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Somali Pirates seize super tanker

  1. Nov 18, 2008 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2008 #2

    LowlyPion

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    I'm all for that.

    Go in there and shoot first and ask later to any Zodiacs or speed boats far from the coast.

    Don't tell me they can't track them back to where they go back ashore and send in some Apaches to alter their waterlines.
     
  4. Nov 18, 2008 #3
    How the heck can some ruffians in a speedboat get aboard a super tanker???
     
  5. Nov 18, 2008 #4

    lisab

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    Seems that it would be easy to keep them from coming aboard, doesn't it?

    Installing some sort of locks on the control panels on the ship would be easy, too.
     
  6. Nov 18, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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    They're almost a quarter of a mile long with a deck covered in pipework walkways and places to hide. You would need a lot of people to patrol it.
    You have a crew contantly going in and out of the superstruture and the bad guys have machine guns so a few door locks wouldn't really help.

    Normally the pirates just want the petty cash so there hasn't been a huge amount of effort to stop them - rather like not stopping hijackers before 9/11.
    It looks like efforts might be improved, or at least ships provided with escorts.
     
  7. Nov 18, 2008 #6
    Do you guys even read the articles? The crew was all of 25 people. They probably were not well armed (if armed at all). All it will take is a few people with weapons to take it over, and then threaten the crew if they don't unlock any control panels.

    Edit: I mean really, how many people were on board the planes on 9/11, and they were hijacked by a couple of people with exacto knives. Only on one of the planes did the passengers manage to overpower the hijackers.
     
  8. Nov 18, 2008 #7
    I am confused how they got on the ship. Looking at super tanker photos, it's not like they dock next to the ship and step on. It looks especially hard if the tanker is moving at a fast click.
     
  9. Nov 18, 2008 #8

    LowlyPion

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    In some cases they don't I think.

    They just move up alongside a tanker with RPG's. A $100M tanker with a load of crude spewing in the Indian Ocean weighed against a ransom looks like chump change foreign aid to the Saudis.
     
  10. Nov 18, 2008 #9
    LowlyPion's suggestion would work, or just match speed and throw a rope up.
     
  11. Nov 18, 2008 #10

    mgb_phys

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    You just throw (or fire) a grapnel and climb up the rope. There are also a lot of ladders and gangways for pilot access etc. Because of piracy container ships are being more careful about stowing these but it hasn't been an issue for tankers upto now.
    The usual defence is a firehose - large ships have lots of high power pumps and a RIB doesn't do well if you dump a few 1000 gallons of water on it!

    It's quite hard to seriously damage a double hull tanker with an rpg or even crashing a speed boat into it, in addition it's not easyto set light to heavy crude.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  12. Nov 18, 2008 #11

    LowlyPion

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    You'd think that putting a few counter-insurgency troops on board with a bit of weaponry would be a surprise. Imagine if an Apache gunship launched from the deck and hunted then down and just flat destroyed all pirate boats in the area? No surrender permitted. Wouldn't they want to rethink their idea of easy riches?
     
  13. Nov 18, 2008 #12

    Art

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    You're sounding a lot like GWB :biggrin: jk
     
  14. Nov 18, 2008 #13
    i would be all for spraying them down with fuel if they get too close to the ship.
     
  15. Nov 18, 2008 #14
    For sure, who needs the all those sea creatures anyways.
     
  16. Nov 19, 2008 #15
    I'm going to withhold the judgment as to whether the pirates are bad guys or not for now.

    If you think about it, this new trend may be a side effect of an economic world crisis, and the effects it is having on the people who were already suffering massive crisis and famine.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/world/africa/17somalia.html

    If you ask how did some ruffians manage to get aboard a super tanker, my answer is that life will find a way. Really for all I know these pirates may be heros. I don't know what they are going to do with the 36,000 tons of wheat that they highjacked, but there certainly are a lot of Somalians who could use it. I hope the pirates do the right thing there. I bet their eyes lit up when they found out that the ship was full of grain. Jackpot

    The sad thing is that Somalia's main (almost only) export and source of income is food. The thing is that all of it gets shipped out to other countries who can afford to buy it.

    I don't want to pardon the acts of piracy, or intend to know that these pirates are modern day robin hoods, but hey maybe they are.

    Somalia is undergoing such horrible famine, but UN and other aids offering food won't go near the place in fear of being kidnapped or murdered. The result is that aid has been cut off.

    One main reason that U.N. workers are so threatened is due to a U.S. air strike on one of Somalia's most famine ridden cities in an attempt at killing a terrorist, carried out under GWB.
     
  17. Nov 19, 2008 #16

    Hurkyl

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    For someone opening with this comment, you spend a surprising amount of effort to judge them as good guys.

    You know, I don't want to call these guys villains intent on the destruction of all life in the western hemisphere, but hey, maybe they are!
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  18. Nov 19, 2008 #17
    I'm just saying they have the potential to be. When a nation is under the threat of being starved out of existence, you'd expect fearless pirates. This may be a new thing that we will have to lump with terrorism as we watch the results of a free market, globalization, depleting resources, overpopulation and a crumbling world economy.

    My main point was that, just that as the we move into the future, it is inevitable that many third world countries are going to increasing suffer.

    The second point is that people will do extreme things under extreme crisis, and it doesn't suprise me that people in such an environment would be so fearless about it.

    Third point, the irony that the piracy coencides with a world economic crisis, being felt most dramatically in places like Somalia. And the idea that some ruffians managed to hi jack 33000 tons of wheat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  19. Nov 19, 2008 #18

    Art

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    One less to worry about
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7736885.stm
     
  20. Nov 19, 2008 #19

    LowlyPion

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    None of those are excuses.

    They may be motivating factors, but they are no excuse to abandon civilization. They hijack for personal gain period. These aren't Robin Hoods. They should expect to be dealt with in the harshest terms, as the pirates of any age have been. And not just in Somalia but throughout the world wherever they prey. For instance the Strait of Malacca has been a hot bed for centuries.
     
  21. Nov 19, 2008 #20

    Borek

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    You may be absolutely sure they will not give the grain to those needing it. They will sell it for their own profit.

    One of the problems faced by all food programs is that distribution is ineffective, because local warlords do whatever they can to control the food to be sure they can sell it instead of giving for free. This is happening especially in such regions as Somalia, where nation is too week to enforce law and order.

    If you ask me - trap ship time. It worked during IWW, it will work this time.
     
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