watchdog.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7571551.stm)

billyboy
20th August 2008, 09:32
Ita them Pirates that need seizing... by the neck preferred

John Campbell
5th September 2008, 22:36
WHAT is it going to take before the various naval assets milling around Middle Eastern waters get to grips with the pirate menace in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast? A high explosive rocket into a laden tanker? A merchant ship’s crew killed as robbers become more ambitious and better armed? Is it not a disgrace that our fellow mariners should live with this present day menace while the world blithely ignores this outragous situation?
JC

ROBERT HENDERSON
5th September 2008, 22:53
I was Master of a coaster based in Mombasa in 1993 (I think) and running to Kismayo and Mogadishu with the occasional trip to Djbouti. A lot of our cargoes were NGO and UN supplies. In the tween decks we often had drums of petroleum products. During this period we never had any problems. The piracy seems to have started after the Black Hawk down incident, I was in Mogadishu when this took place. After this the Americans pulled out from Mogadishu and the Belgians from Kismayo as well as the rest of UN peacekeepers. Preferring to be a live coward rather than a dead hero I paid off when I knew there would be no more protection.

There were other reasons as well for leaving the ship such as the poor condition of the ship and non payment of wages.
Robert

Mara
6th September 2008, 16:25
I have been in 2 ships attacked by pirates - anyone else?

captainchris
6th September 2008, 17:13
Hi Robert,
Were you on the Socotra by any chance?

Best regards
Chris

Peter4447
6th September 2008, 17:25
I read somewhere recently that concerns have been expressed in certain quarters that this is a no win situation. Seems that if these pirates suddenly find themselves being blown out of the water and piracy becomes too dangerous for them, then they would start taking hostages ashore.
Peter(Smoke)

ROBERT HENDERSON
6th September 2008, 17:53
Hi Chris
I cannot remember a ship called Socotra out there at the time, I was actually on the Morland.

Regards Bob

ROBERT HENDERSON
6th September 2008, 18:08
Hi Peter
You are probably correct. When I was there there were American Navy patrols from Mogadishu overlapping with patrols from the Belgian navy from Kismayo, helicopters were flying overhead twenty four seven. We kept fairly close to the coast were it was more secure, only problem with this was we were caught in the permanent north flowing current which took us thirty six hours longer sothbound as the northbound passage.
For all the docks were secured by UN forces I had a knife pulled on me for telling a winch driver to stop smoking as we were discharging drums of petrol. I called for asssistance from the American Military police who immediately removed the culprit from the dock area and put a Somalian policeman on guard to make sure none of the dock workewrs lit cigarettes near the petroleum. I will give one guess as to what this policeman did as he leant against a lorry that was carrying the drums of petrol away.

Regards Robert

captainchris
6th September 2008, 18:23
Hi Robert,

Age lapse there. Socotra used to run from Aden to Socotra, (wouldn't like to do that now). There used to be a Yorkie Captain at the time but I forget his name.

Cheers,
Chris

ROBERT HENDERSON
6th September 2008, 22:31
I have just been looking at this months Nautilus magazine on line, it shows a photo of a russian type stern trawler operating in the area as pirate mother ships, the are two of them. The telegraph gives the locations they are believed to be operating in, and gives a warning to all mariners in the area.

Regards Robert

RCHARLTON
7th September 2008, 16:52
It looks as though somebody has finally caught up with some of these Somali pirates.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-world/20080907/INTERNATIONAL-SOMALIA-PIRACY-DC/

SN NewsCaster
18th September 2008, 10:10
A Greek-owned ship is attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7622471.stm)

billyboy
18th September 2008, 10:37
all those ships over a 2 month period.
Surely someone somwhere can do something about this.
Sorry if i sound over grumpy about but i would like to see someone strafe the b******s from the air, blow every high speed craft out of the water.
The stress and strains on the next of kin, not to mention the captured crew, have reached the stage where 100's of people would like to see them dealt with. lets face it, its the pirates themselfs who are turning that area into a war zone, not the innocent seafarers.
Grump over, sorry about that

Chouan
18th September 2008, 11:32
Once we have the wonderful Aircraft Carriers that people are so excited about and have waxed lyrical about and justified the enormous expenditure of our money on, money that the foreign owned companies and multinationals will be so grateful for, perhaps our Navy will be able to do something about it.
Although perhaps not

billyboy
18th September 2008, 11:49
A submaring comes to mind as being useful for dealing with these guys too. surface and gun them down

Iain B
18th September 2008, 12:26
There is a lot of talk (and worry) about this in the insurance and risk markets at the moment. The number of attacks on shipping is much higher than the number that make it to the press.

There is military activity in the Gulf of Aden and the UK's MTO (Marine Trade Liasion Office) in Dubai are co-ordinating as much as they can.

The Danes have taken over from the Canadians as leaders of the Coalition Task Force in the area, which is good news after the Canadian Commodore said the CTF was there as part of the "War on Terror" and that "Merchant Shipping can look after its' self".

Iain




An article translated and taken from the German Press

German Shipowner Paid Ransom to Somali Pirates By Udo Ludwig and Holger Stark



For weeks, heavily armed Somalis held a German ship and its crew captive until the owner paid millions to secure their release. The ransom will enable the pirates to buy more weapons and boats. The owner says it's time the military stepped in to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden.



When German ship owner Niels Stolberg first went into business 13 years ago, he knew there were risks associated with being an entrepreneur. Cut-throat competition, the tax authorities, deadbeat customers and bad employees were only some of the problems he might face, but at least they were foreseeable. But pirates?





Stolberg, 47, sinks into a black leather couch in the office of his company, Beluga Shipping GmbH, on the banks of the Weser River in the northern port city of Bremen. Less than an hour ago, he paid pirates a ransom to release his freighter "BBC Trinidad", captured and held for three weeks off the Horn of Africa. "No one can imagine what we have been through here," says Stolberg.



He hardly slept the night before. At home, he monitored the path of his ship to the location where the money was delivered, and at five a.m. he drove to his company's head office where he waited for news from the Somalian coast. Last Thursday, at approximately noon, the pirates finally released the ship, after holding it for 21 days. Now Stolberg isn't entirely sure how he should feel: relieved or angry.



Ransom Will Go Towards Faster Boats



He has a pretty good sense of what his ransom payment means. The hijackers will use the hard currency -- US dollars -- to invest in new, high-speed boats, weapons and modern technology. Within only a few days, the pirates will have become an even greater threat. Beluga Shipping GmbH owns more than 50 ships, and the Horn of Africa lies along a trading route that no major ship owner can avoid. "The pirates are becoming more professional, more aggressive and strategically more adept," Stolberg warns. "If we don't defend ourselves now, the situation will only become worse."





The story of the hijacking of the "BBC Trinidad" is a textbook case of modern piracy. For the heavily armed pirates, it was practically child's play to gain control over the modern, $23-million (€16-million) freighter. The ensuing weeks of haggling were not unlike wage negotiations in industry, complete with the same bluffing tactics, trickery and threats to cancel negotiations. But the difference was that this was a matter of life and death, not just money. If one of the parties had lost his nerve, deadly shots could have been fired.



The odyssey of the "BBC Trinidad," which was carrying pipes and other equipment for the oil industry from Houston, Texas to Muscat, Oman, began on Aug. 21. A Chinese ship sailing within view of the "BBC Trinidad" warned the captain that he was being followed by suspicious-looking boats. The German ship, sailing under the flag of the Caribbean nation of Antigue and Barbuda, began evasive maneuvers, but its crew soon realized that this was not enough to escape the speedboats. When the pirates came within shouting distance, they fired warning shots into the air and demanded that the crew of the German ship shut down its engines.



A few weeks earlier Captain Jan Konecny, a Slovak, had attended a seminar given by the shipping company on the North Sea island of Spiekeroog. In the class, attendees learned how to behave when attacked. Konecny knew that it was important to remain calm and not become aggressive. When his ship was in fact attacked, the crew on the bridge managed to press a key that activates an electronic system that automatically sends the ship's current coordinates to Bremen.



Nine Somalis boarded the ship, seven of them armed with Kalashnikovs and two with bazookas. They forced the crew to hand over all of their belongings, including mobile phones, money and provisions. Then they ordered the captain to maneuver his ship into a bay near the town of Eyl, a pirate stronghold where many other freighters and sailboats had already been taken.



Tense Negotiation



When ship owner Stolberg learned of the hijacking of the "BBC Trinidad," he set up a crisis management team that included security personnel from within his company, two agents from the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) and experts from a well-known British security company. An officer on the ship managed secretly to send an email, so that Stolberg learned of the circumstances of the hijacking and that, in addition to the captain, the Russian and Filipino crew members were in good shape.



Four days after the hijacking, a call was received in Bremen from a satellite phone on board the "BBC Trinidad." The captain spoke for a moment, and then passed the phone to a man named Abdi, a Somali middleman claiming to be merely "a servant" of the men behind the hijacking. He demanded $8 million (€5.5 million) in ransom money. His bosses in Somalia, Abdi continued, had said that if the money were not paid, they would "blow up the ship." The parties agreed to conduct another phone call the next morning.





The Bremen crisis team formed a strategy for the negotiations decided on an initial amount to offer the pirates. The German chief negotiator said that because the shipping company was still relatively new to the market, it could not pay that much money. The Germans offered $800,000 (€550,000). Abdi replied that this was "unbelievable," and far too little. He said that he would not even give the number to his bosses, because if he did they would "take some of your crewmembers and could punish them."



The hijackers brought the ship to within four miles of the coast, to demonstrate that they could do as they pleased with the crew, at any time. The next day, the Germans submitted a new offer. It was a few hundred thousand dollars higher than the first one.



Pirates Didn't Eat, Just Took Drugs



Once again, Abdi stressed that he was merely the interpreter. He said that his bosses were sitting next to him, but that he could already say that the new offer was "not acceptable." At one point the captain managed to tell the Bremen staff how dangerous he believed the situation on board was: "The fact is that they are taking drugs. They eat nothing and they drink nothing. Instead, all they do is eat green grass. I think it's something like coca. Who knows what they will do if they go crazy."



