Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Wednesday - July 07, 2010

This Is Too Much

Pirates Hijack First Ship In The Red Sea

Following a recent spate of attempted attacks in the region, Somali pirates successfully hijacked a vessel in the southern part of the Red Sea on Sunday.

According to a report received by the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC), a chemical tanker was hijacked on 4 July 2010 whilst transiting the Bab el Mandeb straits. According to reports, she has 18 crewmembers on board and is sailing towards the Somali coast.

This successful hijacking follows on from an increase in activity in the Bab el Mandeb region since early June 2010. In that period, five vessels reported attempted attacks with a further four reporting having been fired upon.

The tanker Motivator, carrying lubricating oil, reported coming under fire near the strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on Sunday.

Contact was lost and the vessel was confirmed hijacked on Monday.

An international flotilla has been patrolling the Gulf of Aden to deter an increase in hijackings of shipping.

“The MT Motivator reported it was under small arms fire from a pirate attack in the northern Bab al-Mandeb area in the southern Red Sea,” the EU’s naval task force, Eunavfor, said.

“After notification of this attack, attempts were made to make contact with the Motivator but to no avail. The hijack was confirmed early on July 5.”

The MV Motivator, IMO 9340386, is a small tankship, 128 meters long by 20 meters wide. It is registered in the Marshall Islands.


One more pirate hijacking isn’t the news here. It’s the Where, not the What, that is the story. The Red Sea is pretty much a large salt water lake, with the Suez Canal at the north end and the Bab el Mandeb Straights at the south end. It’s essentially closed off, m’kay? The waters at the Straights are so narrow that there is a bridge being built across, between Eritrea/Djibouti and Yemen. And the waters of the Red Sea are COVERED in Navy, from every country that can paint a ship gray and set it afloat. WALL TO FREAKING WALL MILITARY VESSELS. And there have been FIVE other attempted hijackings in the very same, very small area, all within the past month.

This is inexcusable. I don’t give a flying fart which navy was nearby, they did nothing. They allowed this hijack to happen. Come on. The damned Straight is only 16 miles wide, and 10% of the world’s oil ships through it every single day, plus a huge amount of trade goods. You’d think the ships would be bow to stern in a conga line going both ways. Billions of dollars of goods every hour. And pirates got into this ultra-dense zone, little wolves amongst the flock, and plucked themselves a lamb. And 500 sheepdogs stood around and did jack shit. You effers are so fired. 50 helicopters could have been on scene in 2 minutes and shot these fools to shreds. Hell, land batteries could have hit the pirates from shore! ( oh, and the US has a huge military force right the fuck there, called the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn Of Africa. Right there, at Camp Le Monier in Djibouti, not even 60 miles away. It’s full of jets and helicopters and tanks and Marines and stuff )

What’s next, Somali pirates hijacking ships when they are in the locks of the Suez Canal? WTF, why not? How about Somali pirates following the ships right to their destinations, and hijacking them right out of the ports? They can do it, easily! Because the world is WASTING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS on multiple navies who DON’T DO A FUCKIN THING to stop them.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/07/2010 at 12:53 PM   
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calendar   Monday - June 28, 2010

Maritime Messes

Somali Pirates Strike Yet Again

Pirates hijack ship full of anti-freeze

NAIROBI, Kenya—Somali pirates hijacked a Singaporean-flagged ship early Monday [3:27am Greenwich time] with 19 Chinese sailors onboard and a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze, officials said.

The Golden Blessing was seized off the northern tip of Somalia inside the internationally recommended transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden that is patrolled by the anti-piracy naval coalition, said Lt. Col. Per Klingvall, a spokesman for the European Union’s anti-piracy force.

All 19 crew are reported to be safe, he said. The ship was reported to be on its way from Saudi Arabia to India.

Klingvall said the 14,445-ton chemical tanker was carrying a cargo of glycol ethylene—which is used in antifreeze—when it was captured approximately 60 miles off the northern Somali coast. The vessel was moving toward the Somali coast after the hijacking.

The hijacked ship is owned by Golden Pacific International Holdings Ltd. and is chartered out to Shanghai Dingheng Shipping Co. Ltd.

In a statement, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority said it “is working with relevant government agencies and the ship owner, and is monitoring the situation closely.”

The “Golden Blessing” was hijacked in the morning of June 28, 2010, approximately 60 nautical miles off the northern Somali coast. The EU NAVFOR German warship Schleswig-Holstein immediately launched their helicopter and reported sighting suspected pirates on board the vessel which was carrying a cargo of glycoethelen. The “Golden Blessing” has a crew of 19 Chinese; no reports of injuries. The vessel is under pirate control but remains unmoving at present.

