Sarah Palin's enemies are automatically added to the Endangered Species List.

calendar   Thursday - October 27, 2011

Works For Me

Blackbeard’s Cannon Recovered


A one-ton cannon from the wreck of Blackbeard’s pirate ship has been raised from the seabed after nearly 300 years.

The cannon was on board the Queen Anne’s Revenge [located in 1996] which ran aground and sank off the coast of North Carolina in 1718.

Blackbeard, whose real name was thought to be Edward Teach, became one of the world’s most notorious and feared pirates as he roamed seas around the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies.

The British pirate’s reign of terror only lasted two years before the Royal Navy was sent out to sea to capture him.

He was eventually killed in a battle with Lieutenant Robert Maynard who cut off his head and hung it from the bow of his ship as a warning to other pirates.

Ah, the good old days when things were black and white instead of infinite shades of gray. And pirates got the chop. Period.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/27/2011 at 09:01 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Tuesday - October 11, 2011

Scrappy Pirates Getting Rusty

Somali Pirates Surrender,

Crew Safe, Ship Full of Scrap Iron Freed

photo credit to

ROME—U.S. and British forces have freed an Italian cargo ship that was attacked by pirates off Somalia and arrested the assailants, the Italian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The Montecristo was carrying 23 crew members—seven Italians, six Ukrainians and 10 Indians—when it was attacked Monday.

All of them are now safe and free, the ministry said, without saying whether the rescue occurred on Tuesday or late Monday.

The ministry said the operation was carried out by two navy ships—one British and one American—and coordinated by Italian Adm. Gualtiero Mattesi as part of NATO’s Ocean Shield anti-piracy force. The 11 pirates were arrested after they surrendered, the ministry said.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Royal Navy “was involved in a compliant boarding"—in which the pirates indicated they would surrender and sailors boarded the vessel to take them into custody.

“The danger of piracy has increased,” said Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa. He planned a news conference later Tuesday to discuss the operation that saved the Montecristo.

Pirates flourish off largely lawless Somalia by attacking passing ships, taking hostages and demanding ransoms to free them and the vessels.

The ship’s owner, D’Alessio Group, said Monday that the attack had occurred 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) off Somalia as the crew was hauling scrap iron to Vietnam on a journey that had begun Sept. 20 in Liverpool, England.

In a case of “better late than never”, Italy has now decided to put military troops on it’s cargo ships to deter piracy. Not private security forces, but soldiers and marines.

Italy is to station military forces on its merchant vessels to guard against attacks by Somali pirates, shipping sources said on Tuesday, the day after another of its ships was attacked off the anarchic east African country.

Many ships already carry private security contractors to try to prevent hijacks, but deployment of military forces on merchant vessels would mark a clear escalation in measures to combat piracy, which costs the world economy billions of dollars each year.

The sources said Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa would sign an agreement later on Tuesday with the confederation of Italian ship owners to put military guards on board vessels in the huge area of the Indian Ocean at risk from Somali pirates, who have hijacked several Italian ships.

Ignazio La Russa? Ignatz the Russian? Oy vey, such a name. But it looks like my idea of troops on board manning removable artillery platforms is starting to become reality. Giving the troops a few MANPADS (shoulder fired missiles) might do the job as well, and cost less overall.

The M/V Montecristo is a brand new ship, just delivered in June. If this wasn’t her maiden voyage, it was one of her first half-way ‘round the world voyages. Not an auspicious beginning, but all’s well that ends well.

Ship Type: Bulk Carrier
Year Built: 2011
56,000 tons
Length: 188 m (617 feet)
Beam: 32 m (105 feet)
Draught: 11.9 m (39 feet)

Friday 10 June, at the Korean shipyard Hyundai Mipo, the M/V Montecristo has been delivered, the first bulk carrier of the special 56.000 dwt Supramax class of the Dalmare S.p.A.

The vessel, christened with the name of an Island of the Tuscan archipelago as proof of the bond between the Company from Livorno and its territory, with a crew of 20 Italian and foreign seamen will be employed on the great international routes for the transportation of mineral, coal and grain cargoes and for the moment will be part of the spot market.

Yes, that’s right. She’s a Hyundai.

Supramax is a ship size classification. It is the largest ship in the Handysize/Handymax group, a medium size class of commercial ships. While these ships can’t earn the really large profits that the giant bulk ships do, they can often earn more for their owners because they work more steadily. The world market needs to haul medium amounts of cargo far more often than it needs to haul giant loads. The Handysize ships can also go to ports that can’t handle the great ships. With their built in high speed cranes they can use less sophisticated harbor facilities as well.

Supramax vessels, defined as handymax vessels with a DWT cargo carrying capacity between 50,000 and 60,000 tonnes, have found an exceptionally strong demand from commodity shippers.  Despite a very heavy orderbook of over 40%, this market appears to be better insulated for continuing strong rates compared to Capesize and Panamax ships.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/11/2011 at 09:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Thursday - October 06, 2011

Not What I Was Expecting

Senator Begich: Sink The Pirates, Kill Those Dirty Rats

Alaska Senator calls for Coast Guard to open fire on pirate ships


Crew from the Coast Guard cutter Munro seized the Bangun Perkasa, which was not operating under a national flag, 2,600 miles off Alaska in September after it was suspected of engaging in fishing with drift nets on the high seas, according to the Coast Guard. Drift net fishing is illegal because the nets indiscriminately kill massive amounts of fish and other marine life such as endangered whales and turtles.

The vessel was found to have been using 10 miles of drift nets and had 22 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses aboard, the Coast Guard said. The fishing boat and its crew of 22 were towed to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands.

And that’s when the Coast Guard found evidence of rats on board.

Ships with rats aboard are not allowed into Alaska ports, so the Bangun Perkasa sits at anchor three miles out of Dutch Harbor. Its crew is in custody ashore.

But the rats are still aboard, and Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska says they should be dispatched to the deep along with the ship and its drift nets.

“It would send an unambiguous signal that pirate fishing is unacceptable to the United States and will not be tolerated.  It will prevent this rust bucket from ending up back on the market where it most likely would only fall into the hands of some other pirate,” Begich said in a statement.

