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Pirates...

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by AMG, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    NYCAP- This is post 126 made by you.

    If you cannot understand what you have written yourself do all readers of this board a favor and STOP posting, spurious and fanciful posts just waste bandwidth of this and every other forum online today.

    It's like saying to the pirates who by the way may well read this forum, do you want to fish with one rig or many- you answer this if you understand the question.
  2. strat57

    strat57 Member

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    Convoys of private yachts? Good Lord.... This isn't drug smugglers looking for the lone "go fast" or "sporty" to hijack and run a few "loads" for profit. Besides, the logistics involved with running convoys for commercial purposes alone is almost impossible.

    What with so many ships of differing origin/destination as well as being flagged from different nations..... getting all to agree on one method of protection or corse of action would be quite the diplomatic challenge.

    As far as U.S. involvement, consider this fact alone.... 60% of the oil used here in the good ol U.S. is imported from the region. I would say we have a vested interest in seeing to it those shipments make it through the area.... wouldn't you agree?

    Personally I have to agree with marmots' assessment.... a few minor oil slicks from pirate vessels that suddenly disappear, but add in a few "mercenary" (read military) strikes against the home ports of these pirates and things may begin to settle down some.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    We have a difference of opinion. I feel that a convoy of boats presents a threat to an attacker as they do not know if or which boats may be armed and fire on them while they're attacking another thereby making it a less likely target than the boat sailing alone. You feel a single boat alone is safer. Hopefully neither of us will learn first hand. In the mean time it's lone boats that have been victims. BUT "A handful of large patrol vessels scattered around the region, each receiving intelligence from the amazing amount available through military sources, could eliminate the problem in weeks." (Thank you Marmot) sounds like it could be a cure. Wonder when the operation will begin. In the mean time what do you suggest that boats in that area do to protect themselves?
  4. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "I feel that a convoy of boats presents a threat to an attacker as they do not know if or which boats may be armed and fire on them while they're attacking another ..."

    Let me get this straight ... you think someone on a yacht at sea is going to use a rifle and pick off skinny guys climbing a boarding ladder on another yacht while rolling around trying to keep out of AK and RPG range? You aren't seriously suggesting that yacht crews involve themselves in a firefight against men with automatic weapons and shoulder launched anti-tank weapons onboard another yacht at sea ... are you?

    "You feel a single boat alone is safer."

    I don't feel that any civilian vessel is safe in those waters at the moment.

    "In the mean time what do you suggest that boats in that area do to protect themselves?"

    Go somewhere else until the people who have the resources and the power to remedy the situation demonstrate the will to do it.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Marmot, I agree with you 100% (especially about going elsewhere), but some are there. Where I fleeing such a situation would I pop off a few shots to stave off possible persuers? You bet. Could one of the larger yachts have a security force? Those are 2 things that need to be considered when choosing whether to take on a single yacht or a convoy. Is it a guarantee of safety? Hell no. But according to Capt. J's post they do want to live a little longer.
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,
    If ya petticoat flutters let it flutter
  7. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    What a crock of sh--!! You don't negoiate with these with these low-life pirates. Nor do you ship them off to some other country.

    I think this poster got it just about right;

  8. Codger

    Codger YF Wisdom Dept.

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  9. brian eiland

    brian eiland Senior Member

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    Behind the Pirate Lines

    Behind the Pirate Lines
    Wed 26 Nov 2008


    'They attack with grenade launchers which can penetrate armoured steel to 60cm (2ft)'
    Piracy, always of great concern to the long range cruising sailor, is now engaging the minds of every commercial seafaring nation in the world,as time and time again they are held to ransom by a straggly bunch of ex-fishermen with RPG7's and missile launchers . Here we take a look behind the dramatic scenes into the world of the Somali pirates:


    Early last Tuesday morning Abdinur Haji, a fisherman from Harardere, was out fishing along this coast, as he does most mornings. 'As usual, I got up at 3 a.m. and went to the sea to go fishing. And then I saw this very, very large ship. It was anchored less than three miles from the beach. I have been fishing here for 30 years, but I have never seen such a huge ship.'

    The Sirius Star, christened in March, is one of the biggest ships ever built: 330 meters (1,080 feet) long, three times as heavy as an American aircraft carrier when fully loaded, too large for the Suez Canal, and for most ports. It is part of a fleet of 19 supertankers used by Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company, to supply the world with the commodity that creates wealth. The Sirius Star was en route from the oil terminals in the Persian Gulf to the United States, and its Polish captain, along with 24 sailors and officers, had planned to take the vessel around the Cape of Good Hope.

    The tanker's course was far from the routes where pirates have lurked until now. Some naval experts considered it unlikely that pirates would even dare to target such a colossus - and yet the task is easier than it would seem.