MV Golden Blessing, IMO #9539016, also known as the Qian Jin 6, is a small tanker ship, 116m (LAW) by 17m. (139.3m LOA). From what I can gather, it’s a brand new vessel, having gone down the ways in China in early January. I can find the telephone number for the bridge and the ship’s email address, but this is the only pictures of the ship that I can dig up.


The rest of the world calls “glycol ethylene” ethylene glycol; it isn’t used in antifreeze, it is used AS antifreeze. Whatever.


In other pirate news, the audacity of some Nigerian pirates is amazing, yet can be bested by the hope of some crews. Talk about primitive; get a load of this one:

Twelve robbers in two speed boats attacked a bulk carrier at anchor. They fired with hand made guns and attempted to board the ship using hooks attached to ropes. Ship‘s crew raised alarm, directed search light and attacked the robbers with sling shot. Robbers fired several shots and finally aborted the attempt and moved away. One crew wounded but not serious.

Home made guns? What’s next, rocks?


Good news everyone!™ It looks like that little Ro-Ro ship full of suspicious military weapons that India seized the other day, you know, the story you didn’t hear about at all ...

The “Aegean Glory” was intercepted by security forces on June 25, 2010, in the Hooghly river channel near Diamond Harbor. It was carrying consignments of arms and ammunition for Nepal and the Pakistan Army and was destined for Karachi. It had departed Monrovia on May 27 and anchored at Port Lui in Mauritius onJune 4 June before coming to Chittagong port on June 15 June. It is now in Diamond Harbour under tight security. The military consignments were used by the UN peace-keeping force in Liberia. The 551-ton military cargo containing smoke bombs, anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers, were loaded in Monrovia port. The ship would be brought to Kolkata Dock System where customs officials will open all the containers to carry out a thorough search. The 19 crew members from Romania, Greece and Ukraine and its Greek captain are being interrogated.

turned out to be Ok. It was actually chartered by the UN to return military gear to Pakistan. Why? Because the UN military mission to Liberia is complete, so they are sending the extra guns and bombs and stuff home to the countries that supplied them. Phew, I’m glad that got straightened out. Looks like the whole incident was a paperwork SNAFU.

The military hardware, with full knowledge of UN authorities, was being transported under their arrangements and not by Pakistan.


MV Aegean Glory

Um, did anyone even know that the UN had a military mission in Liberia? They went there in 2003 at the end of the Liberian civil war, when Liberian president Chuck Taylor, the only world leader ever named after a pair of sneakers, resigned.

Police earlier said the MV Aegean Glory, bound for Karachi, contained a “huge quantity” of explosives, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns and some bombs in two large containers.
The UN sent 15,000 troops into Liberia in 2003 after 14 years of civil war that claimed roughly 270,000 lives.

In April, the UN peacekeeping force in Liberia (UNMIL) began scaling back its presence after a UN and government assessment in 2007 that the country was gradually moving towards peace and stability.

I don’t know how many of those troops are our guys. Numbers run from 200 to 1200, the ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) has been involved there, and that the military mission has shifted from training Liberia’s army and police force to building roads and buildings and feeding the hungry.

Draw down for the Liberian Mission should be just about complete by now, so hopefully that means more Marines coming home.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/28/2010 at 08:12 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - May 25, 2010

Wasted Time

5 Somali Pirates On Trial In Netherlands

Five Somali men are due to go on trial in the Netherlands today for robbery on the high seas, in what will be the first modern piracy trial in a Dutch court.

The men were held in January 2009 after allegedly trying to capture a cargo ship registered in the Dutch Antilles.

The ship’s crew held off the attack off the Horn of Africa with flares until a Danish navy frigate intervened and sank the pirates’ boat.

The five men are being tried in Rotterdam under a 17th-century law against “sea robbery”, although defence lawyers will reportedly argue that they cannot be convicted due to lack of evidence.

“The boat they were in is at the bottom of the sea,” their lawyer Jan Ausma told De Volkskrant. “And the Danish helicopter crew did not see anything either.”

Yeah, I agree. No evidence. Ignore what the Danish Captain has to say, him and his phony videos. So put them back where you found them. In the water, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. They leave.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/25/2010 at 03:07 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 06, 2010


Spetnaz forces rescue hijacked Russian tanker ship

1 pirate dead, 10 captured and “injured”

Dear Somalia: Pay attention, class is in session. Today’s lesson: the bear has teeth and will bite you if you mess with him.

Russian forces freed a hijacked Russian oil tanker and rescued its crew in a helicopter-backed operation on Thursday that killed a Somali pirate, authorities said.

Russian investigators said 10 captured pirates, who seized the China-bound MV Moscow University in the Gulf of Aden, will be brought to Moscow for prosecution.