Shelling the vessel would also give the Coast Guard a chance to show off its newest ships, the National Security Cutters, the senator said.

“In addition to solving the rat problem, using the Bangun Perkasa for gunnery practice could demonstrate the advanced firepower of the Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutters,” Begich said in his statement.


USCGC Munro (WHEC-724) has been patrolling the seas for 40 years now. The 378 foot long ship took part in the 2004 Indonesian tsunami relief effort, was part of the KAL-007 airliner salvage operation, and any number of drug interdictions, sea rescues including the MV Alaskan Ranger affair, and deep water patrols in between. She presently calls Kodiak Alaska her home port. A Coast Guard cutter is about 3/5 the size of a Navy destroyer; as military ships go, it’s fairly small. The Munro is one of the CG’s Hamilton class cutters. From what I can gather, the ship was built with a single 5” gun as her main armament. This has since been replaced with a rapid fire 3” gun. The new generation of Coast Guard cutters, called National Security Cutters, are 40 feet longer, built with the latest and greatest systems, but their “big gun” is a single 57mm (2 1/4"). There just isn’t much call for cannons at sea anymore. So when Senator Begich (D-AK) called for the new NSC ships to use the pirate fishing boat as gunnery practice, he might have given them quite a challenge. Let’s just hope that they do it far at sea, because rats can swim for quite a distance.

Not being an artilleryman myself, I’m only guessing here, but I’d bet that it would only take about 3 or 4 hits from a 5” gun to do the job, and about 15 hits from a 76mm gun. It might be an all day affair trying to sink a fair sized ship with a 57mm, which throws a shell weighing less than a quarter what the 5” gun threw. The new generation of National Security ships also have a sea range 2,000 miles less than the old ships. But they have a helo pad and you can launch little rubber boats out the back of them! Such is progress.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/06/2011 at 11:07 AM   
Filed Under: • MilitaryPirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Sunday - October 02, 2011

Taking The Easy Way Out

Somali Pirates Turn To Kidnapping European Women

Retired, disabled French journalist the latest victim

British woman still held after pirates kill her husband

A disabled 66-year-old French woman is being held captive by Somali pirates after she was kidnapped from a popular Kenyan tourist destination.

Kenyan and French authorities say armed gunmen seized Marie Dedieu early Saturday morning after Kenyan armed forces failed to stop the kidnappers’ vessel from speeding away, London’s Telegraph reported.

A Kenyan official said they were worried about drowning the captive if they shot down the boat during the standoff.

“Our fear is, if we do drown the boat, we will drown the woman,” he told reporters.

Dedieu, a well-known retired French journalist, spends half of the year at the popular Kenyan island – and was most likely known to the kidnappers, according to witnesses.

One witness told the Telegraph that 10 armed men came on two small speed boats and busted into Dedieu’s house shouting “Where is the foreigner? Where is the foreigner?”

Kenya’s northern coast and areas less than 90 miles from the Somali border have been put off-limits to British visitors, following the second kidnapping of a European tourist in less than a month.

The Foreign Office updated its travel advice, warning against “all but essential travel” to within 150km of the Kenya-Somali border.

This includes the popular tourist areas of Lamu and Manda islands, from where armed gunmen seized Marie Dedieu, a disabled 66-year-old French woman, early on Saturday morning.

Her kidnapping comes three weeks after another gang killed David Tebbutt, of Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, and kidnapped his wife, Judith, from their luxury beachfront cottage in the same area.

“We advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km of the Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in the Lamu area on 11 September and 1 October 2011,” the Foreign and Commonwealth office said.

Mrs Tebbutt was kidnapped from the much more remote Kiwayu Safari Village, which lies 30 miles through mangrove channels to the north of Lamu and Manda Islands.

Security analysts, diplomats and tour agents had all thought that the more visited areas of the islands around Manda and Lamu town would be seen as too busy and well-protected for pirates or armed robbers to attack.

The French government yesterday revised its travel advice for Kenya, warning its citizens against visiting Lamu.

Kenya says it has sent mediators to Somalia to negotiate the release of a disabled French woman who was snatched from her beachfront resort home on Saturday and taken to neighbouring war-torn Somalia.

The negotiations are reportedly an extension of talks already underway for the release of a British woman, Judith Tebutt, who was kidnapped three weeks ago from a resort north of Lamu in the Indian Ocean after her husband was shot dead by gunmen.

The official warned the negotiations could take time as Somalia has been without a government since 1991.

Officials claim Somalia’s al-Qaeda inspired Shebab rebels were behind the abduction. The rebels control large areas of southern Somalia, although Ras Kamboni were the rebels were heading is not currently under control of any single group.

Time to burn Somalia to the ground and leave it to the four footed animals.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/02/2011 at 04:39 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - September 13, 2011

Murder On The High Seas

Sailor Killed, Wife Rescued, Crew Missing

Pirates Captured, Skiff Sunk


the sailing yacht Tribal Kat

A Mayday broadcast from a French catamaran last Thursday led to a rescue mission that was too late to save one of the boat’s owners.

Christian Colombo (55), a former member of the French navy, and his wife Evelyne had been sailing the Tribal Kat through the notorious Gulf of Aden - against all advice - en route via the Indian Ocean to Thailand when they were attacked.

A German warship responding to the Mayday found the empty catamaran off the coast of Yemen. Signs of a bloody struggle on board initiated an air and sea search by the EU’s anti-piracy task force in the area.

On Saturday the Spanish naval ship Galicia caught up with a suspect vessel. About to open fire, the Spaniards realised hostage Evelyne Colombo was among those on board the skiff. She was rescued and seven pirates were arrested.

Her husband is thought to have been killed when the Tribal Kat was taken. Others may have been on board the catamaran as well, as the couple were known to take on friends as ad hoc crew members. However, until Mme Colombo is able to give a full account of events, the fate of any others is unknown.

EUNAVFOR assets stopped and boarded a skiff thought to have been involved in an incident with the French Sailing Yacht (SY) TRIBAL KAT. One member of the crew from the yacht was found safe.