On Aug. 27, the connection to Somalia was repeatedly interrupted. To reinforce his demands, Abdi said that Somali pirates had just seized a number of ships, that "various people were murdered" on the ships and that his group "could kill your crew." But he also promised to continue negotiating with the leaders of the pirate gang. To sweeten its offer, the Bremen team told him that it could get the money and bring it to Africa very quickly. Stolberg had already calculated that every day the ship was kept idle was costing him $25,000 (€17,240).



Meanwhile, food supplies were running low and temperatures often reached 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on board the hijacked ship. To save water, the crew stopped showering. The captain told the Bremen team that Abdi was "extremely upset" about the situation. Abdi, for his part, said that his bosses were getting impatient and had threatened "to sink the crew." But he also hinted that his bosses might be satisfied with $2 million (€1.4 million), but only if things went quickly. To increase pressure, apparently, the crew was given no food for a day.



Part 2: High Stakes Poker



It was an odd game of poker. Abdi told the hijackers that the Bremen team had offered $2 million. But the shipping company had, in fact, not increased its previous offer. This made developments on Sep. 1, 12 days into the hostage crisis, all the more surprising. All of a sudden, the pirates said that they were satisfied with the offer from Bremen, prompting the Bremen team to wonder what had changed their minds. Were they afraid that the US Navy could launch a rescue mission? Or did they calculate that each additional day spent in the bay near Eyl was preventing them from hijacking more ships?



The two sides spent several days negotiating the money transfer. Abdi said that the only option was to hand over the money on board, noting that it would be the "only way we can save our asses." Then Abdi mentioned a problem of a more personal nature. He was merely a middleman, he said, and he had convinced the pirates to come down from their original demand of eight million to a little more than one million. "I saved you seven million, which means that I have my price." But the Bremen team was unwilling to pay more, and they advised Abdi to try to "get some of the ransom money."



Stolberg, convinced that he was approaching a breakthrough, encountered an unexpected obstacle in Germany. The state bank in Bremen did not have enough dollars on hand. Bank notes had to be brought in from Hamburg, and because the state bank there could only pay out a portion of the large sum in $20 bills instead of $100 bills, the shipping company needed two large pilot suitcases to accommodate all of the money. It was then flown to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where it was loaded onto a helicopter and taken to a small tugboat in the port city of Mombasa. From there, the English security firm took the ransom money to Somalia. After seven days, the tugboat had reached the "BBC Trinidad."



On Thursday morning of last week, two boots were moored to the Beluga freighter, the hijackers' speedboat on one side and the tugboat from Mombasa on the other. A doctor examined the crew and the pirates counted the money. Martin, the head of the security firm, recognized the pirates. He had handed over a similar sum of money a few weeks earlier to secure the release of the German ship "Lehmann Timber." The pirates divided up the money and placed it into 18 bags, presumably to pay 18 different clans. Then they left the ship, and the "BBC Trinidad" was allowed continue its voyage to Muscat.



"The Situation is Exploding"



The effort cost Niels Stolberg several million euros, although his insurance company will likely reimburse him for a portion of that money. But he could be at the mercy of the same criminals by tomorrow, he says. "The situation at the Horn of Africa is exploding," he says, adding that commercial shipping urgently needs convoys protected by the military as they pass the coasts of Somalia and Yemen.



European Union foreign minister took the overdue step of forming a special unit to protect shipping from pirates off the Somali coast. The "coordination unit" is designed to group warships, primarily from the French and Spanish navies, patrolling in the Gulf of Aden.





Thomas Kossendey, a state secretary in the Defense Ministry, represented Germany at that meeting. He knows that the region is considered a hot spot worldwide, and yet he has been one of the most vocal opponents of a "spontaneous" rescue mission by the German military, the Bundeswehr. In fact, Kossendey and his boss, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), want more. They are pushing for an amendment to a law that prohibits the navy from engaging in policing missions.



It was because of this law that the German navy frigate "Emden" spent months sailing off the coast of Somalia, while various freighters were being hijacked, and yet it did not intervene. The Bundeswehr justified its inaction by claiming that the legal basis for such intervention was questionable. If the EU approves an operation, State Secretary Kossendey assumes that the Germans will take part in a concerted action against the pirates, beginning in mid-December.



Until then, however, the situation could escalate even further. Walter Lindner, the German ambassador in Kenya, sent an urgent appeal to Berlin only a few weeks ago. The diplomat noted that the pirates were using the millions they had collected in ransom money to constantly upgrade their arsenals. This is bad news for ship owners like Stolberg, with at least two ships from his fleet passing the pirate coast each week.



Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

hawkey01
18th September 2008, 13:25
Ian B - Christopher Sultan,

Very interesting reading.

However I have for a long-time not understood the lack of action to eradicate these Pirates. There have been a few successful actions by the US and France. This pussyfooting by the German government is amazing.
There is of course one factor, which probably means that no one is interested - NO OIL. To hell with the seamen.
There is enough fire power around there on the international Navy vessels to blow the lot of them out of the water. Good old gunboat diplomacy is needed.
Enough Grumpy old man.

Hawkey01

billyboy
18th September 2008, 13:41
Hear Hear Hawkeye

Hubert
18th September 2008, 17:10
That pirate story brings to mind an incident that happened way back in 1980.

I was R/O on a Sanko Line tanker, m/v Hellespont Energy. We were lying at anchor in Singapore waiting for orders. The Capt, Mate, C/E, 1st Eng and myself were European, everyone else was Fillipino.

It was 8 -12 in the evening. Myself and the Chief were in 1st Eng cabin having a beer when the P.A burst into life and a hysterical 3rd Mate screamed "Pirates! Pirates on board!"

We legged it up to the bridge. He told us he and his lookout had been confronted by a group of knife weilding pirates. They instructed him to call Capt to the bridge and then tied them both up. When the old man arrived they demanded money or else, so he took them down to his offfice, opened the safe and gave them the cash, something around USD10,000. Then he was bound up as well.

About 30 mins had passed before the 3rd Mate and lookout managed to wiggle free and raise the alarm so it was pointless searching the ship.

A few days later we asked the old man his thoughts on the incident, if there was any possibility it was an inside job. He assured us they were genuine pirates and he seemed mighty relieved nobody was hurt or injured in the debacle.

That's my own personal experience of piracy on the high seas.

All the best

Huey

SN NewsCaster
18th September 2008, 17:40
A rare report on life in Eyl - home to Somalia's thriving piracy industry.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7623329.stm)

Rudolph.A.Furtado
25th September 2008, 09:02
(MAD) "Ship Piracy" in Somalia could cost Lloyd's Insurers $'s 50 million in the year 2008, besides, the cost of ship Insurance for V/Ls passing through the Gulf Of Aden have soared 10 fold over 2007! Scenario is worse than the Iran-Iraq war premiums of 1980's, something unimaginable as the "GULF OF ADEN" route is the commonest passage in International shipping corridors, beginning with gigantic "Oil tankers,Containers and Bulk Carriers" to puny fishing trawlers. Most affected are Indian and Filipino sailors as they comprise the bulk of shipping crew taken hostages in an "INTERNATIONAL GAME" with the Owners, Charterers and Manning Agents being mere "Non-Resident hostages".

Monetarily "Somali Shipping Piracy" affects manny Country's hence its strange that most "Naval superpowers" including India are treating "Shipping Piracy" as a "Child's Game" compared to War, "A Man's Game"! Being a seasoned sea-farer myself i understand the plight of "Hijacked officers and Crew", especially if the "Hijack drama" drags on for weeks or worst months, could be worse than "RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT".

ROBERT HENDERSON
26th September 2008, 15:25
The latest news in today's Independent Newspaper.
Ukranian vessel with crew of 21 and carrying F-72 tanks hijacked off East coast of Somalia, not the Gulf of Aden this time.
So far in 2008 61 vessels have been hijacked, 14 are still being held together with 300 crew members.
While all this is going on why the hell is the international community not working together and patrolling the area with Naval vessels and helicopters.
1993 when I was in command of a small vessel plying between Mombasa and Djibouti with mostly UN cargoes detined for Somalian ports we had many scary moments when small boats started to come too close.

Regards Robert

SN NewsCaster
26th September 2008, 19:30
Pirates off the coast of Somalia have seized a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 tanks, officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7637257.stm)

A.J.McMahon
26th September 2008, 21:30
What is needed is a " Q " ship down there to sort this out

dundalkie
27th September 2008, 12:13
Just read in Lloyd's list friday 26 sept. "Danes free pirates from navy Ship. Denmark releases 10 men as it is not possible to bring them to court. .....It waqs the lesser of two evils; for the other solution which would have made me (Danish defence minister on TV) uneasy, would have been to hand them over to a regime where they risked being tortured and killed" The warship ABSAION continues to patrol the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to combat piracy in the area.
The above is an extract from an article in Lloyds list. Is it any wonder that piracy is rife in that area and seamens lives are at risk. The best thing that ship could do is go home and play wargames in the Baltic. It just beggars belief. Hopefully the Russians can sort it out.

Tony Breach
27th September 2008, 12:36
I find it absolutely amazing & totally incompetent that the international community allows FoC cross traders to undertake the large scale transportation of armaments & munitions between ex eastern bloc & third world nations through known pirate-infested waters without regulation or escort. What was the Red Sea based international task force doing at the time? Shouldn't passage planning have something to do with this?
Tony

billyboy
27th September 2008, 13:09
I agree Tony. Disgracefull to allow a cargo like that going through somalian waters without an escort. Think what the pirates could do with these tanks

G0SLP
27th September 2008, 13:46
Whilst the tanks are a problem, there are other 'toys' on board, such as RPGs and anti-aircraft missiles.

To say that the pirates have 'hit the mother lode' is an understatement, methinks (Cloud)

dundalkie
27th September 2008, 13:52
Lloyds List friday 26th page 5.
Headline: Danes Free pirates from navy Ship. The danish defence Minister is quoted as saying" "It would be the lesser of two evils: for the other solution which would have made me uneasy, would be to hand them over to a regime where they risked being tortured and killed." What sort of an imbicile is this man. Being kidnapped and threatened with death is a form of torture. I just despair when I read this sort of thing.

ROBERT HENDERSON
27th September 2008, 13:54
Reading the Ceefax pages on TV this morning, a Russian Warship is proceeding to the area. This particular hi-jacking took place on the East coast of Somalia, not the Gulf of Aden.
So far this year 61 ships have been hi-jacked by Somalian pirates, 14 ships are still being held as well as 300 crew members, and still no international patrols have been set up. I think this is a bloody disgrace.