They hijacked the tanker on Wednesday with its 23-member crew and a cargo of crude oil worth $52 million. Its rescue will please the Kremlin, which has been seeking to revive Russia’s naval muscle far from its shores despite limited resources.

“Measures are being undertaken to bring the detained pirates to Moscow,” the Investigative Committee of the Prosector General’s office said on official site

The European Union’s naval force said the Russian warship Marshal Shaposhnikov had sent in a helicopter that returned fire after being shot at by pirates.

Eventually the pirates surrendered and a boarding team from the Marshal Shaposhnikov arrived on board the tanker, an EU naval statement said.

A spokeswoman for the tanker’s owner, Novorossiysk Shipping Company, said the crew survived the 20-hour siege by hiding in a safe room that was inaccessible to the hijackers.

The Russian Investigative Committee statement said that one pirate was in fact killed and that some of the 10 who were captured were injured.

The fortunes of a band of Somali pirates quickly changed Thursday when a Russian warship opened fire on a hijacked oil tanker, freeing the crew and arresting the bandits, who a day earlier had raced across the Indian Ocean to seize a cargo valued at more than $50 million.

The high-seas battle unfolded after 23 crewmen on the tanker Moscow University sent a distress call and hid from the pirates in a sealed rudder compartment. A Russian destroyer closed in and special forces stormed the vessel at dawn, after marauders shot at a surveillance helicopter, according to the anti-piracy European Union Naval Force.

“The Russian warship, knowing the crew was locked down and safe, returned fire on the pirates,” said a statement released by the EU force. “Eventually the pirates surrendered and a boarding team from the Marshal Shaposhnikov [warship] arrived onboard the tanker, captured all the pirates and freed the crew. All the crew are safe and well.”

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news services reported that one pirate was killed and 10 were arrested.

The rescue operation was stunning, ending an ordeal less than 24 hours after pirates seized the 106,474-ton tanker about 350 miles off the Yemeni Island of Socotra.

The Russians are willing to bring major weapons to bear on their own oil tanker. Damn the possible environmental consequences. Stopping the hijackers is more important. Even better is how their leader handled the situation. The instant the tanker was rescued, President Medvedev was calling for stronger punishment for piracy and promising some old school smackdown.

Until a legal system allowing hijackers to be punished is created, “we will have to act as our forefathers did when they met pirates”, the Russian president said. “Of course, we will fight pirates with the full force of the naval law.”

The president did not specify how exactly the pirates should be punished.

And instead of ordering a courts martial for any of the sailors who may have accidentally busted a pirate nose or two, Medvedev is handing out medals. Immediately.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday praised the Defense Ministry for freeing the Russian tanker Moscow University from pirates and requested that all servicemen who took part in the operation be put forward for awards.

“Fine fellows, well done. I ask you to prepare awards for all our servicemen who played a hand in accurately, professionally and quickly freeing the tanker,” Medvedev told the Russian defense minister.

And I agree. They deserve it. Especially when you learn just how fast they took down the bad guys. 22 minutes, start to finish. Outstanding.

Assuming the captured pirates even make it to Russia alive, they will be tried, found guilty, and executed immediately. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts, no “civil rights”, and no sympathy. Bang. Dead. Maybe even on Russian TV? One can only hope.

And word will get back to Somalia real fast that you just don’t mess with ships flying that particular flag. This lesson might take a few iterations to sink in, but watch pirate attacks on Russian ships drop to almost nothing real soon.

The rescue was carried out by the Russian anti-submarine Udaloy class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/06/2010 at 10:33 AM   
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calendar   Friday - April 23, 2010

This mostly makes sense

Pirates Who Fired On US Navy Ships To Be Tried In US Court

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 81 > § 1651
§ 1651. Piracy under law of nations

Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 81 > § 1659
§ 1659. Attack to plunder vessel

Whoever, upon the high seas or other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, by surprise or open force, maliciously attacks or sets upon any vessel belonging to another, with an intent unlawfully to plunder the same, or to despoil any owner thereof of any moneys, goods, or merchandise laden on board thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

US Indicts 11 Alleged Pirates from Somalia

Eleven suspected pirates from Somalia have been indicted in a U.S. court for attacks on two U.S. Navy ships off the east coast of Africa.

The indictment was unsealed Friday in the city of Norfolk, in the state of Virginia. The pirates, who were taken into U.S. custody and flown to the United States, are expected to appear in federal court Friday.

The charges include piracy, attacks to plunder a vessel, assault with a dangerous weapon and use of a firearm in a crime.

Five of the men were captured March 31 after an exchange of fire with the frigate USS Nicholas, while the six others were seized after shooting at the USS Ashland earlier this month. 

It’s a shame that “being terminally stupid in international waters” isn’t also a crime. This bunch is guilty of that too.