    A mother ship - either a traditional dhow or a fishing cutter - must have taken the men far out to sea, the attack boats in tow. This is the way the pirates normally operate. A radar device costs €1,500 ($1,875), and GPS receivers can be had for as little as €100 ($125). Finding prey on the high seas is easy, especially for pirates with time on their hands and a sack of khat. A popular drug among pirates, khat produces a euphoric high followed by mild depression during withdrawal, which is easily counteracted by chewing on more leaves. Time passes quickly for khat chewers.

    Perhaps the pirates knew about the Sirius Star's whereabouts in advance. According to experts on the region, the pirates have spies in port cities like Dubai. Their operations may also be coordinated and controlled by powerful backers.

    Once a target ship comes into view, the pirates generally move quickly. The attack boats dash off and pull up alongside the target ship. The men throw grappling hooks over the ship's side and use ropes and rope ladders to climb on deck. If the crew resists, with water from high-pressure hoses, for example, or if the captain attempts to out manoeuvre the attackers, the pirates are quick to threaten their victims with their weapon of choice, the RPG-7.

    The old Soviet rocket-propelled grenade launcher can hit a ship at 500 meters (1,640 feet). Propelled by a rocket motor, the grenade can penetrate armored steel up to 60 centimeters (two feet) thick. A captain sitting on 300,000 tons of oil would be well advised to surrender quickly.
    The pirates forced the crew of the Sirius Star to sail the tanker to Harardere and drop anchor there. When fisherman Haji saw the ship, two small boats were en route to the supertanker, with 18 men on board, followed by a third boat, carrying food and khat.

    A short time later Farah Abd Jameh, apparently one of the pirates, contacted the Arab television network Al-Jazeera to announce the gang's ransom demand: 'The ransom will be taken in cash to the oil tanker. We assure the safety of the ship that carries the ransom. We will mechanically count the money and we have machines that can detect fake money.' Another pirate said: 'The Saudis have 10 days to comply, otherwise we will take action that could be disastrous.'

    The pirates were originally believed to have demanded a ransom of $25 million (€20 million), which would have been 10 percent of the combined value of the Sirius Star ($150 million) and its cargo ($100 million). On Monday, however, sources from Somalia said that the ransom figure had been reduced to $15 million.

    A few years ago, ransom demands were normally on the order of several tens of thousands of dollars per ship. The shipping companies always paid, and prices rose. Today, the average ransom for a ship and its crew ranges from $500,000 (€400,000) to $2 million (€1.6 million).

    'London Has A Lot To Do With It':

    'The company is always required to bring the money in cash,' says piracy expert Roger Middleton, who has just completed a study on piracy in Somalia for Chatham House, a British think tank. 'After that, it is normally taken to Mombasa or Yemen, where it is turned over to security professionals. They load the millions onto small boats or tugboats, sail out to the hijacked ship, pull up alongside and hand over the sacks of money.'

    In many cases, the cash passes through the hands of several intermediaries. 'London has a lot to do with it,' says a security expert with International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. 'A number of law firms have specialized in the business,' says the owner of a Spanish fishing trawler who had to pay a ransom to get his ship back from the pirates. 'Sometimes one wonders whether the pirates are really in Somalia or perhaps in London.'

    The negotiations and money transfers usually take several weeks to complete. During this period, the pirates treat their prisoners on board the ships relatively well, says Colin Darch, a British captain.

    On Feb. 1, the pirates hijacked his Danish deep-sea tugboat, the Svitzer Korsakov. One of the pirates barked at Darch on the bridge: 'My name is Andrew. I speak English. This is Omar, our boss. Do as he commands.'

    They sailed the ship to Eyl, dropping anchor off the coast there. 'The pirates chewed khat all day long,' says Darch. 'We survived on cigarettes, goat meat and camel's milk.' The pirates occasionally chugged back to land in their boats to buy food. They initially demanded $2.5 million (€2 million) in ransom money.

    Control Risks, a British security firm, conducted the negotiations. The British drove a hard bargain, and eventually the two sides agreed to a ransom of $678,000 (€542,000) for the ship. 'It took them all night to divide up the money amongst themselves,' says Darch. After 47 days of captivity, he and his five-man crew were finally allowed to hoist anchor.

    Twelve hijacked ships are currently at anchor off the white sand beaches of Eyl. One of them is the MV Faina, a Ukrainian merchant vessel carrying a cargo of 33 tanks destined for shady African buyers. The negotiations are currently at about $8 million (€6.4 million), down from the pirates' original demand of $20 million (€16 million), Sugule Ali, a pirate leader on board the MV Faina, told Spiegel.

    Tempted by the new wealth, men are flocking to Eyl. Young pirates guard the ships being held hostage, provide reinforcements and prepare for new attacks.