Regards Robert

SN NewsCaster
27th September 2008, 18:00
Pirates who seized a Ukrainian ship carrying battle tanks off Somalia reportedly demand $35m to release the ship and crew.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7639090.stm)

SN NewsCaster
28th September 2008, 15:30
A US destroyer makes visual contact with a Ukrainian ship seized by Somali pirates, and carrying 33 battle tanks.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7640496.stm)

Geoff_E
28th September 2008, 19:02
".............................to hand them over to a regime where they risked being tortured and killed."

Is there some sort of problem with that?

What sort of perverted, PC liberal would put the "rights" of this detritus, above the lives of those detained by piracy in Somalia.

Do we have any Danish members, perhaps they'd care to give us a few enlightened words on the "civilised" behaviour of their government?

SN NewsCaster
29th September 2008, 13:00
Somali pirates holding a ship carrying tanks and weapons say they are surrounded by at least three foreign warships.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7641468.stm)

SN NewsCaster
29th September 2008, 23:00
The US navy says it has deployed further vessels to surround a cargo ship loaded with 33 tanks that was hijacked by pirates.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7642978.stm)

non descript
29th September 2008, 23:14
For reasons that escape me, I am thinking of the misguided fox that comes out and starts to feast on the carcass of a dead lion, only to find that he is in the middle of a tiger’s day out (Jester) ….. Hopefully the surrounding ships will feel a pressing need for some target practice.

Danny Syred
29th September 2008, 23:54
I wish they would stop all this ponsing around and blow the pirates out of the water. They would only have to do it once for the piracy to stop, then the procrastinators would see the wisdom of such an action.

benjidog
29th September 2008, 23:56
Sounds like they are fanatics though Mark and would blow up the ship and take the crew with them. I certainly think blowing a few of these criminals out of the water sounds quite attractive otherwise.

Sounds like we will be going back to a convoy system unless someone gets a grip of this.

Iain B
30th September 2008, 08:38
Taken from this morning's Tradewinds


quote
‘Dismayed’
“Dismayed” at the suggestion that ships do more to defend themselves, a group of shipping and labour groups said Monday that governments need to do more to protect ships against piracy.


In a joint statement, the groups lashed out at comments by military officials in the Gulf of Aden that it’s not up to naval forces to protect merchant ships.




The US Navy is within sight of the Faina.The gulf has been the site of increasing pirate attacks, including the latest hijacking to come to light – the Friday seizure of a chemical tanker with 19 on board. The ship was the third Greek-controlled vessel to be hijacked in a little more than a week. (Click here for TradeWinds story on the attack.)


The organisations signing Monday’s statement say pirates now are staging daily attacks with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.


More than 200 mariners are being held hostage in Somalia’s waters, where numerous vessels are being held for ransom, including the arms-laden 9,019-dwt Faina (built 1978).


“The pirates are operating with impunity, and governments stand idly by,” the statement reads.


The missive was issued by Bimco, Intercargo, Intertanko, the International Shipping Federation, the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.


The groups slammed the suggestion by military leaders in the region of arming merchant vessels, which they say would be dangerous to crew because it would lead pirates to use more violence. They also said it would be illegal.


The organisation want clear rules of engagement for naval forces to intercept and take action against pirates, and to go after the motherships believed to serve as the pirates’ bases operations.


“The industry understands that military resources are stretched and that the Coalition Task Force is doing what it can,” the groups said. “But the international shipping industry, in the strongest possible way, urges governments to commit the necessary navy vessels now, and to ensure they have the freedom to engage forcefully against any act of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.”


As of Monday, US warships had closed in on the Faina, which is carrying a cargo of tanks and other weapons. The master of the vessel is believed to be dead.


Pirates now are reportedly asking for $20m, after TradeWinds reported earlier Monday that the ransom was $35m. (Click here for the story.)


The destroyer USS Howard was in visible range of the vessel by Sunday, according to the US Defence Department.

By Eric Martin in Stamford
-----end----

The coalition task force (CTF150) have said repeatedly that their mandate is to contribute to the war against terror, not to assist merchant ships.

The rules of engagement, the political will and reluctance of individual national governments are all problems that need resolving before the warships in the area can start doing something useful.

Remember all piracy stopped during the time that the Islamic courts were running Somalia - but because of the war on terror the Islamists were removed, the last form of government in Somalia failed and here we are ..... back with pirates.

We are a long way form any sort of solution to this problem - it will get worse until western governments are embarrased into doing soemthing. The Russians are sending a ship - so let's see .... maybe that will make a change to attitudes and let's see if they are going to engange the pirates.

Iain

sailor62
30th September 2008, 09:44
Danish law prohibitis to extradite Poepels to countries where ther is capital punishment.
dont blaim the crew of "Abselon". the are mad about this ,but the must follow the Goverments order

Tony Breach
30th September 2008, 10:13
It seems that CTF150 is unaware that pirates are terrorising inocent merchant seamen. It would be interesting to see what their attitude would be if the 33 tanks plus all the other military stuff were to surround the embassies of contributing nations in some East African country & started lobbing the odd shell or missile over the wall. There are satellites up there that can take photographs & track quite small watercraft. Air patrols can cover vast areas & destroy pirates before they attack ships. There can be NO political correctness where pirates are involved.

Angry Tony.

ROBERT HENDERSON
30th September 2008, 11:01
In 1993 I was in command of a British flag (Gib.registered) coast running betweeen Mombasa as far as Djiboutu carrying mainly aid for UN and NGOs for Somalia. We were always in a state of fear when we saw small boats getting close. The USA had naval vessels in the area at that time but we were given to understand that they were only there to protect American ships supplying the American military based in Mogadishu. Even in Somalian ports we never felt safe with a UN military presence there. We were lucky we were never fired on, I was still pleased when my contract was up.

The part of this that makes me really angry is the fact Merchant SEAMEN from whatever nationality are afforded no protection when going about their lawful business, whilst it is estimated that it costs approximately £3million a year for protection for the Blairs, and other ex government ministers.

Regards Robert

SN NewsCaster
30th September 2008, 11:30
Rival Somali pirates shot at each other onboard a hijacked cargo ship loaded with 33 tanks, a maritime group says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7643561.stm)

Mara
30th September 2008, 16:05
The vessel is an old ro-ro. The pirates have no available ports to offload the tanks and prob didn't have any idea what the cargo was. The tanks etc. were going to be taken from Kenya to the Sudan. Look at the Ukraine for engaging in this.

Iain B
30th September 2008, 22:29
[QUOTE=Rudolph.A.Furtado;249938](MAD) "Ship Piracy" in Somalia could cost Lloyd's Insurers $'s 50 million in the year 2008, besides, the cost of ship Insurance for V/Ls passing through the Gulf Of Aden have soared 10 fold over 2007!


Rudolph

I'm not sure where you got these numbers from, but it wasn't Lloyd's for sure.

So far - and unless someone can tell something else - no seamen have been injured, no cargo has been lost and no ship has been lost.

I might even go so far as to say that the war risk insurance premiums flooding in to specialist insurers is producing a very healthy cash flow in what are difficult times for some financiers.

It can't cost Lloyd's (or any other underwriter) anything unless there is a loss. In this case that means a claim against a war risk policy for loss suffered as a result of a 'war risk' which now includes such pirate attacks.

The additional premiums for a war risk are still ridiculously cheap for shipping using the Gulf of Aden.

A big modern commercial ship will probably be paying something in the region of USD 4,000 per passage, and for that they will get insurance for loss, damage and ransom sufficient to release the ship and crew.

The majority of ransoms have started at 'millions' and eventually been settled at 'significantly less than a million'.

It must be terrible for the crews and I take no satisfaction or pleasure in the role of the marine insurance markets in maintaining the status quo and continuing to make it worth putting crews at risk - but that's where we are.

This needs a political solution - it won't be commercially driven until there are several big, big, big losses. Even then I think it is more likely that it would be the political embarrassment rather than the commercial impact that will provide the need for change.

In a world where we are now seeing how the 'market' can't provide a solution to everything - here is another example.

This needs strong political will and leadership. It isn't going to get better any time soon.

Iain

benjidog
30th September 2008, 23:52
I have been quietly merging the many threads about Somali pirates into this one thread.

Could members please use this thread for any future postings on this topic please so we can keep it all in one place. It makes it much neater and easier to find stuff.

Thanks for your cooperation.

James_C
1st October 2008, 01:39
So far - and unless someone can tell something else - no seamen have been injured, no cargo has been lost and no ship has been lost.

Iain

From memory, at least one Seaman was hurt during the aborted boarding of a bulk carrier in August. We were in transit Eastward through the Gulf at the time and this bulk carrier was attacked by Pirates armed with RPG's and machine guns, an RPG failed to explode and embedded itself in the bridge wing and as I recall the ship in question mentioned as part of its distress message that someone on deck had been hit by shrapnel/a bullet.
Nobody, but nobody will take the lead in this matter until it starts costing the owners money and the Govts concerned column inches.
But as usual, everyone from owners to insurers to Govt doesn't give a damn about Merchant Seaman and ships just as long as their new TV is delivered on time and they can fill their car up at the petrol pump.
(Cloud)

SN NewsCaster
1st October 2008, 21:20
Somali pirates who hijacked a tank-laden ship are in negotiations with its owners, the Somali government says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7646985.stm)

SN NewsCaster
2nd October 2008, 07:50
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has cost up to $30m (£17m) in ransoms so far this year, a report says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7647631.stm)

benjidog
2nd October 2008, 22:24
News item today said the Somalia government had given the OK to other countries to have a pop at the pirates. That will be interesting!

Of course the Somalia government are not in a position to govern so it will be doing them a favour by removing some of their opponents.

rocketgoldstar1
2nd October 2008, 23:47
This is not a new or local issue. We were boarded 30 years ago in the Malacca straits. Pirates evolve and proliferate when the local states fails to address the problem. The 'PC' stance taken by the Danes is no answer. The superpowers have a role to step up the response to international piracy. Get your finger out US/UK/France/Russia/China?