Well, at least we got some of them. Too bad there is a never ending supply ...

Somali Pirates Seize Liberian-Owned Ship With 21 Crew

Suspected Somali pirates have seized a Liberian-owned bulk carrier with 21 crew members, all of them Filipino.

The European Union’s anti-piracy force says the ship, the MV Voc Daisy, was hijacked Wednesday in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Oman. [ VOC Daisy, IMO 9154555, 186m (610 feet) LOA, 47183 tons, 1998 Nagasaki built bulk carrier, formerly the MV Golden Daisy ]

It says the ship’s crew contacted security forces before four pirates carrying assault rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade stormed on board and seized control.

The EU force says it has confirmed that all 21 crew members are safe.

Somali pirates are now believed be holding 24 ships in all with about 400 crew members. Ships and crews are usually released unharmed after a payment of ransom.

Damn. So not only is piracy not seen as an act of asymmetrical warfare or terrorism, it’s listed merely as a crime. It is not a capital offense. I have no idea how old these laws are, but it looks like some bleeding heart managed to water them down at some point. I don’t feel like doing the research right now, but US law of 1790 saw piracy as a capital offense. By the war with Mexico in 1847 the definition was expanded to include privateers of other nations, but by the 1958 Convention of the High Seas, the idea was to capture them and then criminally prosecute them. I do not know when the US laws were changed so that punishment became life imprisonment. But I guess they didn’t want Navy officers trying these scum on ship anymore. These days the softies have expanded the definition of piracy to include illegally copying CDs and DVDs. Seriously, “software piracy” is not codified as copyright infringement, which is what it actually is. It’s listed as an act of piracy. Which is utterly absurd and completely asinine.

Want to hear something really sucky? When the radical islamists had control of Somalia a couple years ago, there was NO piracy. NONE. Yeah, and when the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan there was no opium crop either. Go figure.

During the summer of 2006, the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) came to power in Somalia. Immediately afterward, the UIC announced they would punish those engaged in piracy according to Sharia law.

For a time the incidents ceased, until pirates struck the United Arab Emirates cargo ship, MV Veesham I. A small boat with six pirates boarded and took control of the cargo ship shortly after leaving port. Initially the pirates demanded a $1 million ransom; negotiations lowered the amount to $150,000. The UIC in response, set to sea in small boats, recaptured the vessel and rescued the crew after a gun battle with the pirates.

The UIC withstood the challenge to their authority. Unfortunately, the success was short-lived. One month later, Ethiopian forces entered Somalia gaining political control of the country. They pushed the UIC out of power. With the UIC gone, the organized gangs of pirates no longer feared governmental retribution for their offshore attacks. Offshore piracy assaults continued again.

There ya go. Again. Crazy people, islamists, and turd world bottom feeders respect the force of the gun, and that’s all there is to it. Let’s face it, these 11 guys charged with piracy have hit the jackpot. Free food, clothing, and shelter for the rest of their lives, and no work. Climate controlled housing and free medical care. Considering where they’re coming from, what more could they ask out of life?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/23/2010 at 09:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 20, 2010

Situation Out Of Control

Somali Pirates seize 3 Thai fishing ships, 77 crew

1200 miles east of Somalia


red dots show 1200 mile range from Somalia

Attack Number: 2010/102

Date:Sun Apr 18 2010
Vessel Type: Fishing Vessel
Location detail: 1500nm NE of Mogadishu, 230nm west of Minicoy island
Attack Type: Hijacked
Incident Details: 18.04.2010: 0200 UTC: Posn: 09:29N – 069:18E: 230 nm WNW of Minicoy Island Indian Ocean.

Armed pirates in skiffs opened fire on a fishing vessel underway and ordered her to stop. Pirates boarded and hijacked the vessel and took her 26 crew members hostage. Vessel currently heading towards Somalia.

Somali pirates hijacked three Thai fishing vessels with 77 crew aboard more than 1,200 miles (1,930 kilometers) off the Somali coast, the farthest-off-shore attack to date, the EU Naval Force said Tuesday.

Pirates have expanded their range south and east in response to an increase in patrols by European and American warships off the Somali shore.

The hijacking of the three Thai vessels Sunday was almost 600 miles outside the normal operation area for the EU Naval Force, said its spokesman, Cmdr. John Harbour.

The EU Naval Force said the attack so far out at sea was a clear indication that the EU, NATO and U.S.-led anti-piracy missions were having a “marked effect on pirate activity in the area.”

“Once they start attacking that far out, you’re not even really talking about the Somali basin or areas of water that have any connection with Somalia,” said Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the British think tank Chatham House. “Once you’re that far out it’s just the Indian Ocean, and it means you’re looking at trade going from the Gulf to Asia, from Asia to southern Africa.”