The SY TRIBAL KAT was located on 8 September, by the EU NAVFOR warship FGS BAYERN, who responded to a distress call from the yacht and located off the coast of Yemen. At that time and following an inspection of the yacht, the crew could not be found.  Spanish warship SPS GALICIA, with support from EU NAVFOR warship FS SURCOUF, located and trailed the suspected pirate skiff.

According to the Spanish Defense Ministry, the GALICIA detected a boat suspected of piracy-related activities while on a surveillance mission off the Somali coast.  After an initial investigation confirmed the suspicion, the pirates refused to stop and revealed to the GALICIA that they were holding a hostage on board.

The GALICIA proceeded to intercept the pirate vessel with their embarked helicopter and naval warfare team, who fired on the boat’s engine, rendering it inoperable.

Following an exchange of gunfire, the pirate skiff was sunk and members of the Spanish Navy successfully rescued the hostage. Upon getting her to safety, they proceeded to the arrest the 7 pirates.

“One of the crew members was released safely and all of the suspect criminals were detained. The whereabouts of the remaining crew is unknown,” EU NAVFOR said. “During the operation the hostage was not wounded or injured and all the suspect criminals were detained unharmed.”

“EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta assets have today, 10 September, stopped and boarded a skiff thought to have been involved in an incident with the French Sailing Yacht (SY) TRIBAL KAT. One member of the crew from the yacht was found safe.

The sailboat Tribal Kat is currently being towed in for further analysis.  At this time, it is believed that there were four crew members taken captive, and their whereabouts are currently unknown.

Oh sure, a skiff full of Somali pirates just happened to be motoring by when they saw the woman in the water, and - such good Samaritans that they are - they plucked her from the water. After that they had no choice but to shoot at the Spanish Navy when they came calling, because she was cooking them up a nice dish of wat and a batch of injera bread, and they were hungry.  Yeah right.

Caught red handed. Torture them until they either spill the beans about the other crew members or spill their guts, then throw what’s left over the side for shark snacks.

Christian and Evelyne Colombo’s family was informed overnight that the 55-year-old was killed during the attack and his body thrown overboard before their catamaran was found abandoned on Thursday, the same source said. 
Christian Colombo was a former French navy crewman and the couple were experienced sailors who wanted to see the world and were passing through the Gulf of Aden en route for the Indian Ocean and eventually Thailand. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/13/2011 at 12:01 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 16, 2011

Flash Mobs At Sea

New Tactics For Somali Pirates, But No Successes So Far

Location detail: Around 60nm WNW of Al Hudaydah, Yemen
Type of Attack : Boarded
Narrations: 11.08.2011: 1115 UTC: Posn: 15:09N - 041:55E, Around 60nm WNW of Al Hudaydah, Red Sea.
A bulk carrier underway noticed a mother ship at a distance of 0.5nm. Suddenly three skiffs appeared from behind the mother ship and approached the bulk carrier at high speed - one from port side, one from starboard side and one from astern. The vessel commenced evasive manoeuvres. The pirates were able to hook on their ladder and board the vessel. The Master ordered all the crew to retreat into the citadel and called the CSO, who informed the navies in the region. Later a warship arrived and marines boarded and searched the vessel. No pirates found. Crew and ship safe.

Location detail: Gulf of Aden
Type of Attack : Fired Upon
Narrations:09.08.2011: 0226 UTC: Posn: 13:08.8N - 048:41.6E, Gulf of Aden.
Five pirates armed with RPG and guns in a 12 meter white plastic skiff chased and fired upon a general cargo ship underway. Onboard security team fired warning shots resulting in the pirates moving away. A warship in the vicinity carried out a search in the area.

Location detail: Around 20nm ENE of Assab, Eritrea
Type of Attack: Fired Upon
Narrations: 06.08.2011: 1505 UTC: Posn: 13:07.2N - 043:04.9E, Around 20nm ENE of Assab, Eritrea, Red Sea.
Twelve skiffs with five to eight pirates in each skiff approached a bulk carrier underway. As the skiff closed in, guns and ladders were noticed. Warning flares were deployed by the onboard security team. The skiffs continued to approach the vessel at 17 knots. At a distance of around 300 meters, on the command of the Master, the onboard security team fired warning shots resulting in most of the skiffs falling back and circling the vessel. Two skiffs continued to chase the vessel and returned fire. The skiffs and the security team exchanged fire and after 30 minutes and numerous approaches the skiffs aborted and moved away.

Looks like the Somali pirates are trying attacks en masse to overwhelm shipboard security. So far, it isn’t working. While piracy off of Malaysia and off of the West African coast has seen some success, the Somalis are still batting 0. Now that the insurance companies have jacked up the rates enormously, and declared nearly half the Indian Ocean a high-risk zone, the combination of rough seas from a long monsoon season and the presence of armed security on many merchantmen has ground pirate victories almost to a halt. That doesn’t mean that all the hijacked ships and crews have been released, just that the pirates aren’t bringing home any new ones right now:

Incidents Reported for Somalia:
Total Incidents: 176
Total Hijackings:22
Total Hostages: 362
Total Killed: 7

Current vessels held by Somali pirates:
Vessels: 19
Hostages: 377

(report from mid-July) Pirate attacks on the world’s seas totalled 266 in the first six months of 2011, up from 196 incidents in the same period last year, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) revealed today.

More than 60% of the attacks were by Somali pirates, a majority of which were in the Arabian Sea area said the report, Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships. As of 30 June, Somali pirates were holding 20 vessels and 420 crew, and demanding ransoms of millions of dollars for their release.

“In the last six months, Somali pirates attacked more vessels than ever before and they’re taking higher risks,” said IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan. . “This June, for the first time, pirates fired on ships in rough seas in the Indian Ocean during the monsoon season. In the past, they would have stayed away in such difficult conditions. Masters should remain vigilant.”

In the first six months, many of the attacks have been east and north-east of the Gulf of Aden, an area frequented by crude oil tankers sailing from the Arabian Gulf, as well as other traffic sailing into the Gulf of Aden. Since 20 May there have been 14 vessels attacked in the Southern Red Sea. “It is necessary that shipboard protection measures are in place as they sail through this area,” said Mr Mukundan.