RGS

tranquill
4th October 2008, 11:12
Somali pirates hijacked an*Iranian vessel with enriched*uranium from China! See here: http://samsonblinded.org/news/somali-pirates-hijack-iranian-ship-with-chemical-or-radiological-cargo-3525

Iain B
4th October 2008, 17:29
From memory, at least one Seaman was hurt during the aborted boarding of a bulk carrier in August. We were in transit Eastward through the Gulf at the time and this bulk carrier was attacked by Pirates armed with RPG's and machine guns, an RPG failed to explode and embedded itself in the bridge wing and as I recall the ship in question mentioned as part of its distress message that someone on deck had been hit by shrapnel/a bullet.
Nobody, but nobody will take the lead in this matter until it starts costing the owners money and the Govts concerned column inches.
But as usual, everyone from owners to insurers to Govt doesn't give a damn about Merchant Seaman and ships just as long as their new TV is delivered on time and they can fill their car up at the petrol pump.
(Cloud)

Well there has been crew members life lost now.

Below article taken form Tradewinds

Death confirmed
Belize’s shipping registry confirmed Tuesday that the master of a hijacked vessel has died during the ordeal off Somalia.


Capt Vladimir Kolobkov of Russia died of a heart of attack, the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize said, expressing “deep regret”.


TradeWinds reported Monday that there were unconfirmed reports that the captain of the 9,019-dwt Faina (built 1978) had died. (Read the story.)


The Belize-flag ro-ro was hijacked off Somalia’s coast with a cargo of tanks and other arms. The remaining 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and a Latvian crewing the ship are reported to be in good health, the registry says.


The Belize registry says arrangements are being attempted to repatriate Kolobkov’s body.


Several US ships now are monitoring the hijacked vessel, the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet says.


Sigule Ali, the spokesman for the pirates on board the Faina, told the New York Times on Tuesday that the reports of a firefight among on the ship were false. Three pirates are reported to have been shot dead by comrades. (Read a story on the mutiny report.)


Ali confirmed that the pirates are seeking a ransom of $20m but suggested that the amount is negotiable.


“That’s deal making. Common sense says human beings can make deals,” he said.


Ali said the group that hijacked this ship does not consider itself a group of “sea bandits.” Sea bandits, he said, are those that fish, dump waste or carry weapons in Somali waters.


“We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard,” he said. “Our name is the Central Region Coast Guard.”

By Eric Martin in Stamford
Published: 16:40 GMT, 30 Sep 2008 | last updated: 19:01 GMT, 30 Sep 2008

John Rogers
4th October 2008, 19:02
Looks like its not only on the high seas.

MOGADISHU (AFP) - Somali gunmen pillaged the office of a Britain-based aid group operating in the lawless country's capital, officials and witnesses said Saturday.

The gunmen stole computers and other documents from the Muslim Aid office late Friday in Mogadishu's southern K4 district.

"Armed men stormed the premises and ordered the guards to open the offices, taking everything inside including the computers," a local Muslim Aid official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"They took all the equipment including the safe," said witness Mohamed Osman who lives near the office.

Last week, gunmen closed three offices of US aid group International Medical Corps (IMC) in Somalia's southwestern region after they stormed the buildings and confiscated equipment.

John.

SN NewsCaster
7th October 2008, 18:30
The BBC sees evidence suggesting a Ukrainian ship held by pirates off Somalia is carrying tanks bound for South Sudan.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7656662.stm)

John Rogers
7th October 2008, 19:13
The British, US, and Russian rescue forces are between a rock and a hard place at the moment, the hostages will be killed if they board, waiting them out is the best thing at the moment, food and water will run out eventually. Firing weapons down the hallways made of steel will make the bullets ricochet every way and hurt innocent bystanders (the crew). Commandos are trained to take the ship if it wasn’t for the crew, plus the Russians do not have a good record of rescuing hostages, remember the kids they tried to save when they had them locked up in the school, over 300 of them died.

John.

chadburn
7th October 2008, 19:27
She also has a cargo of ammunition I understand. The problem is that you can't let the Hostage's starve as well so they will have to put food and water on board at some point, it is really a special ops task but from which Country? as John has said hopefully not Russia, in their view the end result justifies any hostage deaths.

John Rogers
7th October 2008, 19:44
We can drop food to the crew, just make sure its pork meat and beer,the Pirates wont eat or drink that. ( I say that with tongue in cheek) wink,wink.

John.

SN NewsCaster
7th October 2008, 20:00
Evidence that a ship held by pirates off Somalia is carrying tanks bound for South Sudan is only the latest example of rival Sudanese factions building up their stores of weapons

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7657359.stm)

SN NewsCaster
8th October 2008, 11:40
A Kenyan minister denies BBC reports that tanks seized by pirates were bound for South Sudan.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7658598.stm)

Mara
8th October 2008, 15:24
The ship is being supplied by small boats going to and from. They can wait this out. Bad - no win situation...

chadburn
8th October 2008, 16:00
Where is "Buster" Crabbe when you need him?, Africa needs food not Tanks, a few small holes punched in the bottom will sink the thing and make the Tanks and Ammo useless, I would hope the Pirates eat the Spam and not the Hostages, as it appears to be close to shore and getting supplied (to quote Mara) then she will just sit on the putty rather than sink altogether , hopefully deep enough to make the cargo a load of scrap. Thats of course if they have not been properly waterproofed for the voyage in the first place.

non descript
9th October 2008, 15:29
From today's Llloyd's List:

Pirates free Japanese tanker and crew
Llloyd's List - (c) Thursday 9 October 2008

SOMALI pirates have freed the Japanese chemical tanker Irene and its 25 crew after a $1.6m ransom was paid, a regional government official has said.

The Irene was seized by gunmen on August 21 as it travelled to India from France through the Gulf of Aden.

“The pirates disembarked and the ship sailed away. Its 25 crew members are safe,” Abdulqadir Muse Yusuf, assistant fisheries minister for Somalia’s northern region of Puntland, told Reuters, without elaborating.

non descript
9th October 2008, 15:33
Also from Lloyd's List and (c) thereof, dated Wednesday 8th October 2008

Double pay to sail near Somalia
ITF and owners’ decision to raise seafarers’ rates could cost the industry an extra $24m a year
David Osler - Wednesday 8 October 2008

HUNDREDS of thousands of seafarers are to get double pay while sailing close to Somalia, in recognition of the danger of pirate attacks, after a breakthrough deal between leading shipowners and the International Transport Workers’ Federation was signed in Singapore yesterday.

On a rough and ready estimate, the decision could cost the industry collectively around $24m a year in additional salary costs, although these will be sufficiently spread not to impact unduly any individual operator.

The decision came on the same day as the United Nations Security Council carried an amended version of a resolution passed in June, which authorises naval action against Somalian pirates.

The main practical difference is that the new resolution, drafted by France, is without time limit; the earlier resolution was due to expire before the end of this year.

The shipping ‘danger money’ understanding was reached by a subcommittee of the International Bargaining Forum, the bipartite body that sets pay and conditions for many seafarers. Under its terms, most of the Gulf of Aden has been declared a ‘high risk area’ with immediate effect.

Shipping unions have been pressing for such a move for some time, given the escalating extent of the Somalia piracy problem, with more than 60 attacks on vessels reported so far this year.

The unions have pointed to the fact that the Gulf of Aden has been a high-risk area for insurance purposes since earlier this year to bolster their case.

It is understood that some unions in leading labour supply countries were on the brink of instructing members not to accept tours that involved transiting the region unless a deal was concluded.

The memorandum provides that seafarers on ships covered by IBF agreements, the industry standard contract, will receive a bonus equal to 100% of their basic wage while the vessel is in transit. Normal death and disability compensation rates for seafarers will also double during this period.

The meeting also welcomed the establishment of the Maritime Security Patrol Area, a corridor patrolled by the navies and airforces of the US and its allies, in a bid to secure safe passage in the face of the growing scourge.

Both sides accordingly agreed that seafarers on ships that use the MPSA will be expected to serve on their vessels during transits. However, seafarers serving on ships that choose not to use the MPSA will get the right to refuse to make the transit, and will be repatriated at the expense of the shipowner.

The full impact of the deal is wide-ranging. Given the proximity of Gulf of Aden to the southern entrance of the Suez Canal, at least 22,000 ships a year have little choice but to transit waters in which they are potential targets.

On the working assumptions that crew sizes average 18 per vessel, and the waters take two days to transit, this represents potentially 792,000 person-days. Assuming an average rating’s pay of $30 a day, the extra costs could be pushing $24m a year, and that is before far higher officer salaries are factored in.

A source close to the shipowner side of the negotiations admitted that the move has been motivated to push the case for greater naval intervention.

“We need a device to ratchet up political pressure on governments, and this is what this is designed to do,” the source said. “That is what we are trying to achieve. We can pay all the wages in the world, but our prime concern is to protect our seafarers’ lives and freedom.”

Meanwhile, some third world sources were critical of the latest UN move, arguing that piracy will not cease until apolitical settlement is reached in lawless Somalia.

South Africa’s ambassador to the UN, Dumisani Kumalo, said pointedly: “It’s just an excuse to sink a few boats.”

tuutuutango
9th October 2008, 16:40
1993 when I was in command of a small vessel plying between Mombasa and Djibouti with mostly UN cargoes detined for Somalian ports we had many scary moments when small boats started to come too close.

Regards Robert

Robert:

Good morning to you sir (at least here in Texas it is morning, where I am reading your post.) I read your text and chills went up my back in regard to being on a vessel anywhere near this region. I can't even begin to imagine how crewmen feel in the open waters near this region and I too believe the international community should step up to the plate and do more to provide support for ships going through this area.

In Mogadishu, I was abandoned at the ship port (a few weeks after US forces originally took command of the airport during Operation Provide Relief, while the international community was bringing in food and medical supplies.) I was working as a freelancer in television news, and as a humble freelancer, one has to beg and borrow to accomplish his/her assignments. It's not as if actually being an employee of something like CNN where a producer has made prior arrangements for most of the logistical needs.

I "bummed" a ride with some Marines on a HumVee from the airport to the ship port (about 5 miles away). While there, I began videotaping some scenes at the large warehouse on the port. Lot's of beans, rice and cooking oil were being brought in for storage there. The Marines I rode in with suddenly got a call to hot-foot to the north side of Mogadishu and I was left there by myself. Nobody spoke English, and I was the only white man in sight and I had this large and very expensive camera on my shoulder. For the first time in my life, I wasn't feeling "warm and fuzzy" about being at a ship port. I've always been fascinated while being at ship ports in my lifetime, but not this time, as I gazed across the water from the port, overlooking a wrecked and abandoned cargo ship sitting between me and the coast line.