The three vessels — the MV Prantalay 11, 12, and 14 — have 77 crew onboard in total. All the crew are Thai, Harbour said. The owner of the vessels is PT Interfishery Ltd.


Prantalay Marketing Company Limited is a big player in the frozen seafood market. Their products are sold around the world, from Tops Supermarkets in the USA to Tesco’s in England. They also supply the sushi market in Japan. For 2010 their marketing campaign in their home nation of Thailand will push the health benefits of eating fish. “Good Health, Good Brain Nationwide With Prantalay in 2010”. Hey, in Thai this is a very cool slogan! The campaign will be driven by Prantalay CEO, medical doctor, former fishing boat captain, and parent company owner Dr. Tongchai [Tavanapong] along with their new brand icon Tai Gong Tongchai, which means Fishing Boat Captain Tongchai. Sort of like the Gorton’s of Glouster fisherman we’re all supposed to trust, except this guy is the boss.


Tai Gong Tongchai, where even the fish looks happy

Um, who cares about some fish flogger in Thailand, Drew? WTF? I mention just to point out that this pirate crap doesn’t go on in isolation. The impacts of it are everywhere, right down to the frozen food aisle in your local grocery store.

With these Somali bastards striking right off the coast of India, the danger area is now 4 times bigger than it was before. Too big to contain. Too big to patrol. And with just a tiny bit more range they won’t even have to rob or hijack ships any more. They can start land raids. The Seychelles, the Maldives, the Lakshadweep Archipelago are all inhabited islands, and all either within that 1200 mile arc or just a short bit further on. So is the British Indian Ocean Territory of the Chagos Archipelago, which just happens to include Diego Garcia. You know, that remote little island where we store B-52s and a few hundred spare nukes. Guarded by 6 Airmen and a dog, because it’s in the middle of nowhere and not at all at any sort of risk.

If no nation is willing to take them out on land, then I think it’s long past time to arm the merchantmen in the Indian Ocean. Long past time. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/20/2010 at 11:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Saturday - April 10, 2010

so instead of cleansing the world of pirates once and for all … ships will turn off the lights

Just came across this bit of tom foolery.  It fits any number of categories that defy logic and spell Barking Moonbat! Take a look.

Cruise ship passengers told: Keep your lights off to avoid attracting pirates

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:49 PM on 10th April 2010

Passengers on two of the world’s largest cruise ships have been told to keep their cabin lights switched off to protect against possible pirate attacks.

It comes in the wake of several high profile cases in recent months involving Somali pirates kidnapping Westerners, according to The Telegraph.

Passengers on P&O’s Aurora and Arcadia ships were told to keep their lights off and not venture out onto the promenade deck between the hours of 6.30pm and 7am while sailing through the Gulf of Aden. Despite the blackout, they were permitted to leave their cabins.

P&O’s cruise ships, which can cost up to £7,000 per passenger, sail from Southampton through the waters off the Somali coast - a hotspot for pirates.

Last year, Paul and Rachel Chandler were kidnapped by Somali pirates who demanded £1.3million for their release.

The Chandlers are highest-profile of more than 130 sailors held captive on the Somali coast.

So perilous are the waters off the Somali coast, the area now has its own patrol of warships provided by countries of the European Union.

A spokesman for P&O told The Telegraph: “Cruise ship security is the industry’s highest priority.”

Methinks their highest priority is trying not to be sued by anyone.  If security means anything, it should mean being armed and committed to the use of deadly force.  I think at some point it will take a catastrophic event, some outrage by the pirates that sicken the world, before any real and deadly serious action takes place.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/10/2010 at 01:34 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - April 06, 2010

Same Old Same Old Samho

While Pieper got to cover the Rescue At Sea story, I got the less dramatic one. Sunday Somali pirate mooks captured the South Korean oil tanker Samho Dream. [yes, it’s the sam ho’ dream we all have: I want to get rich!]. While a Korean warship is in pursuit, so far nothing has happened. The tanker, chock full of crude, was bound for the USA.


MV Samho Dream

A supertanker carrying about £104 million of crude oil from Iraq to the United States is believed to have been hijacked by Somali pirates.

Similar seizures of oil supertankers in the waters off the coast of lawless Somalia have yielded ransoms as high as $5.5 million.

A South Korean navy destroyer was rushing toward the supertanker but its highly volatile cargo prevents crews from carrying guns on board or even lighting cigarettes while on deck.

Really? Has vapor control technology actually gone backwards since WWII? Makes me wonder, since this was an oil tanker in those days:


Not even an eighth the displacement of the Samho Dream, but bristling with guns. Cannons, anti-aircraft mounts, machine guns. Funny how they managed to NOT set themselves on fire.