But although Somali pirates are more active – 163 attacks this year up from 100 in the first six months of 2010 – they managed to hijack fewer ships, just 21 in the first half of 2011 compared with 27 in the same period last year. This, the report says, is both thanks to increased ship hardening and to the actions of international naval forces to disrupt pirate groups off the east coast of Africa.

Don’t worry about those poor pirates going hungry and having nothing to do. Right now they’re busy stealing half or more of the millions of tons of food aid the UN is shipping the Poor ‘n Starvin’ in that fly-bitten land:


Thousands of sacks of food aid meant for Somalia’s famine victims have been stolen and are being sold at markets in the same neighbourhoods where skeletal children in filthy refugee camps can’t find enough to eat, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The UN’s World Food Program for the first time acknowledged it has been investigating food theft in Somalia for two months. The WFP said that the “scale and intensity” of the famine crisis does not allow for a suspension of assistance, saying that doing so would lead to “many unnecessary deaths.”

And the aid is not even safe once it has been distributed to families huddled in the makeshift camps popping up around the capital. Families at the large, government-run Badbado camp said they were often forced to hand back aid after journalists had taken photos of them with it. Ali Said Nur said he received two sacks of maize twice, but each time was forced to give one to the camp leader.

“You don’t have a choice. You have to simply give without an argument to be able to stay here,” he said.

The UN says more than 3.2 million Somalis — nearly half the population — need food aid after a severe drought that has been complicated by Somalia’s long-running war. More than 450,000 Somalis live in famine zones controlled by al-Qaeda-linked militants, where aid is difficult to deliver.


Your tax dollars NOT at work: another truckload of stolen WFP food gets hauled off by criminals

An official in Mogadishu with extensive knowledge of the food trade said he believes a massive amount of aid is being stolen — perhaps up to half of aid deliveries — by unscrupulous businessmen.

The percentage had been lower, he said, but in recent weeks the flood of aid into the capital with little or no controls has created a bonanza for businessmen.

The official, like the businessmen interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals.

The AP could not verify the official’s claims. WFP has not said how much food aid it believes is being diverted.

At one of the sites for stolen food aid, about a dozen corrugated iron sheds are stacked with sacks. Outside, women sell food from open 110-pound sacks, and traders load the food onto carts or vehicles under the indifferent eyes of local officials.

Stolen food aid is not new in Somalia — it’s the main reason the U.S. military become involved in Somalia during the country’s 1992 famine, an intervention that ended shortly after the military battle known as Black Hawk Down. There are no indications the military plans to get involved in this year’s famine relief efforts.
In Mogadishu markets, vast piles of food sacks are for sale with stamps on them from the World Food Program, the U.S. government aid arm USAID and the Japanese government. The AP found eight sites where aid food was being sold in bulk and numerous smaller stores.

Among the items being sold were corn, grain, and Plumpy’nut — a specially fortified peanut butter designed for starving children.

Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said the government does not believe food aid is being stolen on a large scale but if such reports come to light, the government “will do everything in our power” to bring judicial action.

The AP investigation also found evidence that WFP is relying on a contractor blamed for diverting large amounts of food aid in a 2010 U.N. report

Eight Somali businessmen said they bought food from the contractor, Abdulqadir Mohamed Nur, who is known as Enow. His wife heads Saacid, a powerful Somali aid agency that WFP uses to distribute hot food. The official with extensive knowledge of the food trade said at some Saacid sites it appeared less than half the amount of food supplied was being prepared.

Attempts to reach Enow or his wife for comment were not successful.

Plumpy’nut? What on earth is that?

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/16/2011 at 11:12 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Monday - July 25, 2011

What, Again???

Drought and Famine in Africa!

Millions Starving!!

Western Aid blocked by Islamist Warlords!!!


Food aid for Somalia could be flown into country within a week

The international effort to bring humanitarian relief to 3.7 million Somalis who need urgent help to beat drought and famine is being hampered by al-Shabaab’s refusal to let most agencies into their territory.

The al-Qaeda-inspired insurgents backtracked on an earlier promise to allow access.

But the United Nations said it was planning to fly food into areas held by the Islamists despite the ban.

“There are 2.2 million people yet to be reached,” said Josette Sheeran, the head of the agency.

“It is the most dangerous environment we are working in in the world. But people are dying. It’s not about politics, it’s about saving lives now.”

Jane, you ignorant slut. It’s always about politics, first, last and forever. It’s not about saving lives at all, and never was. The warlords will take your food, feed themselves, then steal the rest and sell it for weapons the instant you turn your back, while starving their opposition. That story hasn’t changed in Africa in 60 years or more.

WFP was one of the many organisations that al-Shabaab effectively forced out last year after imposing strict conditions of operation including no foreign female staff.

The group also taxed aid convoys.

Regis Chapman, the head of WFP’s operations in Somalia, said that food deliveries would soon start into the limited parts of Mogadishu controlled by the internationally-backed government.

He added that “within a week to 10 days” WFP would be sending food into areas controlled by the Islamists.

The Red Cross on Sunday said that it had delivered 400 tonnes of food to 24,000 people in Gedo province, the first time it had taken supplies into al-Shabaab’s territory since 2009. More than 2 million Somalis in the worst affected areas, including two famine zones, live in al-Shabaab territory and cannot be reached by international aid.

They are among more than 11.5 million people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia who need urgent help to keep them from starving after at least two years with no rain.

Stop wasting your money. Let them all starve. It won’t make any difference even in the short run. There are always tens of millions starving in Africa. Or suffering from some dread disease. Or being cleansed ethnically. Or being molested by flamingos. Whatever. It’s what Africa does, because Africa is actually Hell. It’s their job.

You can’t feed the people because the other people are such heartless malicious bastards that they use starvation as a political and military tool. They always have, and they always will. Stop wasting your money. Wait. This is the UN we’re talking about. So it’s MY money they’re wasting. Stop even faster in that case.

Maybe they should petition those Somali pirates in their own midst to use some of those hundreds of millions in ransom money to, you know, BUY some food for once.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/25/2011 at 03:34 PM   
Filed Under: • AfricaPirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 05, 2011

Not Exactly Port Royal Jamaica

Somali Pirates Using Socotra Island As Pit Stop

File this one under “Well duh, no kidding”, but the island itself is rather fascinating.