At least for me, about an hour later, I eventually found a convoy of US Army Humvees and since I was wearing my old Army "boonie-cap" from Vietnam adorned with some of my memorabilia, the Army Rangers on the Humvee basically rescued me "muy-pronto" and I was able to get back to the airport. I was happy to tell them war stories about Vietnam, just to empty my brain of having been stranded alone at the Mogadishu ship port. I was never so happy to have been an Army veteran... talk about camaraderie... the young pups sure made this old-man feel a lot better about being an American in a foreign and hostile country.

I was based in Mombasa and felt very relieved to get back the following day, after sleeping one more night on sacks of wheat at the Mogadishu airport, by myself, while scorpions crawled about. For a couple of weeks I flew back and forth in C-130's from Mombasa to Mogadishu (and Bidoa and other points in Somalia). Each time as I glanced out the C-130 looking down at the sea and observing isolated cargo ships, I felt a lot safer being in a "ship" 14,000 feet above the water, rather than being on that lonely looking ship at sea along the coast line.

I'm going to try and find my old video of the Mogadishu ship port to post on YouTube... Perhaps it will look familiar to you or someone else who has docked there.

SN NewsCaster
9th October 2008, 20:00
The Nato military alliance agrees to send warships to help combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7661927.stm)

SN NewsCaster
10th October 2008, 20:40
Pirates seize a cargo ship sailing from Oman to Somalia as Nato announces it will send warships to patrol the area.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7663098.stm)

SN NewsCaster
11th October 2008, 02:20
Somali pirates holding a Ukrainian cargo ship carrying military tanks threaten to blow it up if they are not paid a ransom.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7664767.stm)

Eric Wallace
11th October 2008, 03:14
Give them a chance to get off and if they dont blow them out of the water.

Coastie
11th October 2008, 03:20
All well and good, but what about the poor innocent bu**ers who are on there?

ROBERT HENDERSON
11th October 2008, 21:37
Tuutuutango
I remember a small television crew around the dock area of Mogadishu at one time, I am not sure exactly what they were doing.
The abandoned vessel you refer to across from the dock to the shore was not as I was given to understand a result of hostilities, apparently she sailed from the dock and caught fire in the engine room, the crew fought the fire and the vessel was beached, there were no casualties. To me she looked a smart little ship I could not find out why she was not salvaged.
If you recall beyond that ship there were two massive rocks, how they got there nobody there at the time knew, if there was anyfiring at night it came from there. The other thing most of us were scared of in the harbour were the US helicopters circling around, some times the militias fired at these, which meant the fire would sometimes be directed across the dock.
The worst port was in Southern Somalia called Kismayo, the approach was littered wrecks and the only marked channel was by the Belgian military leading to the harbour. The port was closed during darkness which meant anchoring close in where there were numerous places small boats could hide.

Regards Robert

SN NewsCaster
14th October 2008, 12:00
Relatives of crew members on a seized Ukrainian ship with tanks say Kiev must pay a multi-million ransom to Somali pirates.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/europe/7668863.stm)

SN NewsCaster
14th October 2008, 18:40
Security forces in northern Somalia storm a Panamanian-registered cargo ship seized by pirates last week.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7670163.stm)

SN NewsCaster
16th October 2008, 18:10
Pirates release 22 crew members they kidnapped from a South Korean cargo ship last month in Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7674268.stm)

SN NewsCaster
17th October 2008, 08:00
Indian authorities say warships will be send to the Gulf of Aden to protect its vessels from pirates operating off the coast of Somalia

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/south_asia/7675251.stm)

SN NewsCaster
21st October 2008, 18:20
Security forces in northern Somali free a ship seized by pirates, capturing four hijackers and releasing the crew unharmed.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7682563.stm)

SN NewsCaster
22nd October 2008, 13:10
The commander of Nato's anti-piracy patrol off Somalia says it will be difficult to defend ships from attacks.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7683678.stm)

James_C
22nd October 2008, 13:22
Especially hard since they're unwilling to do anything to deter them. Won't shoot at them, certainly won't kill them, won't detain them, won't attempt to recapture ships, won't do anything except steam in circles and politely ask them to stop what they're doing.
It's an utter joke.
(Cloud)

SN NewsCaster
23rd October 2008, 15:50
The surge in piracy along a key African shipping route is so severe that shortages may hit Christmas shopping, some experts warn.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7686466.stm)

SN NewsCaster
23rd October 2008, 17:20
Nine suspected Somali pirates have been captured by the French navy and handed over to Somali authorities, officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7686806.stm)

ROBERT HENDERSON
23rd October 2008, 17:27
Nine suspected Somali pirates have been captured by the French navy and handed over to Somali authorities, officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7686806.stm)

What Somalian authorities are these, since that country has not had a functioning government since about 1990.

Regards Robert

IAINT
24th October 2008, 21:03
Novembers Nautilus Telegraph 'quote' Senior naval officers running the maritime security patrols in the Gulf of Aden have urged shipping companies to hire mercenaries to protect their ships from the growing threat of piracy in the region.

And they have also suggested that the industry should consider arming merchant ships to deter attacks by the increasingly organised attacks by Somali pirates.

Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, commander of the combined maritime forces in the area, warned that the naval ships can only provide limited protection and owners should consider hiring security teams for their vessels.

'The coalition does not have the resources to provide 24-hour protection for the vast number of merchant vessels in the region', he said. The shipping companies must take measures to defend their vessels and their crews.
'This is a problem that starts ashore and requires an international solution', he added. 'We made this clear at the outset - our efforts cannot guarantee safety in the region.

Danish Royal Navy Commodore Per Bigum Christensen, who commands the Combined Task Force running the maritime security patrols, said there had been several incidents in which the crews of merchant ships had managed to prevent attacks by adopting such measures as good lookouts, increased speed and tactical manoeuvres, and using fire hoses to deter boarders.
'Mariners must remain vigilant', said Cmdre Christensen. 'A ship's master and her crew are the first line of defence for their own ship'.

The maritime security patrol area - which involves air and sea surveillance - was established in August in response to the IMO's call for international assistance to tackle the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Naval commanders say it has helped to deter more than a dozen attacks on ships since it was set up.

The naval presence in the region is set to increase, following a decision by NATO to send a number of warships to help patrol the waters off Somalia and to escort ships carrying food supplies for the World Food Programme.

Interesting points raised.

IainT

James_C
24th October 2008, 21:10
The old More Lookouts/increase speed/firehoses excuse has been around for a long time.
But, what do ships with only 5 on deck do (commonplace these days) where you have 3 watchkeepers and 2 dayworkers? The increase speed suggestion is a joke - most ships can only make circa 12-14 knots and so are most likely at full revs when they're at sea. In any event these pirates have speedboats capable of 30 plus knots!
As regards firehoses - a great detterent against pirates armed with Sub Machine Guns and RPG's!
Still, come the next time a Passenger ship is attacked there will be headlines galore and THEN someone will react. Whilst it's only cargo ships and simple Merchant Seamen being targeted those in Govt and Grey Funnel don't give a damn - as history has well proven.

John Rogers
24th October 2008, 21:44
Jim is right about trying to outrun them. Dont try to outrun a bullet,you only die tired.

John.

James_C
24th October 2008, 22:11
John,
We're luckier than most in that on my ships we carry a Protection party (normally British Army) however they're only armed with sidearms and service rifles, however it does the trick in sending a message. We're also luckier in that we can make 22+ knots at Full Sea Speed, although we normally potter about at 16 or so.
I've made 6 transits of the Gulf of Aden so far this year, and will probably make another one in December, and every time you go through there are more attacks than before. The Pirates are getting braver and more willing to take on ships crews because they know nobody is prepared to stop them.
When I went through in August there were no less than 5 hijackings and a couple of attacks within the 72 hour period of our transit. One of these hijackings occurred on a ship approximately 12 miles away. We were in visible range and watched her deck lights flash on as the first Mayday went out and listened to her officers pleading for help over the VHF, a few minutes later all went silent, her lights went off and she started steaming East. There were Warships in the area, and apparently a Destroyer went tearing after her, however the ship was allowed to enter Somali waters.
It strikes very close to home when you can see and hear all of this going on!

John Rogers
25th October 2008, 19:50
My thoughts are that a task force be created and paid for by the international shipping companies, the task force should be very well armed and their ship disguised as a small cargo ship,when approached by pirates blast them out of the water with no questions asked and no quarter given. After a few of these events I think piracy will be a dying enterprise.

John.

billyboy
28th October 2008, 12:58
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7650415.stm
More from the BBC website

John Campbell
28th October 2008, 19:52
Today's Lloyds List contains this wise observation

By Michael Grey

Tuesday 28 October 2008

MARINERS heading for the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden may or may not be hugely heartened that the European Parliament is on the case and has adopted a resolution on the piracy that has seen more than 500 people become victims during the last quarter.

Great, but will the distinguished parliamentarians actually do anything positive to assist with the positive rules of engagement that naval forces operating in the infested areas are lacking? European military co-ordination does not have a distinguished record ashore, and there is little reason to suppose that it will be any more effective afloat.

The difficulty with all the various initiatives that are circulating at present is that none seem to be able to cope with the realities of modern merchant shipping.

The multi-national status of hostages from the average ship’s crew, and the inability of so many open registers to offer physical protection (or much diplomatic clout) for ships flying their flags are just two complexities of modern merchant shipping.

This is a serious but hopefully temporary situation that needs firm, concerted, international action to deal with it, and swiftly.

Earnest discussions about whether an armed pirate is participating in an act of war is the sort of semantic detail that makes mariners despair. A quick, temporary, international court to deal with captured pirates, so that they are promptly and harshly punished would be a useful measure, backed up, perhaps, with a prison ship to prevent them being repatriated to some country where their human rights are not respected.

regards
JC

chadburn
28th October 2008, 20:26
John, I understand the "Rules of Engagement" have now been changed to exercise a more active role for the R.N. (who are sending another Warship) in regards to the Pirates around the Horn of Africa. Off Nigeria there appears to be a Private company involved with the "Policing" I am given to understand.

yorky jim
28th October 2008, 21:01
reading that BBC account ,wouldn't these guys know where every ship was in the area ,and who they were too.

quote......The technical experts, who are the computer geeks and know how to operate the hi-tech equipment needed to operate as a pirate - satellite phones, GPS and military hardware.

yorky jim

Tomvart
28th October 2008, 22:48
Whilst it's only cargo ships and simple Merchant Seamen being targeted those in Govt and Grey Funnel don't give a damn - as history has well proven.