    Their bosses drive large SUVs, use their spoils to have mansions built between the town's huts, invest in new restaurants and hotels to accommodate the influx of pirates, and are taking second and third wives. 'All you need is a boat and three guys, and already you're a millionaire, grumbles a former officer in the now long-defunct Somali navy.

    When you think about it, it doesn't sound too different from life in the Central Business Districts of many of the Western world's major cities.



    by FIP, translated by Christopher Sultan/Sail-World
  10. OutMyWindow

    OutMyWindow Senior Member

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    Sounds like they just substitute the Briefcase for a gun, simple enough.
  11. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    This just in:

    Two British and one Irish security guard have been plucked from the sea by
    a military helicopter after jumping from a chemical tanker seized by
    pirates off Somalia.

    Their decision to abandon the two dozen crew members still on board
    attracted some criticism, but their British employer insisted that the
    three former soldiers were heroes who had resisted a sustained attack by
    heavily-armed pirates with great courage and would have been killed if they
    had stayed any longer.

    "They were unarmed. They had no other option...As far as I'm concerned
    they
    deserve a medal," said Nick Davis, a former British army pilot who runs
    Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions (APMSS) out of Poole, Dorset.
    * * *
    They fired water cannon at the pirates, and zig-zagged. They also used a
    long range accoustic device (LRAD) which fires laser-like beams of
    excruciatingly-painful sound at attackers. They beat off three or four
    attacks but the pirates then began firing RPGs at the LRAD's operator.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article5253731.ece
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Why would a security detail (trained soldiers) be unarmed?
  13. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    "Why would a security detail (trained soldiers) be unarmed? "

    Because it is another example of how ridiculous this issue has become. The military, who have the resources and information to deal with this won't do anything, and every former soldier in the British Army who can't get a job someplace else holds himself out as a "security specialist" and s--t like this is the result.

    So much for the vaunted LRAD, so much for firehoses handled by unarmed "security specialists" ... this crap has rapidly gone out of control because despite the critical importance of shipping through this part of the world, there is no immediate threat to the income or well being of a politician or his/her family. This is so typical. There are hundreds of seafarers lost each year and dozens of ships sunk but unless one of them leaves an oil slick on the beach near a voter, you will never hear about it. Let these "pirates" punch a hole in the cabin of some well connected cruise passenger or an admiral's wardroom then maybe they will begin to grow a backbone and clean up the mess they are helping to maintain.
  14. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Credibility of unarmed guards in Somalia questioned

    By David Osler

    28 November 2008 Lloyds List

    Vulnerable ships, or those with highvalue cargoes, should either follow BIMCO’s advice and re-route round the Cape of Good Hope, or consider paying for armed support from a reputable provider.

    THE credibility of unarmed guards for vessels in the Gulf of Aden has come under renewed question after Somalian pirates hijacked the chemical tanker Biscaglia in broad daylight, despite the presence of a team of British security personnel onboard.

    To make matters worse, the owners say that the ship was within the Maritime Security Patrol Area, ostensibly a safe corridor for merchant shipping, and was following a French-led convoy.

    Maritime security sources stressed that while owners should not rush to get trigger happy, they need to be aware that simple three-man squads equipped only with non-lethal equipment were no longer enough to counter increasingly sophisticated and brazen pirate tactics.

    Vulnerable ships, or those with highvalue cargoes, should either follow BIMCO’s advice and re-route round the Cape of Good Hope, or consider paying for armed support from a reputable provider.

    The Liberia-flagged 27,350 dwt, 1986-built Biscaglia is operated and managed out of Singapore by Ishima.

    It had 28 Bangladeshi and Indian crew onboard at the time of its capture on Friday morning.

    The vessel is owned by Industrial Shipping Enterprises of Stamford, Connecticut, and was en route from Dumai, Indonesia, to Barcelona, laden with palm oil. A distress signal was received at 0447 hrs UTC, the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur said.

    The commander of French frigate Nivose Jean-Marc Le Quilliec told Agence France Presse that the attack was mounted by five Somalians in a fishing boat. He said the three security guards jumped overboard and were subsequently picked up by a German helicopter.

    The team were provided by UK company Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, which said: “We have been informed by coalition military authorities that three of our unarmed security staff were rescued from the water by a coalition helicopter and are onboard a coalition warship in the Gulf of Aden.

    “We have established procedures in place to deal with this and are working hard with the shipowners to assist in this fast-developing situation. Our prime concern is the safety of the people involved.”

    APMSS specialises in the use of non-lethal equipment, including acoustic devices that direct high levels of sound in a concentrated beam at potential assailants, with effects said to be debilitating.

    This latest incident brings the number of attacks on shipping attributed to Somalian pirates to 97 this year, and the total number of ships in captivity is 15.
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Interesting developments here in the last 48 hrs.