15-23 million years ago, when the Red Sea was barely even a river, and the Himalayas were just little hills, the island of Socotra was already old. And lonely. Situated 150 miles past the very point of the Horn of Africa, and 200 miles south across the Arabian Sea from Yemen, Socotra is one of the closest Ends of the Earth, but also one of the least accessible. High seas and Monsoons make it hard to get to, and for the longest time there hasn’t been all that much there. It is not a volcanic island but a continental one, a tiny piece of Africa lost at sea, riding the very edge of the African plate as it twists away from the Arabian plate. This is the land where the Dragon’s Blood Tree still thrives, and one of the most alien looking places on the entire planet.


It is also home to the lowly begonia, a flower whose worldwide popularity began with a single flat of them taken by botanists when Victoria reigned.

Halfway up the rocky path to the ancient cave, I had a sudden glimpse of how the world must have looked twenty million years ago. Stark against the skyline was a strange mushroom-shaped growth about fifteen feet tall, with tangled branches and a canopy of spiky green leaves. It was a dragon’s blood tree—born, according to legend, from blood shed in a battle between an elephant and a dragon. In a distant age, ancestors of the tree (botanists tell us that it is in the same taxonomic order as lilies and tulips) carpeted the earth from Russia to Morocco.

Those great forests are long vanished. But here on the island of Socotra, bounded by the Arabian Sea to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south, the dragon’s blood still mantles the high plateaus and the misty valleys, hidden between the crags of the Hajhir Mountains.

Since the earliest times, people have known Socotra as a place apart. Herodotus wrote that this was where the immortal phoenix came to be reborn twice every thousand years. The frankincense burned in the temples of ancient Egypt and Greece grew here, guarded, so it was believed, by flying snakes.

The island isn’t unknown, there just isn’t any great reason to go there. It’s been known about forever. Literally.  While Lucy was down in Olduvai Gorge grubbing around for ... grubs, her cousin Ricky and his friends built themselves a sailboat and set off over the eastern horizons, getting the hell out of Africa ASAP. First stop, Socotra Island. 1.4 million years ago.

Human ancestors left Africa not only by land but also by sea, recent findings of Russian archeologists on Socotra island show.


Homo habilis: Sinbad the First

Russian scientists found stone artifacts, which belong to Oldowan culture and date back 1.4 million years. The main sensation is geography the Socotra island, now belonging to Yemen, is located in the Gulf of Aden 200 km away from the closest point on the African coast, and Oldowan culture originates from Tanzanian Olduvai Gorge.

Now the challenge is in understanding how Oldowan stones, which belonged to Homo habilis, arrived to Socotra. No anthropologist has even been so brave to imagine that this ancient half-monkey-half-human being could not only follow antelopes, but also travel to neighbouring islands by sea.

However, large amount of discovered stones indicates that ancient men were natural-born sailors. Socotra had been an island long before the stones appeared there, so human ancestors couldn’t have got there by land.

Yup, they had to get there on boats. Through rough seas. Even when Ice Ages lowered sea levels, the water is just too deep. It’s way too far to swim. And that’s about the most exciting thing that has ever happened there. Ever. No wars, no great military campaigns, no heroes, no fabled golden cities. Just a few people living there, getting by with a bit of fishing and a bit of date farming, doing a bit of trading with the rare ship that stops by. Since forever. The greatest claim to fame Socotra has is it’s singular biodiversity; more than a third of the plants and animals on the island are indigenous and exist nowhere else on earth. Even the people there are linguistically and genetically isolated from the rest of the world. It’s no garden of paradise, but the 80 mile long island is home to about 45,000 inhabitants. After eons of isolation, Yemen put in an 11,000 foot heavy duty runway in 1999, and now Socotra is somewhat open to the world. 12 years later though, and there is still barely any tourist industry, even though the rough-hewn island enjoys a more temperate climate than the desert lands to the north and west, has a large network of ancient and interesting caves in it’s windswept karst cliffs, and all that unusual flora and fauna. Maybe it’s because the island only has two roads.

So much for the travelogue. Today that bit of trading means supplying the Somali pirates, and that nice runway with it’s daily flights to the mainland has people thinking that they’ve discovered something like a Missing Link; an information and finance channel that links pirate activity back to mainland sources in the more “civilized” world. As if Yemen counts as civilization.

LONDON (Reuters) - Somali pirates have been using Yemen’s remote Horn of Africa island of Socotra as a refueling hub enabling their attack craft to stay restocked for longer periods at sea and pose a greater hazard to shipping, maritime sources say. Despite an international naval presence in the region, seaborne gangs have been exploiting political turmoil in Yemen to pick up fuel, and possibly other supplies including food, sources told Reuters.

“Socotra has been used for months if not longer,” said Michael Frodl, with C-LEVEL maritime risk consultancy and an adviser to Lloyd’s of London underwriters, citing intelligence reports he was privy to. “It is perhaps the most important refueling hub for hijacked merchant vessels used as motherships, especially those operating between the Gulf of Aden and India’s western waters, mainly off Oman and increasingly closer to the Strait of Hormuz.” “A hijacked merchant vessel, unlike a hijacked dhow, has a voracious thirst for fuel and needs a very well stocked refueling station,” Frodl said.

A Yemen government official said authorities around a month ago had captured 20 people believed to be pirates on the island and handed them over to authorities in Yemen’s nearby southern port city of al-Mukalla on the mainland. A source said separately the 20 people had been on a regular commercial ship, but added that 16 Somali pirates were taken into custody in recent days and were being detained on Socotra.

“There was a lot of piracy north of Socotra during the north east monsoon and it is likely they have been using the island,” the source said. “Pirates use the beaches on the mainland not too far from Mukalla to collect fuel, and presumably other equipment.”

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) watchdog said the pirate support systems had to be promptly stopped.

“Socotra is strategically located because it is right up there against the Gulf of Aden and also along the eastern seaboard of Yemen,” said IMB director Pottengal Mukundan.  “If it is true that the pirates are using Socotra, then it is an extremely disturbing development and it requires immediate investigation.”