The South Korean-operated 300,000-ton Samho Dream is believed to have been seized Sunday when the South Korean navy received a call from the vessel saying three pirates had boarded it and then lost contact.

At the time, it was about 930 miles southeast of the Gulf of Aden. It has 24 crew - five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos.

A maritime analyst doubted the South Korean warship would launch an assault on the pirates believed to be holding Samho Dream because such action would put the crew at great risk.

So it looks like One Up, One Down. One ship rescued, one ship taken. Business as usual. But I couldn’t help having a couple ideas while looking at the pictures of both these ships. Like ... hmm, wouldn’t the bridge wings on the Dream, sticking way out there into the breeze, make great mounts for some kind of ball turret weapon? Nothing too sophisticated ...


(this will do until I can find pics of the ball turret on the Millennium Falcon)

My other idea came from noticing the PT boats being shipped on the Atascosa, the WWII tanker pictured. That, and reading how the Korean tanker was being pursued by the Korean destroyer. Are the Navies out there taking care of their own? If so, then here’s an idea.

Every ship welds on a couple of gun tubs fore, aft, and midships. No guns, just armored tubs. But places where a standard gun, like the quad 20mm Oerlikons pictured (WWII vintage!), could be quickly attached. When your ship goes through the Suez Canal, (or around the Cape of Good Hope, or going west past the southern tip of India, or at whatever points you want,) the passing of which imply that your ship is sailing into pirate waters, the navy that represents the nation that is the destination of your cargo mounts 4 to 6 guns and brings a crew of gunners aboard. All you have to do is feed them and bunk them. When your ship exits the pirate waters, the guns get dismounted and go back to that navy. For added security, if a pair or two of high speed davits were mounted, then your cargo ship could swing aboard a pair of manned modern PT boats, and just carry them along. Pirates come snooping around, launch the boats and engage them. Sink them? No, just disarm them, and attach a homing device so you can follow them back to the mothership. Then torpedo that one. It’s what PT boats are for.

The other upside is that very quickly every ship would have those gun tubs welded on, and like air marshals on jet planes, the pirates couldn’t tell which ships had the real guns, and which were merely using them to store a few shorter lengths of 5” pipe. Especially if most of them did have the real guns, and one ship in four held onto it’s weaponry past the standard disarming points. Just in case some pirates got the smart idea not to attack the ships until they were unarmed. Pretty soon, no pirates. And lots of dead ones. Every cargo ship at sea would be a Q-ship. If somebody could develop a PT boat that fit inside a full size shipping container, then the ruse would be even better. One or two containers lashed to the deck but rigged to the ships cranes would really give those water rats pause. Is there an armed and armored attack boat in there, or not?

Oh well, that’s Drew dreaming up a cheap and effective solution. It’s not like 20mm guns are a dime a dozen throughout the world. Oh wait, they are, aren’t they? Old tech stuff. But more than enough for pirates in fiberglass boats, with 3 times the range of an RPG-7. It would probably save the navies money, and the armed guards on board would cut the insurance cost to the ships. And if your destination nation didn’t have a navy ... well, you could hire our guys for a nominal fee. Sure, but what about International Law?? Ok, put a bit of yellow “Do Not Cross” tape across the doors to the gun tubs, and have each gun mount registered as a naval auxiliary ship all by itself. That way the cargo ship is just carrying the “little ships” for the navy as a favor, but those “ships” themselves would be recognized as military “vessels”. Shades of gray, but legal, and that’s what color you’d paint them too.

And if that’s too nuanced for ya, know that Malaysia now has actual Q-ships.

Updated before I could hit the Publish button:


The South Korean navy destroyer Chungmugong Yisunshin, shown here, has caught up with a supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates with a cargo of crude oil worth as much as $170 million ... though it is unlikely to launch an assault on the ship due to the highly volatile nature of the cargo, reports the Associated Press.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/06/2010 at 01:25 PM   
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Dutch marines abseil on to a hijacked cargo vessel to rescue its crew and arrest 10 Somali pirates

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 5:15 PM on 06th April 2010

Firearms at the ready, six Dutch marines abseil from a Lynx helicopter on to the deck of a cargo vessel being held to ransom by ruthless Somali pirates.

These pictures capture the precarious moment the commandos boarded the German merchant ship, the MV Taipan.

Marines board the German vessel MV Taipan where 10 armed pirates were waiting on board


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/06/2010 at 12:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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Dutch marines rescue German vessel from pirates

Wow ... now that is a switch.  Gee, I’m so happy they didn’t cause any boo-boos to the pirate vermin. Jeesh.  Why oh why can’t they kill the bastards?
It’s become a game. A dangerous one I know, but the vermin don’t have too much to worry about beside arrest. Do they?  Yeah, a few have been made to stop breathing, but nowhere near enough to make what they do too dangerous. And so they go on. And on.
Times and attitudes have sure changed.