    It just goes to reinforce what I posted earlier and was supported in a later post by Stan Antrim ( A man who can honestly say he has a lot of experience in dealing with the bad guys)about the uselessness of LRAD as a weapon.

    The time for armed security teams is here- and has been for a while!

    If participating naval vessels set up a staging area at the eastern approach to the Gulf of Aden and the Sthn end of the Red Sea it would be quite a simple matter to deliver and retrieve these guys from ships as they pass.If they were lifted on and off by helicopter at each end of the transit from a participating naval vessel this would remove the issue of countries not want ing to have these guys embarking and dis embarking on their soil.
  16. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I still think it is better to remove the threat than to establish elaborate procedures to defend individual vessels.

    Disarm or destroy the threat and there won't be any need to indulge in a logistically complex and probably ineffective response.

    If the civilized world doesn't do something at sea very quickly we will have a situation where there are so many ships being held by these scum that we wil have to invade a couple more hell holes and deepen the quagmire we are already sinking into in that part of the world.

    This isn't rocket science or a "private security force" opportunity, it is a mop up operation. Board every suspicious vessel, disarm or destroy it. Game over.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It seems like this ship did everything almost right. And subsequently almost got the help they needed. "was following a French-led convoy." but were 2 hours away from getting help. Why not be in it? Had security on board yet had them unarmed. Whoever set up their security procedures should be fired.
  18. OutMyWindow

    OutMyWindow Senior Member

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    Here you go.....


    Blackwater gunboats will protect ships from pirates

    Wednesday, 19 November 2008

    The American security company Blackwater is planning to cash in on the rising threat of piracy on the high seas by launching a flotilla of gunboats for hire by the shipping companies. The firm, which gained international notoriety when its staff killed civilians in Iraq, has already equipped one vessel, called The McArthur, which will carry up to 40 armed guards and have a landing pad for an attack helicopter.

    The McArthur, a former survey ship, arrives in the Gulf of Aden, the scene of the recent high-profile hijackings and shootouts with Somali pirates, at the end of the year. It is to be joined by three or four similar vessels over next year to form the company's private navy. Blackwater, which has strong ties with the Republican administration in Washington, was the subject of investigations by the US Congress and the Iraqi government after its guards shot dead 17 people in Baghdad's Nisoor Square last year, a massacre which led directly to changes in law regarding security contractors in Iraq.

    Several security companies are rushing to the region despite the presence of British, American, Russian and Indian naval warships, among others, sent to protect ships. For fees ranging from £8,000 to £12,000 for transits of three and five days, companies are offering teams of unarmed guards, "non-lethal deck security personnel".

    With more than 60 ships attacked in the Gulf and ship-owners paying an estimated £75m in ransom for the return of crew and cargo, the security companies foresee a lucrative business.
    One US company, Hollowpoint Protective Services, says it is offering a comprehensive service of hostage negotiations backed by armed rescue operations if the talks fail. Eos, a British concern, says it favours a "non-lethal" approach with the use of sophisticated laser, microwave and acoustical devices. But Blackwater plans to have the largest and most heavily armed presence among the security contractors. The company believes that the presence of escorting gunboats will have a deterrent effect, with criminal gangs being forced to switch to more vulnerable targets.

    A Blackwater spokeswoman, Anne Tyrrell, said there have already been about 15 inquiries about its anti-piracy service. The company refused to reveal how much it will charge. Its executive vice-president, Bill Matthews, said the US Navy and the Royal Navy do not have the resources in the region to provide total security, opening up a role for companies such as his. He added: "While there are temporary needs that perhaps outpace the limited resources of the Department of Defence [Washington] and the Ministry of Defence [London], the private sector is available to fill those gaps.

    "We have been contacted by ship-owners who say they need our help in making sure goods get to their destination. The McArthur can help us accomplish that. We have not sought to enter the space until recently. It was not part of our business plan. But as the world changes, so does our business plan." Nick Davis, a former British Army pilot who runs a company in Poole called Anti-Piracy Maritime Security Solutions, said: "It frightens me that Blackwater is going down there. Their background is not in deterrence. Their background is in weapons. To me, the best people to be armed are the military. Pirates might approach McArthur without knowing it's a Blackwater boat and try to hijack it."

    Chris Austen, chief executive of Maritime & Underwater Security Consultants, in London, said ship-owners should be cautious about armed guards. "There are some flags that prohibit the carriage of arms or the use of violence. There are some insurers that will not accept it, and your insurance will be void."
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    " Pirates might approach McArthur without knowing it's a Blackwater boat and try to hijack it."
    Wouldn't that be just about perfect. Sort of like the crook that tries to rob a cop bar.:D