Jim,

Why would you think that the Grey funnel line don't give a damn about Fellow British Seamen? Of course the RN care, however what few Warships the RN have left - go where they are tasked - they no longer have carte blanche to roam the oceans as Nelson and his band of Brothers did - thats an incredibly innacurate and inflamatory statement that I take particular exception to.
I think you need to look at the profit making Ships Owners when you want to apportion blame.
It may be 'simple Merchant seaman' paying the burden (as they unfortunately always have done), but it's the owners who are actually to blame - greedy owners who fail to heed repeated warnings (issued by an uncaring Government and a profit conscious Lloyds) by sending valuable and unprotected ships into a known pirate hotspot. The only thing stopping them providing protection for the ships is cost and profit, but hasn't that always been the case too?

The RN does not have enough ships left to be able to provide convoy protection, what ships they do have are seriously overstretched, thanks to the government scrapping ships/cutting costs/cutting building/reducing fuel budgets/increasing commitments globally.

I spent 23 years at sea in the RN (some of it convoying tankers in and out of the Straits of Hormuz) and never once witnessed this 'Don't give a Damn about MN' attitude.
I assume that you are referring to incidents during WW2 in your 'Historical don't give a damn' quote above?

regards,

Tom

Chouan
29th October 2008, 00:48
"I spent 23 years at sea in the RN (some of it convoying tankers in and out of the Straits of Hormuz) and never once witnessed this 'Don't give a Damn about MN' attitude"

If you spent time on the Straits of Hormuz escort you'll know how worthless the escort was as far as the rest of the Gulf was then; where the actual attacks took place. As individuals, I'm sure that some of you may well have had concerns about what happened to the ships, and the people, once they went beyond your care, if any of you ever thought about it, but to the RN as an institution, I'm also sure that James C's comments are completely true.

James_C
29th October 2008, 05:00
Jim,
Why would you think that the Grey funnel line don't give a damn about Fellow British Seamen? Of course the RN care, however what few Warships the RN have left - go where they are tasked - they no longer have carte blanche to roam the oceans as Nelson and his band of Brothers did - that's an incredibly inaccurate and inflamatory statement that I take particular exception to.
I think you need to look at the profit making Ships Owners when you want to apportion blame.
It may be 'simple Merchant seaman' paying the burden (as they unfortunately always have done), but it's the owners who are actually to blame - greedy owners who fail to heed repeated warnings (issued by an uncaring Government and a profit conscious Lloyds) by sending valuable and unprotected ships into a known pirate hotspot. The only thing stopping them providing protection for the ships is cost and profit, but hasn't that always been the case too?
The RN does not have enough ships left to be able to provide convoy protection, what ships they do have are seriously overstretched, thanks to the government scrapping ships/cutting costs/cutting building/reducing fuel budgets/increasing commitments globally.
I spent 23 years at sea in the RN (some of it convoying tankers in and out of the Straits of Hormuz) and never once witnessed this 'Don't give a Damn about MN' attitude.
I assume that you are referring to incidents during WW2 in your 'Historical don't give a damn' quote above?

regards,

Tom

Tom,
I'm sorry you feel offended, and perhaps my statement was ambiguous, however as Chouan has intimated my attention was aimed more at the institution than individuals, and like most institutions it's at the mercy of those at the reigns.
Whilst the owners do have certain questions to answer, there really is no viable alternative to conventional routing. These pirates are not just attacking off the coast of Somalia, they're operating in the entire Gulf of Aden. They're also attacking ships over 400 miles from the Somali Coast - the Gulf of Aden is 150 miles wide. It's easy to say "avoid the area", but quite simply if you're shipping cargo to/from Europe or Asia you have to pass through the Gulf of Aden, otherwise it's a 9000 mile detour and an extra 3 weeks on passage. I'm sure many shippers would be willing to accommodate that, just as long as the General public are willing to put up with an across the board increase in the cost of goods, food and oil and delays in supply that will be an inevitability of this longer route.
It's also easy to demand the owners protect the ships. Now, like many, I'm no great fan of the whims and wills of many owners, but how exactly are they supposed to protect their ships? As Peter Newton has already mentioned, your everyday British Merchant ship is forbidden by law to carry arms for it's own use. So where does that leave us? The comment has also been made about the use of mercenaries, but that's another legal can of worms. Put it this way, if a merchant ship was to arrive in UK waters (the same in most civilised countries) with weapons onboard and gangs of men equipped and ready to use them, then that ship would inevitably be detained, the aforementioned firearms confiscated, the men detained and investigations opened.
There is talk of using private security firms on their own private 'warships', why should anyone be forced down that avenue when there is a paid for 'national' firm in place? With regard to the former, asI recall the 'Glenn Braveheart' (ex Sir Lancelot) operated in such a role for a while in the Malacca Straits.
The latest response seems to be to send highly technical and sophisticated warships to deal with a simple problem. To me that seems a waste of resources, after all how many high tech submarines do the Somali Pirates operate, and how many fancy aircraft? The answer is of course none, so why are we sending the likes of expensive, manpower hungry Anti Submarine Frigates and Anti Air Warfare destroyers to combat men in little boats with sidearms and bazookas? An OPV of some description would be emminently suitable for this kind of task, two examples of which are currently laid up awaiting disposal in Portsmouth - the Castles.
A revival of the Q ship concept wouldn't got amiss either, a small cargo ship, perhaps around the 80m mark with a low freeboard would make a great target for would be pirates. Thererfore fit out the cargo space as a living area and install 100 Marines or their ilk and cruise the area at will. However if that was a British operation I've no doubt that it'd be held up legally somewhere along the line, either from within or from a challenge in the courts.
A cynic would be forgiven for thinking that sending large units could really be just a PR exercise to make it look like something is being done. A bit like the much heralded despatch of Bulwark to the region 2 years ago after the attack on the Seaborne Cruise ship - yet she quietly slipped out of the area a few months later once the media frenzy had calmed down.
Piracy in this region isn't a new problem, it was first noticed on any scale in the early 90s and has significantly ramped up since. Many in the maritime sector from the Owners to the Unions and crews have been pushing for assistance effectively since day 1 - they've been ignored. There have been repeated warnings from all corners as to the dangers of Piracy and what could be expected - again ignored.
Now all of a sudden the situation has deteriorated sharply and the Govt has finally asked for something to be done and now their Lordships are in a real lather trying to come up with an effective strategy and a workable rules of engagement.
The layman would be forgiven in thinking that this situation has suddenly appeared overnight from nowhere, caught everyone by surprise and that the powers that be are responding the quickest way they can on an ad hoc basis.
To those who've witnessed this situation spiralling out of control and the warnings that went unheeded it's yet another example of the ignorance if not down right incompetence which seems to envelope those in charge.
Where has Naval Intelligence been in all of this, or have they been caught 'unawares' too? Has there been any lobbying from within the Admiralty, MTO or CO's 'on the ground' to try and adequately brief the Govt?
If those in the know were well aware of the threat you would be forgiven in thinking that even if Whitehall had had their fingers in their ears that those at HQ would at least prepare some kind of strategic paper covering the what if scenarios. It seems this has not been done, as evidenced by the latest 'dithering'. Questions could be asked, but if we actually get a realistic answer this side of the apocalypse I'll eat my bonnet.
I do however think that the Gulf between RN and MN today is as wide as it has ever been. With regard to the situation in hand, this isn't helped by the fact that through no fault of their own, many in the Andrew are unaware of just how defenceless Merchant ships are. They are well aware of the danger areas, but seem astounded that the defensive armament consists of 1 propeller, an overworked big diesel and some fire hoses. That's understandable when you consider the only non RN seagoing experience many have is either on other Allied Warships or defensively armed auxiliaries. Occasionally we carry RN Lt's to/from the Falklands or indeed on short hops across the channel so as to gain them some Coastal and Deep Sea experience in a different environment and to a man they've all commented on just how much of an eye opener it has been.
This issue and the indifference that seemingly surrounds it aren't restricted exclusively to the RN - other Navies seem to have been caught sleeping on watch too. The Indian Navy appear to be setting up shop as the local policeman, however the majority of ships that are targets are either owned, crewed or controlled by companies or individuals in Western Europe or the Americas - therefore as the Flag state(s) it is only right that we should be taking action, specifically on incidents in International Waters, where flag state law is what applies to the ship concerned.
If NATO are capable of organising and maintaining the Standing MCM and Patrol forces, operations in Afghanistan and their like, then it must surely be possible to organise a co-ordinated international Patrol in that area.
Now is the time for ourselves and our allies to finally get organised and nip this menace in the bud before it gets out of control, which perhaps maybe when we've even less resources and ships to fight this problem as we do now.

non descript
29th October 2008, 09:39
Jim
I congratulate you on a particularly fine piece of text, that makes the points very clearly and also goes a very long way to explain that your initial and very valid criticism was directed more at the institution than individuals, and like most institutions it's at the mercy of those at the reigns.