Dutch marines rescue German vessel from pirates off Somalia

Deutsche Welle 6 April 2010

A German container ship has been freed from pirates off the coast of Somalia. A Dutch frigate, part of the EU’s Atalanta anti-piracy mission, recaptured the ship and arrested the pirates. The crew were unharmed.

Dutch marines on Monday intervened to free a German container ship that had been attacked by pirates earlier in the day. The Dutch Defense Ministry and the EU’s anti-piracy mission Atalanta have both confirmed the rescue.

The “MS Taipan” vessel was attacked roughly 500 nautical miles east of the coast of Somalia while en route from the Kenyan port city of Mombasa to Djibouti.

Dutch sailors from the “Tromp Lynx” frigate tried to negotiate a peaceful release, but when this failed they stormed the vessel and arrested 10 pirates. Dutch authorities reported that one of their sailors was injured in the fight, but none of the 15-strong crew were harmed (...)



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/06/2010 at 11:31 AM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 01, 2010

It’s About Time

US Navy Sinks Somali Pirate Skiff

Stupid Pirates Attacked Guided Missile Frigate Around Midnight

A group of suspected pirates was captured Thursday after attacking a U.S. Navy frigate in the Indian Ocean, according to a statement released by the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

The USS Nicholas reported taking fire from a suspected pirate skiff shortly after midnight local time west of the Seychelles, the statement said. The Nicholas quickly returned fire and began pursuing the skiff, which was eventually disabled. A boarding team from the Nicholas subsequently captured and detained three people, the statement said.

The team discovered ammunition and several cans of fuel aboard the skiff, which was later sunk by the Nicholas.

Two more suspected pirates were captured on a confiscated “mother ship,” the statement said. The detainees will “remain in U.S. custody on board Nicholas until a determination is made regarding their disposition,” it said.

The Navy has to figure out what to do with the captured pirates? Gosh, that’s a tough one. Hey, I have an idea:


USS Nicholas, FFG 47. A third-generation guided missile frigate of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, she was laid down as Bath Iron Works hull number 388 on 27 FFG47 and launched 23 April 1983. Sponsor at her commissioning there on 10 March 1984 was the same Mrs. Edward B.Tryon who sponsored DD 449 in 1942.

Nicholas was designed to provide in-depth protection for military and merchant shipping, amphibious task forces, and underway replenishment groups. Her 453-foot (loa) hull displaces 3,183 tons and her gas turbine power develops 40,000 shp for a single screw, giving a top speed of 30 knots. Normal complement is 17 officers and 198 enlisted men.


USS Nicholas visiting New Orleans


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/01/2010 at 02:07 PM   
Filed Under: • Pirates, aarrgh! •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 30, 2010

Coastguard opens fire on Somali pirates to save hostages.

I can’t even begin to pronounce Seychelles.  Whoever they are, pretty good job. 

Coastguard opens fire on Somali pirates to save hostages

A Seychelles coastguard vessel opened fire on Somali pirates holding six of its nationals and 21 Iranians during a rare high-seas military intervention in the Indian Ocean.

The six Seychellois fishermen were safe, said Joel Morgan, the island nation’s minister for transport and environment in charge of antipiracy, while the Iranians and the pirates were in the process of being rescued.

He explained that six Seychellois fishermen were captured by Somali pirates southeast of the archipelago’s main island Mahe over the weekend and transferred to an Iranian dhow that was earlier captured with its crew of 21.

The coastguard vessel reached the pirates as they were 255 nautical miles northwest of Mahe, heading towards Somalia.

Mr Morgan said the pirates ignored the coastguards’ audio calls to release their hostages and did not alter their course when warning shots were fired.

“We took the decision to open fire on the engine compartment, 10,000 12.7mm rounds were fired ... and we continued our harassment operation until we achieved what we wanted, which was to set fire to the engine,” he said.

Mr Morgan said all on board had to jump off the boat but nobody was wounded.

“We rescued the six Seychellois, the 21 Iranians are being rescued and the Somalis will be rescued too,” he said.

Over the past year, ransom-hunting Somali pirates have drifted away from the heavily patrolled Gulf of Aden to launch their attacks further out at sea.

The Seychelles, whose economy relies heavily on tuna-fishing and tourism, has had several ships hijacked since 2008 and has since taken tough action to combat the scourge piracy, with robust international backing.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/30/2010 at 02:08 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - March 25, 2010

One Pirate Shot Dead, Six Captured While Attacking Cargo Ship Off Somalia

OK so, one vermin dead, good. Six arrested. Bad.  Why not throw them overboard tied to chains? Why bother arresting the scum?

I notice that someone has already suggested that now the pirate vermin may become more violent as a result.  So then what is the solution? Talking?