I have hardly run any Somali pirate stories in the past couple of months, because there really haven’t been any. Between the rough seas of the monsoon season and the seemingly universal defensive steps taken by large merchant ships, the Somali pirates are about 0-30 in their hijacking attempts. Every time they get near a ship they get shot at, and if they’re so fortunate as to get a ladder up the side of one they get hung up on the coils of razor wire that guard the decks. Losing! It’s just not working any more. Or at least right now. Good! Effective piracy still occurs far to the east in Indonesia, though that’s mostly robbery instead of hijacking, and now West African piracy is ramping up mugging ships off the coasts of Benin, but the Somali pirates are all ... at sea. Gee, too bad.

I’d hate to see war come to Socotra Island. That probably won’t be necessary. Nothing I’ve read says the Somali pirates are setting up a pirate town there. With just one airstrip and only 4 or 5 villages, I’d hope a small military presence and a few Coast Guard cutters would be enough to keep the pirates at bay.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/05/2011 at 08:50 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Friday - June 17, 2011


another “Navy stops pirates” story that is hardly worth typing up:

German Navy Sinks Two Skiffs, Lets Tiny Dhow And Pirates Go

rolleyes  rolleyes  rolleyes

On the morning of 10 June, the EU NAVFOR German warship FGS Niedersachsen detected a suspected Pirate Action Group (PAG) whilst conducting a routine patrol in the Southern Somali Basin.

The PAG, which is suspected of carrying out a number of attacks on merchant vessels in the area, consisted of a fishing dhow and 2 attack skiffs.  Small arms and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG)s were also seen on board.


Frigate FGS Niedersachsen, 180m, 3680 tonnes

As the Dhow was considered to be a real threat to shipping in the area, the German warship decided to disrupt the vessel but fears for the safety of the hostages on board prevented the Niedersachsen from taking direct action against the vessel.  Instead, to remove the Dhow’s ability to launch further attacks, the warship opened fire on the 2 attack skiffs sinking them in the process.  Without attack skiffs, it is highly unlikely that the suspected pirates could successfully board a vessel.

Having lost its skiffs, the Dhow changed course and made its way back toward Somalia.

This disruption has undoubtedly hampered pirate action and avoided highly probable attacks on merchant shipping and vulnerable vessels in the area.


pirate jelibut dhow and skiffs, perhaps 12m, 20 tonnes

So a great big, nearly 200 yard long German frigate with helicopters, missiles, and CIWS couldn’t deal with a pokey little wooden fishing boat, and instead shot up it’s two little fiberglass motorboats.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/17/2011 at 02:05 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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Somali Pirates Rescue Crew As Ship Burns

Oh, my heroes!!

Somali pirates say they have evacuated 19 crew members from a hijacked ship that caught fire Wednesday.

The Panama-flagged cargo ship MV Orna caught fire in the pirate stronghold of Harardhere, on Somalia’s Indian Ocean coast.

VOA’s Somali service talked to a regional piracy expert, Andrew Mwangura, who says the ship was still on fire Thursday afternoon local time. 

A pirate said he and his colleagues were trying to put out the fire. No cause had been determined.

The ship’s crew remains held by the pirates.

Last December:

At midday on 20 December, the MV ORNA was pirated in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 nautical miles North East of the Seychelles.

The attack was launched from 2 attack skiffs, with pirates firing small arms and rocket propelled grenades at the merchant vessel. The vessel was stopped and boarded by at least 4 pirates. The crew is co-operating and no damage is reported.

The MV ORNA is a Panama flagged, UAE owned bulk cargo vessel with a dead weight of 27 915 tonnes. The number of crew onboard is unknown

So the pirates managed to set fire to one of the nearly two dozen ships they are holding for ransom. Oopsie daisy! Guess they won’t get much in ransom for it now. Pity. This is almost as much fun as self detonating terrorists!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/17/2011 at 01:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Saturday - June 04, 2011

The True Cost Of Piracy

Want to know who is really profiting from the Somali pirates? The UK is. Because UK based Lloyd’s of London provides the insurance to merchant shipping, and they have just jacked the rates up 30,000 percent. Yeah, you read that right. 300x increase. What used to cost $500 now costs $150,000. And the size of the Pirate Risk Danger Zone has been increased to encompass almost the entire western half of the Indian Ocean, and includes the whole west coast of India. Needless to say, India is not happy. Neither will you be because the cost of everything going through that area by ship (ie oil) will reflect that additional cost. Wonder how much extra tax windfall Whitehall is getting out of this?

India Fights Lloyd’s Expanding Piracy Zone After 300-Fold Insurance Jump

India is lobbying Lloyd’s of London to reverse its expansion of the area judged prone to pirate attacks to cover almost all of the nation’s west coast after insurance costs surged as much as 300-fold this year.
The Joint War Committee, which assesses insurance risks, extended the zone in December about 900 miles east as the hijacking range grew.

A reversal by Lloyd’s would reduce insurance costs after some premiums skyrocketed to as much as $150,000 per voyage from $500, the Indian National Shipowners’ Association said, hurting shippers’ earnings.
“Typically ships bought insurance for the three days they were moving through the Gulf of Aden—now they have to pay for the additional 10 days” through the Indian Ocean, said Sean Woollerson, an insurance broker at London-based Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc (JLT), which specializes in shipping. The larger zone means about 28,000 more journeys a year are liable to higher premiums than the 22,000 made in the old zone, he said.

India’s government and shipping companies gave evidence last month to the Joint War Committee that shows increased Indian naval patrols have driven the pirate threat away. The government will continue to press for the decision to be overturned, Mohandas said in his New Delhi office.

“The freight markets are not in the rosiest of states so if there are additional premiums then obviously you get squeezed,” said A.R. Ramakrishnan, managing director at Essar Shipping
The efforts of more than 20 navies, including the U.S., U.K. and China, failed to prevent a record surge in pirate attacks last year. Pirates cost shipping companies as much as $12 billion in 2010, according to the London-based International Chamber of Shipping.

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Frontline Ltd., the world’s biggest supertanker operator, last week said diverting to avoid pirates in the area costs about $100,000 per trip in extra fuel.

I’m pretty sure that $12 billion includes higher insurance costs, added fuel costs, time constraints, ship defense expenses, etc. I have no clue how much in tax money it took to keep 20 navies worth of military ships at sea patrolling the area. Probably 5 times that much?

