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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



image

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.

image

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.

image

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. 


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