Given your experience and day-to-day knowledge, we are very lucky to have your input, and I wish you a very safe passage as you plough this less than pleasant route on board a merchant ship, with little protection other than the letters column of The Daily Mail. (Jester)
(Thumb)
Mark

James_C
29th October 2008, 13:57
Mark,
I'll dig out the 'Pritt Stick' and glue a few pages together - makes em tougher for a better weapon!
That is if I can get to them before the Cadets start building paper aeroplanes! Bless em.
(Jester)

ROBERT HENDERSON
29th October 2008, 15:02
Jim C
You make a lot of very valid points. As master of a small ship stationed in Mombasa in 1993 and carrying UN and other NGO aid cargoes in that area we were always more than a little apprehensive when we saw fast motor boats near us. At that time one of the most fearsome ports was Kismaya in the South of Somalia. If you look on a chart you can see load of big rocks and coves where pirates could hide up. As there was no night time navigation to the port (under Belgian control) it meant achoring in the approaches or steaming outside until daylight. Once in Mogadishu I was threanted with a knife for telling a Somalian winch driver to stop smoking whilst unloading a dangerous cargo, I called the American Miltary police, after removing the offender I was told to arm myself. Money wasn't the problem as gun were easy obtainable and cheap. As we were British registered (Gibraltar) I would be breaking the law, if I used a gun to defend myself, this would have caused more problems with the Somalian's, also were would it leave me if the person I shot died?
Luckily we were never attacked by pirates , but I know of other ships that were. As to the cost of protecting Merchant Ships, surely if money is no object in protecting both serving political leaders and ex political leaders the it must be right that Merchant Seamen going about their lawful business are also afforded protection.
Regards Robert

James_C
29th October 2008, 15:33
Thank you Robert. A similar situation to what you describe in Kismaya existed on the approaches to Umm Qasr (Iraq).
There are numerous wrecked/bombed vessels littering both sides of the channel on the approaches to Umm Qasr, and since the fall of Saddam and his cronies piracy is now a problem in the Northern Persian Gulf. Some of these pirates had set up shop in the accommodation of one of these bombed hulks and were attacking shipping traffic proceeding to/from Umm Qasr and Basra. True, they would avoid any grey ships or those which were protected, so they mainly attacked the smaller local ships e.g. coasters, dhows etc.
It took months for anything to be done about this, despite the fact that British forces were at the time in control of Umm Qasr and Basra, and despite the presence of thousands of troops in the area (both British and Iraqi Army). Obviously their priorities lay elsewhere, but it was actually the Iraqi security forces which kicked these pirates out.
The will obviously wasn't there on the British side.
So if that's the state of play in an area with substantial military assests effectively down the street, you might ask what chance we have in an area like the Gulf of Aden where until recently there was no permanent Standing force?

Tomvart
30th October 2008, 03:56
[quote=James_C;259473]Tom,
I'm sorry you feel offended, and perhaps my statement was ambiguous, however as Chouan has intimated my attention was aimed more at the institution than individuals, and like most institutions it's at the mercy of those at the reigns.
QUOTE]

Jim,
Thank you clarifying your point, very elegantly put, well said sir.
I wasnt so much offended, I just felt a little aggrieved at being blamed for something we had absolutely no influence upon at all, the blame resides with the government – they make the policy – the RN just follow the orders!
Look, I really do understand the situation that the MN crews are placed in, how dangerous the task is, and how lonely and exposed they feel, I also think that the authorities (UK and Internationally) have been systematically ignoring good intelligence in the G.O.A/Red Sea/Indian Ocean on piracy and seaborne terrorism since the mid to late 90's, I can recall reading Intel Signals listing attacks on shipping and the nationalities/groups responsible as far back as 1995 (the attacks seemed to be focussed on Non western shipping back then, they have been getting steadily bolder since).
Contrary to what others may surmise (Cloud) - We (the RN) were then involved in Maritime Interdiction Operations in the Northern Arabian gulf, a thoroughly unpleasant and mind numbingly boring patrol, of no particular value in our eyes, but we were there as part of the UK's commitment to the UN embargoes on Iraq, that kept the UK contingent in the middle east fully employed (2 warships and 1 RFA), and did so up until the liberation of Iraq, as much as we loathed it (I had the pleasure of 5 eight month deployments there between 1992-1997 much to my families chagrin) - this was where the RN were deployed, we were deployed here by government policy, not the admiralty, the very same situation happened in the 80's during the so called tanker war.
The other good point that you bring up is ‘Dithering’ once the preserve of politicians, this has now been transferred across to the Armed forces, in this case the RN and imposed by the setting of ROE (Rules of Engagement), Ships Captains (and those puerile RN boat crews arrested and humiliated by the Iranians in the SAA waterway(MAD) ) are victims of an over restrictive government policy being flowed into theatre ROE, it certainly slows your thought process when you know you will be facing a life sentence if you open fire and it’s not in accordance with the ROE (many cases in Northern Ireland are used as a scare tactic when you are in training).
There may be method to the reason why NATO are sending large ships to the Area, I think this is to utilise the surveillance capacity of a larger ship (fitted with a helicopter with long legs and tactical data links), I think a Merlin Helicopter can search something like 96,000 sq miles of ocean with its radar and ESM kit on a full tank of fuel, its then much easier for the commander to deploy something based on the plot given from the helicopter, all we need is a vigorous enough ROE to compliment this capability and we may be getting somewhere?
As you say, we need positive action from the Government – Something clear, in the open and decisive - some mindless but well directed violence by our SF boys would be of great PR value to the cause, drop a few troops of SBS/SAS into the area and give them a week or two to get amongst the pirates and create some havoc? My feeling is that I think you may be pleasantly suprised to find a large UK presence in the area in the not to distant future, not sure about the change in ROE though!
Jim - Unlike others, please don’t see me as an enemy or an ‘target’ simply because I am RN (and damned proud of it too I might add), at the end of the day, are we all not British Seamen? (Although you MN boys are paid vastly bigger salaries and live like kings on your ships(Jester) ).
All joking aside Jim, I was brought up in and around the MN all my life, my cousins, my 4 Uncles (Ch/eng on Blue Flu, Stag, and Bank line ships), my grandfather, great grandfather (in fact there has been a Vart serving in the Merchant fleet right back to 1770 – which I am equally proud of), so I am on your side!
Fair winds and following seas if your sailing east of Suez at the moment Jim
Regards,
Tom

Tomvart
30th October 2008, 04:02
"I spent 23 years at sea in the RN (some of it convoying tankers in and out of the Straits of Hormuz) and never once witnessed this 'Don't give a Damn about MN' attitude"

If you spent time on the Straits of Hormuz escort you'll know how worthless the escort was as far as the rest of the Gulf was then; where the actual attacks took place. As individuals, I'm sure that some of you may well have had concerns about what happened to the ships, and the people, once they went beyond your care, if any of you ever thought about it, but to the RN as an institution, I'm also sure that James C's comments are completely true.

(Cloud) Thanks for your helpful and positive response, It would have been foolish of me to expect anything else.

Chouan
30th October 2008, 13:05
(Cloud) Thanks for your helpful and positive response, It would have been foolish of me to expect anything else.

My experience is based on, my experience, funnily enough. Just because I criticise the RN's policy, or the RN's lack of actual protection, there is no need for you to get sarcastic or defensive. As my profile shows, I was (am?) a Lieutenant RNR (List 1, Retired) so I'm not "Anti-RN" per se, I just didn't find the RN's "protection" in the Iran-Iraq war of much value. You seem to take this valid, balanced and reasoned criticism very personally. I don't understand why. It isn't aimed at you, it isn't aimed at anybody in that sense. It isn't your fault, or indeed, any individual's fault, but it was a very disappointing situation for the MN that the "protection" offered by the RN was of such limited value.
I had conversations with RN Officers subsequent to my experience of this "protection" which confirmed its limited value, which I have elucidated elsewhere in this forum. Suffice it to say, the "protection" was solely whilst in convoy, and at no other time. Given the limited extent of the convoyed route and duration, which I'm sure you are aware of, given your stated experience, I'm sure that you must be aware of just how limited that "protection" was.
I'll give you an example. Havtor's gas tanker "Havpil", British flag, British Officers, was attacked by the Iranians whilst in the straits of Hormuz itself whilst carrying a cargo of ammonia. It wasn't offered help by the RN during the attack, nor was it offered help subsequently. I was working for Havtor at the time, sailing up to Mina al Ahmadi to load LPG, knowing that we were completely on our own once we'd left our convoy.
You seem to be particularly sensitive to criticism of the RN, I repeat, its not personal, I'm not criticising you, and I urge you to read what I'm writing dispassionately and think about the reality that I'm describing.

BOB GARROCH
30th October 2008, 13:23
the pirates are using the AIS systems to identify the vessels they want to board .

John Campbell
31st October 2008, 23:21
Protection money - Lloyds List today reports that
the US security group Blackwater is now poised to send an anti-piracy ship to the Gulf of Aden, how much can a shipowner expect to pay to protect its vessels? Is this the best that we can do to protect our mariners and under what law or mandate would these privateers operate.

The Blackwater ship would presumeably ignore any captured vessel which belonged to a company who was not on their contract.
JC

doyll
1st November 2008, 14:29
Protection money - US security group Blackwater is now poised to send an anti-piracy ship to the Gulf of Aden, ....and under what law or mandate would these privateers operate.

The Blackwater ship would presumeably ignore any captured vessel which belonged to a company who was not on their contract.
JC
Blackwater International (formally Blackwater USA) is nothing more then a huge mercenary army, and now navy as well, that operates outside of most international law and Geneva convention rules. Blackwater has been investigated by FBI and found to have "killed without cause" 14 civilians in Iraq. There's much more on web if your are interested.

As John said, "under what law or mandate would these privateers operate" Personally, the use of mercenaries is a very scary stepping stone.

Enough said.

ROBERT HENDERSON
1st November 2008, 14:58
I am glad I am not in that area any more. If Blackwater are used I would be very scared for the crews of the ships captured by tthe pirates, I have followed the Iraq situation very closely, as Doyll says they were investigated by the FBI for unlawfull and indiscriminate killing. They are a mercenary organisation who operate outside military and international law. Surely the international community could from various nations station Naval vessels in the area with helicopter coverage.

Regards Robert

SN NewsCaster
3rd November 2008, 13:10
Two Royal Navy warships with links to the North of England are deployed of the coast of Somalia.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/7706013.stm)

Chouan
3rd November 2008, 14:24
Included in the very brief news item is this quote:

"HMS Northumberland, which was built of the Tyne, will also be deployed in Africa and the South Atlantic."

Looks like a firm commitment to anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden then ......

Chouan
3rd November 2008, 14:35
Re Blackwater, a couple of notes about their "operations".

"Between 2005 and September 2007, Blackwater security staff was involved in 195 shooting incidents; in 163 of those cases, Blackwater personnel fired first. 25 members of staff have been fired for violations of Blackwater's drug and alcohol policy and 28 more for weapons-related incidents."

"In 2006 a car accident occurred in the Baghdad Green Zone when an SUV driven by Blackwater operatives crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee. Blackwater guards disarmed the Army soldiers and forced them to lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle their SUV from the wreck."