Kudos to the guards even though they only managed to nail one.

One Pirate Shot Dead, Six Captured While Attacking Cargo Ship Off Somalia

A spokesman for the EU Naval Force (NavFor) said the suspect was found dead by a team from an EU warship responding to a distress call from the cargo ship.

The death comes amid fears that increasingly aggressive pirates and the growing use of armed private security contractors on board vessels could fuel increased violence on the high seas. The handling of the case may have legal implications beyond the individuals involved in Tuesday’s shooting.

The guards were onboard the MV Almezaan when a pirate group approached it twice, said Cmdr John Harbour, the NavFor spokesman. During the second approach on the Panamanian-flagged cargo ship which is United Arab Emirates owned, there was an exchange of fire between the guards and the pirates.

Crews are becoming increasingly adept at repelling attacks by pirates in the dangerous waters of the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. But pirates are becoming more aggressive in response, shooting bullets and rocket-propelled grenades at ships to try to intimidate captains into stopping.

Several organisations, including the International Maritime Bureau, have expressed fears that the use of armed security contractors could encourage pirates to be more violent when taking a ship. Sailors have been hurt or killed before but this generally happens by accident or through poor health. There has only been one known execution of a hostage despite dozens of pirate hijackings.

International navies have killed about a dozen pirates over the past year, said Harbour. Hundreds more are believed to have died at sea.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/25/2010 at 07:46 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - March 03, 2010

Pirates Go For Coal

Somali pirates set to gain from Asia coal boom

Booming Asian demand for South African coal will put more ships at risk from Somali pirates operating in the Indian Ocean and raise insurance and freight costs already hiked due to seaborne attacks.

Emboldened by rising ransom payments, Somali pirates have stepped up attacks in recent months, making tens of millions of dollars by hijacking ships in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

While pirates have hijacked oil tankers, passenger ships and yachts, they have started to target slow moving coal bulk carriers, which are easier to overcome than a large tanker.

Asia, led by India and China, could take 75 percent of South Africa’s 65 million tonnes of thermal coal exports in 2010 as demand shifts from glutted Europe, putting many more ships in the gun sights of Somali pirates, analysts said.

That’s right folks, there’s a boom market going on in coal. Sure makes me proud we have a super-genius president who has promised to bankrupt the coal industry! China and India can’t get enough of it, and they will burn it any damn way they want. Kind of makes me wonder if all this green movement stuff, this “clean coal” is all just NIMBYism. Not In My BackYard. Please, do you have the slightest, smallest belief that any factory in India or China is going to have the scrubbers and the purifiers in the smokestacks like powerplants and factories in the USA do? And you know where that coal dust lands that gets burned in China? In Oregon and California.

So, I wonder if the US is getting a nice big piece of the sales for that asian coal boom. WTH, we could dig it up, send it by train over to the west coast, then ship it across the Pacific, and come nowhere near any of those Somali pirates. Think of the money that would save! Think of the jobs saved or created! Think of the profits to be made: right now, thermal coal is selling for $90/mt in China. $69.40/mt in South Africa. But only $63.75/mt for high energy low sulfur Appalachian ( 1mt = 1.1st). There is REAL MONEY to be made in this kind of carbon trading!

A senior shipper said piracy risk cover on a voyage from South Africa to India added $30,000 on top of the basic insurance cost. A further $40,000 to $50,000 had to be added for longer diversions aimed at avoiding pirates.

So the pirates are adding nearly $80 grand in costs per shipment. Thanks. And businessmen are starting to get fed up:

“It is a massive area and there are just not the warships to patrol it,” said Peter Hinchliffe, marine director with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents 75 percent of the global shipping industry.

Hinchliffe said it was vital to ensure the “free and unhindered passage of world trade by sea”, urging the targeting of mother ships.

“We are seeing governments effectively not doing much more than putting a sticking plaster over the problem,” he said.

Others are just burning joss sticks and hoping their karma works out

Some of India’s biggest coal traders said they doubted much could be done to combat piracy.

“We haven’t been affected so far, perhaps we’ve just been lucky,” one major coal trader said.

Oh, about those US coal exports. South Africa is digging up 65 million metric tons of it, and selling 3/4 of that to the far east. I read somewhere the USA mined 1,150 million metric tons of it in 2008, and managed to export just more than 73 million metric tons.  Most of that was coking coal used for steel production, which sells for about $16/mt. Thermal coal, the stuff you’d fire the boilers with, goes for $70-100/mt usually. And to top it all off, WE IMPORT COAL. Huh???

Coal imports totaled nearly 31mt, down 2mt from 2008, but in line with expectations.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/03/2010 at 10:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Oil, Alternative Energy, and Gas PricesPirates, 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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