The piracy insurance costs for the old zone that impacted the 22,000 ships was around $3.3 billion in earnings for insurance companies. The new zone will add an additional $4.2 billion annually in insurance costs to shippers in the region. The 300% increase in insurance costs due to piracy has to date, hurt the region more than it has hurt the global market. That might change though as the piracy zone continues to expand, and in all cases those costs eventually get passed down to the consumer.

This guy is only talking about the added costs relative to the west coast of India, which more than half of that nation’s shipping sails through.

Right now the Somali pirates are having their holidays while the Indian Ocean is having monsoon season and heavy seas. But when the storms let up in another few weeks ...


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/04/2011 at 10:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 19, 2011

Attack of the Acronyms


Somali Pirates SOL!


Similar to the Army’s Blackhawk, this Navy Seahawk is rigged for ASW

The crew of a Navy helicopter launched from the destroyer Bulkeley fired upon and is believed to have killed four pirates who were in the process of attacking a crude oil carrier while it was transiting the Gulf of Oman on Monday, according to Combined Maritime Forces.

The interdiction took place at 10:35 a.m. local time. The Norfolk, Va.-based Bulkeley, assigned to Joint Task Force 150, had received a mayday call from the German-owned, Panamanian-flagged crude carrier Artemis Glory, which said it was being chased and attacked by pirates.

Bulkeley responded to the mayday call, first heard by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship and relayed to Combined Maritime Forces, by launching an SH-60B Seahawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Squadron Light 48, Detachment 4, to investigate. When it arrived on station — a command spokesman could not provide the distance or transit time — the crew saw four individuals in a skiff firing at Artemis Glory, using small arms.

The helicopter crew opened fire on the skiff under what command spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Sam Hearn of the Royal Navy said was the principle of “extended unit self-defense” on behalf of the crude carrier. All four pirates are believed to have been killed, Hearn said. Hearn said he did not know which weapon system was employed but noted that the SH-60B is equipped with a single M-240 machine gun.

Officials do not believe the helicopter was fired upon by the pirates, Hearn said.

Hearn said Bulkeley did not pick up the bodies, and could not say whether the skiff was sunk. Once it was determined that Artemis Glory was out of danger, the ship continued on its way, Hearn said. The ship is transporting a cargo of crude oil from Saudi Arabia to China.

The M-240 is our standard 7.62 NATO (.308) air cooled medium machine gun. Typical mounting on a helicopter uses a door gunner. The Seahawk does have several hardpoints, so it could easily mount small missiles like the Hellfire as well. Either armament has approximately equal range to an RPG and only slightly greater than an AK-47, so this was not a stand-back-at-a-safe-distance-and-shoot engagement; the Seahawk crew did the job in an up close and personal manner. It is entirely possible that the helicopter came under fire, whatever officials choose to believe. It was certainly within range.

But I do like the outcome. I don’t know if there is a new SOO (Save Our Oil) doctrine in play, or if the fact that this VLCC tanker was taking oil to our new financial overlords in China contributed to the action, but the pirates were caught shooting at a merchant ship and the Navy blasted them right out of the water. And left their bodies to rot and sink, while the tanker went on its merry way. Nothing to see here, move along. Next!

I had thought that Extended Unit Self Defense, EUSD, only applied to American military vessels. Extending the concept to foreign flagged merchantmen is something new. And it’s about time.

The Bulkely is getting a lot of anti-pirate action on this cruise. I wonder if they get to paint little Jolly Rodgers kill flags on the side of the ship’s bridge after each take down?

Go Navy!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/19/2011 at 08:05 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - May 10, 2011

Armchair Warriors

Human Events sends me an email telling me all about the new Guns & Patriots column.

Hey great. Cool. Fine. I’m always up for a quick read on 2A stuff and stories about various gunny goodness.

This one is a bit of a daydream though. What’s the best gun for killing Somali Pirates?”

The scourge of pirates off the coast of Africa is a problem as old as the United States.  For historical context, ‚”…to the shores of Tripoli…” in the Marines’ Hymn specifically refers to the Barbary Wars in which the USA went to war against the Barbary pirates off the coast of North Africa.

It is my assertion that the way to end the piracy is to end the pirates themselves.  When the cost of doing business becomes too high, the smarter of the pirates will find some new trade in which to engage.  The less intellectually gifted will feed the fish.

Understand that I do not believe there is a need to send in the Marines to handle this problem, though they could certainly address the issue with their usual panache.  Rather, if the shipping companies merely employed small teams of properly armed security contractors, the issue would sort itself out.

So, if you were putting together a security team to guard a ship moving through the area, with what weapons would to equip them?

So the author feels that his pick of a selection of small arms will do the job. And in truth they would be a whole lot better than nothing. But I think he didn’t quite make the historical connection, even though he tried to put things into a historical context.

This is what we used to defeat the Barbary Pirates:

Ok, this is actually a British 32 pounder, but ours looked quite similar

Against a slow and large wooden ship at fairly short distances, a 32 pound iron ball flying at the speed of sound is quite effective. However it rather pales against fiberglass speedboats jumping about in the waves. And it doesn’t really have the range; by 400 meters the round iron ball is pretty much spent in terms of velocity.

So, while the above article does select a .50 BMG sniper rifle, even that is only going to be minimally effective against a small boat at distances over a mile. And that’s the crux of my counter-post: when dealing with pirates, your target is not the pirates themselves, but their ships and boats. And the only idea that makes sense is to be able to sink them before they can get close enough to shoot their RPGs at you. That means you have to take them out at a range of at least 2 miles. And to do that on the cheap - because pirates simply aren’t worth any multi-million dollar weapon system investment, there’s only really one answer:


You betcha. A good old 40mm Bofors dual mount. It’s the classic Anti Aircraft gun from WWII, but they can shoot across the waves just as well as they can shoot up in the air. The 40mm is about as tiny as a naval cannon can get: it’s a 2 pounder. But a dual mount like the one pictured can put 8 or more of those 2lb shells down range in just a couple seconds, and with proximity fuses close enough will get the job done. 1 or 2 near hits will shred a speedboat full of pirates, and a dozen direct hits will sink any dhow sized mothership they may be using.