"On Christmas Eve 2006, a security guard of the Iraqi vice president, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was shot and killed while on duty outside the Iraqi prime minister's compound. The Iraqi government has accused Andrew J. Moonen, at the time an employee of Blackwater USA, of murdering him while drunk. Moonen was subsequently fired by Blackwater for "violating alcohol and firearm policy", and travelled from Iraq to the United States days after the incident. United States Attorneys are currently investigating.[45] The United States State Department and Blackwater USA had attempted to keep his identity secret. Despite the Blackwater incident, Moonen found subsequent employment. From February to August 2007, he was employed by US Defense Department contractor Combat Support Associates (CSA) in Kuwait. In April 2007, the US Department of Defense tried to call him back to active duty, but cancelled the request because Moonen was overseas."

"On September 16, 2007, Blackwater guards opened fire in Nisour Square, Baghdad, killing 17 civilians in the Blackwater Baghdad shootings incident. Witnesses claimed that the attack was unprovoked and that the mercenaries, in the employ of the U.S., continued firing while the Iraqi civilians were fleeing. Two Blackwater helicopters were also spotted at the time, who witnesses say aided in the attack. However, Blackwater maintained that its guards were under attack and responded accordingly. The FBI found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and found no evidence to support assertions by Blackwater employees that they were fired upon by Iraqi civilians."

Not the kind of people that one would want anywhere near!

billyboy
9th November 2008, 09:42
Somalian Pirates strike yet again.
This time a Danish ship gets captured

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/11/08/08/somali-pirates-seize-danish-cargo-ship-imb

SN NewsCaster
11th November 2008, 12:40
Commandos prevent an attempt by pirates to hijack a ship in the Gulf of Aden, the navy says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/south_asia/7721691.stm)

benjidog
11th November 2008, 13:46
Good for the Indians!(Applause)

Sadly it doesn't end by saying that, after chasing them off, missiles were launched and blew them out of the water.

ROBERT HENDERSON
11th November 2008, 14:22
Good for the Indian Navy. I was just reading the Al Jazeera website. The Phillipino flagged ship Stolt Stength was hijacked yesterday (Monday). Eleven ships and over 200 seafarers are still being held by pirates.

Regards Robert

SN NewsCaster
12th November 2008, 20:00
Pirates have seized a Turkish chemical tanker off the coast of Yemen, Turkish maritime officials say.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7725372.stm)

SN NewsCaster
12th November 2008, 23:20
Royal Navy seamen shot dead two suspected pirates who were believed to have attacked a Danish vessel, it has been confirmed.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/uk_news/7725771.stm)

billyboy
13th November 2008, 06:57
more here.......
Including picture of the Dhow

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article1924476.ece

Chouan
13th November 2008, 09:49
At last! Something being done that might discourage the ba$tards from their evil ways, and allow honest seaman to carry out their work in relative safety. My respects to the RN for doing their duty.

BOB GARROCH
13th November 2008, 10:12
At last! Something being done that might discourage the ba$tards from their evil ways, and allow honest seaman to carry out their work in relative safety. My respects to the RN for doing their duty.
Are we sure they are guilty. They might have been going to prayes at the mosque.

billyboy
13th November 2008, 10:22
I drink a tot to the good health of the lads of the Grey Funnel line tonight. Well done the RN

(not going to prayers as they wernt headed east)

chadburn
13th November 2008, 10:50
As I indicated in an earlier post the "Rules of Engagement" have been changed within the last week or so and thankfully the Grey Funnel are being allowed to do all that is required to protect Merchant Ships without having one hand tied behind their back's (as in the Gulf incident) by some Political mumbo jumbo. Well Done to them all. What is happening to the ship carrying the Tanks etc?

ROBERT HENDERSON
13th November 2008, 11:16
Are we sure they are guilty. They might have been going to prayes at the mosque.

Having spent siix months on that coast, mostly with aid cargoes for the Somaliian people, I am pleased the RN is at last being allowed to do their job.

I take Billyboy means by drinkiing a tot to the RN he means RUM,sorry I do not like Rum so I will have to toast them with a double whiskey.

As for going to the mosque Bob, they might have going to pray for another vunerable ship to come along.

Regards Robert

billyboy
14th November 2008, 05:27
There are several articles on the Somalians in the attached website of the Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/somalia/

Tomvart
14th November 2008, 10:28
There was another interesting article in yesterdays Times about the Somalian Pirates:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article5141745.ece
Which rather annoyed me (Cloud) of particular annoyance was the comment in Paragraph 2 which went something like:
'It was the first time the Royal Navy had been engaged in a fatal shoot-out on the high seas in living memory'
So what exactly did the RN do during WW2, Korea, Suez, Indonesia, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Falklands, Bosnia and both Gulf wars – throw wet sponges at the bad guys? Do these journalists not pay attention to history?
I also found the comments at the bottom of the page rather diverse and somewhat amusing!
Its amazing what a boatload of FRST (Bootnecks) and some realistic ROE can do!
Let's hear it for the 'Fighting Sausage'!(Applause)
Tom

SN NewsCaster
14th November 2008, 14:10
The Royal Navy this week shot dead two Somali pirates after intercepting a boat in the mouth of the Red Sea, but Britain's battle against international piracy goes back a long, long way.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7729256.stm)

Chouan
14th November 2008, 15:44
There was another interesting article in yesterdays Times about the Somalian Pirates:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article5141745.ece
Which rather annoyed me (Cloud) of particular annoyance was the comment in Paragraph 2 which went something like:
'It was the first time the Royal Navy had been engaged in a fatal shoot-out on the high seas in living memory'
So what exactly did the RN do during WW2, Korea, Suez, Indonesia, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Falklands, Bosnia and both Gulf wars – throw wet sponges at the bad guys? Do these journalists not pay attention to history?
I also found the comments at the bottom of the page rather diverse and somewhat amusing!
Its amazing what a boatload of FRST (Bootnecks) and some realistic ROE can do!
Let's hear it for the 'Fighting Sausage'!(Applause)
Tom

Of course they don't! Anything for a quick and easy sound-bite or headline. Lets not let facts, truth or accuracy get in the way of a good story! At least the reality is good!

Lancastrian
15th November 2008, 09:34
Following the Cumberland incident, the BBC reported this morning that 8 captive Somali pirates are being held in RFA Wave Knight. There seems to be a problem of what to do with them !! Is there a shortage of planks??

billyboy
15th November 2008, 11:37
Help sustain our shark population....feed them raw Pirates!

ROBERT HENDERSON
15th November 2008, 12:52
Help sustain our shark population....feed them raw Pirates!

Hello Billyboy
That was bit dictatorial, do you not think the sharks should have a choice, BBQ, roast or boiled? [=P] [=P] [=P]

Regards Robert

James_C
15th November 2008, 13:40
Following the Cumberland incident, the BBC reported this morning that 8 captive Somali pirates are being held in RFA Wave Knight. There seems to be a problem of what to do with them !! Is there a shortage of planks??

The problem of 'captives' is one which worries me, after all what do we do with them? I wouldn't be too shocked if we aren't allowed to return them to Somalia due to the lack of a functioning Govt and the likelihood they'll do it again. So what happens?
I have a horrible feeling they'll be brought back to the UK and tried or the like and will then spend time in our prisions therefore wasting our money. Then there's the problem of where they're returned to after they serve their sentences...

SN NewsCaster
16th November 2008, 08:40
South Korean officials say pirates have hijacked a ship off the coast of Somalia carrying 23 crew, including five South Koreans.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7731920.stm)

SN NewsCaster
17th November 2008, 10:20
The mainly Indian crew of a Japanese cargo ship, freed by Somali pirates after two months captivity, are on their way home.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/south_asia/7732756.stm)

JohnMac068
17th November 2008, 15:22
The BBC TV are reporting that a Saudi VLCC has been hyjacked many miles south of Somalia. Some Brits are in the crew.

SN NewsCaster
17th November 2008, 16:10
Pirates have seized a Saudi-owned oil tanker with 25 crew on board off the coast of Kenya, the US Navy says.

More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/africa/7733482.stm)

Thamesphil
17th November 2008, 18:08
The BBC TV are reporting that a Saudi VLCC has been hyjacked many miles south of Somalia. Some Brits are in the crew.

This is the Vela-owned VLCC "Sirius Star", 318,000 dwt, built 2008. The largest ship hijacked to date. The US Navy reported the vessel – only delivered by Daewoo in March – was attacked and taken more than 450 nautical miles south-east of Mombasa, Kenya, on Saturday.
"The vessel is under the pirates' control," the spokesman for the US Navy 5th fleet told the AFP news agency. The attackers had to scale the 10-metre sides of the ship to hijack Sirius Star", he added

The tanker has 25 crew, including Croatians, two Britons, Filipinos, Poles and Saudis.

sidsal
17th November 2008, 18:19
These pirates need sorting ! I think there should be an international agreement to arm merchant ships with, say an Oerlikon gun fore and aft with suitable training arranged. There is I believe a ray gun thingummy which disables attackers without killing them.
I speak from experiance of WW2 when at 15 years of age as a cadet on HMS Conway we aere sent to HMS Eaglet in Liverpool and A gunnery range on Ainsdale sands where we were taught the rudiments of gunnery. When I went to sea in 1943 I was an oerlikon gunner for anti-aircraft attacks and a sight setter on a 4.7 gun for surface attack.
If some of HM forces were taken hostage as many MN sailors have been there would be a great big outcry. The poor ordinary sailor, as always is largely ignored !

ROBERT HENDERSON
17th November 2008, 18:44
The report states of the coast of Kenya, 450 miles South East of Mombasa puts the incident somewhere of the coast of Tanzania, which means if they are for sure Somalian pirates they are working a lot further afield. When I was working on that coast in 1993 we were always called up by a Kenyan navy radar station on the Kenyan Somalian border and required to give our ships particulars. At that time the pirates were operating with small fast launches and boarding ships and ransacking cargoes and crews belongings,but not actually capturing the ship. TO work that far South there must be a mother ship, it must also be a well organised operation. I think the only solution is to have a fleet of Naval vessels from UN members with helicopter surveillance.

Regards Robert

Peter4447
18th November 2008, 00:14
It appears that France and the US are now looking toward getting a much tougher line being taken by the UN.
Personally I think the only way this is going to be stopped is by adopting a "shoot first ask questions afterwards" policy - there is surely enough military hardware now available in the region to carry this out.
Peter (Smoke)