You’d want to modernize the mounting a bit to allow for a downward shooting angle for close in fighting. And you’d want to modularize the whole thing, so that merchant ships would only have to weld on one or two mounts per side, and they’d stop in at South Africa, the Suez Canal, and the southern tip of India to pick up guns and Navy crews while they transit those dangerous waters, then drop them off at those points as they leave them. 8 or 12 inch and a half bolts would hold them on just fine. Probably only take 20 minutes, 3 guys, an air wrench and a light crane to mount or dismount. That way only the gun mounts are “military”, and the rest of the ship is “civilian”, so they can get around those old laws against armed merchantmen. The “rent” for the sailors doing gun crew duty would be 3 hots and a cot. Plus ammo used I guess. This would cost tens of billions less than steaming dozens of capital ships back and forth in the Indian Ocean. Everybody knows how to use a Bofors. There are tens of thousands of them rattling around the world; the gun has been popular for more than 70 years and is or has been used by just about every nation with ships. It’s got a 5 mile horizontal range, which means it ought to be able to chew any pirate speedboat or mothership to splinters long before the pirates could get within RPG range. I suppose you could also issue the Navy guys some small arms, just in case.

It would work. It would be very cost effective. Pretty soon you’d see these AA mounts on the sides of all merchant ships and ocean liners, and somebody would quickly figure out how to build dummy guns for the look of it. The locations used to mount and dismount could change regularly or as needed as the pirate threat moves around. And you could cut down the in-theater capital ships by 80%, though you’d want to move some of them to the border areas to handle wiseguy pirates who’d think the new safe places to attack would be just past the dismount areas.

Pretty quickly there wouldn’t be any more pirates. Any little boat that closes with 2 miles of a big merchant ship had better identify itself, otherwise it’s open season with no paperwork or Command approval necessary.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/10/2011 at 12:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 26, 2011

yes sir yes sir, two boats full

Civilization: 2

Pirates: 0

And the Summer Season has hardly even begun!

First Inning -

19.04.2011: 0435 UTC: Posn: 03:47S – 055:41E, around 1nm off Denis island, Seychelles(Off Somalia).

Seven pirates armed with AK47 and RPG boarded a fishing vessel doing fishing activities. Crew immediately sent a distress alert which was received by the Seychelles coast guard. The pirates took hostage four crewmembers and threatened to kill them if they refuse their orders to steer the vessel towards Somalia. On 20.04.2011 the coast guard launched an operation which resulted in the rescue of the four fishermen and the capture of the seven pirates. During the operation one crew was slightly injured. Three pirates were injured of which one died.

A presidential spokeswoman for the island nation of Seychelles says its coast guard has rescued four local fisherman whose ship had been hijacked by Somali pirates. Srdjana Janosevic says that one fisherman and three Somali pirates were wounded in Wednesday’s mission that rescued the crew of the fishing vessel Gloria. Janosevic says seven pirates were captured in the operation 150 miles (240 kilometers) north east of Mahe, the largest island of the Seychelles archipelago.

Ocean terrorists from Somalia have taken another beating from the Seychelles Coast Guard, when earlier in the week they were overpowered and outgunned by two navy vessels in hot pursuit after an SOS call about being seajacked came in from the fishing boat. Aerial surveillance, using the Indian sponsored Dornier aircraft, aided in the swift location of the boat and two navy ships were dispatched to pursue and ambush the terrorists about 150 nautical miles off the main island group of the archipelago. An apparent shoot out, initiated by the Somalis who attempted to flee, resulted in three of them being wounded while one of the four rescued Seychellois fishermen too was injured. They are receiving initial treatment on board of the navy ship and will be assessed further upon landing in a few hours at the main Seychellois sea port in Victoria.

The Seychelles government has now repeatedly demonstrated to the world that determined and robust action produced the desired results, as several seajacked boats and fishing vessels have in past months been recovered and the ocean terrorist been brought to justice.

The naval coalition can and in fact must take a leaf from the Seychelles in regard of rescue missions and their robust handling of such situations, and it is high time that the rules of engagement, as often demanded here in the past, are being changed beyond monitoring, determent and containment into offensive operations to bring the ocean terrorists down. This must include denying them land bases through appropriate action from the air and on the ground to achieve this objective. It must also be a certainty for the terrorists, that once they leave Somalia’s territorial waters, and look and act like pirates, the outcome would be swift and final for them, instead of trying to appease the weeping and politically so correct ‘advocates of human rights’, who show more compassion for the aggressors than their victims. Meanwhile, congratulations to the government of Seychelles, their brave coast guard and navy personnel and welcome home to those rescued.

[ translated from Chinese ] Seychelles Coast Guard this is the third successful rescue from the hands of Somali pirates detained Seychelles fishermen. Currently, the seven pirates are escorted to the Seychelles on the way, is expected to be 21 to shore. By then, the custody awaiting trial or serving sentences in the Seychelles, the number will reach 64 by Somali pirates.

Second Inning -

25 Apr 2011 Turkish Navy reported that F-491 TCG Giresun freed a Yemeni fishing boat from Somali pirates on 24 April 2011.

The suspicious looking fishing dhow was sighted 300 miles of the coast of Umman. and the nearest warship, TCG Giresun was ordered to intercept the boat and to inspect it. When the dhow was in sight of the TCG Giresun the VBSS team consisting of naval special forces boarded the Yemeni vessel. The pirates surrendered with out a gun fight.  The confiscated weapons were dumped to the sea.

The dhow turned out to be a Yemeni vessel, captured by the Somali pirates on 11 April 2011 to be used as a mother ship. The seven Yemeni fishermen on board were freed by the Turkish sailors.

The number of the arrested pirates was not mentioned in the official statement. But if you look to the photo below and count the heads, there are at least 16 pirates ready to be taken to the frigate on the white small boat.


Not even enough guns to go around: the arms seized by the Turkish Navy


Where’s Waldo? 16+ captured pirates packed up for shipment


Yup, I’d call this packed tiny boat “suspicious looking” too


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/26/2011 at 08:14 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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