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JohnH1963
April 11, 2009, 10:27 AM
The best way I can think of is to utilize the training that I received in the military. When you are faced with an overwhelming force, the best way is to literally run, hide, bunker yourself in, buy time and keep on the move. Thats how I was trained in the military to deal with an overwhelming force.

The worst thing you can do is surrender as that will only encourage more of these encounters. While your safety might be bought by some larger corporation and you will be eventually released, the point is that you are simply endangering others by encouraging the pirates or terrorists.

My best advice is to not allow yourself to be captured. If you are about to be captured, then go on the offensive even if it means that you will die. You have to think about others in your defensive actions. If you simply surrender and give in to the demands of the pirates/terrorists then you will live to see another incident on CNN with other people getting captured and killed.

I certainly wish that the government would come to their senses and allow these sailors on the seas to carry weapons. Resistance is the only way to stop these encounters from happening even if it does mean a certain disaster.

I have written a lot about how Bernard Goetz was one of the best crime fighters in NYC who had prevented attacks on innocent civilians and made the job of the police much easier. After the Goetz incident, muggings and other such thievery seemed to decline. Although Goetz had spent a year in jail for the incident, he saved lives and prevented crime on a scale that the police could not do.

My advice is if you are in a situation involving terrorists or pirates to evade capture at all costs. If you are presented with a situation of imminent capture, then to fight your way out of it even if it proves to be fatal. Most of all, do not give up the ship or aircraft even if weapons are pointed at you.

To surrender and become a POW only further assures lawlessness and disorder.

I applaud the actions of the crew of the Maersk Alabama for not simply giving up the ship to pirates and terrorists who want to make our world less free. Do not give up your ship, your aircraft or your car. Evade, resist and fight.

GUNSITE
April 11, 2009, 10:45 AM
I think private shipping companies who sail hostile waters need to hire private security forces (Xe).

Wildalaska
April 11, 2009, 10:51 AM
How do you defend yourself against pirates and terrorists?

I dont go where pirates and terrorists hang out:)

WildthentheonlytacticalrollsineddtoworryaboutarearoundmywaistlineAlaska TM

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 10:59 AM
In private maritime vacationing, a pump shotgun, mini-14 and a .45 cal pistol along with the required flare gun is going to hold off all but the most hardened determined pirates. I have personally seen one sportfish boat that was brought in by a pair of guys who docked it and bugged out. Boat was never reported stolen as the owner was never heard from. His family did know he had headed for the bahamas but never made the requisite check in call...
I ain't voluntarily getting victimized by anyone... And on the high seas "I AM THE LAW"...
Brent

jhenry
April 11, 2009, 10:59 AM
I agree, although I would prefer USN personel on US vessels. Vessels flagged from other nations could use private security. Not every ship needs to have security either so long as the pirates don't know which one. Pirate mother ships, as they are called, or even those skiffs they use, would make good practice drones for 5 inch deck guns or rapidfire cannons. Pirates deserve nothing more than atomization by gunfire. Selecive atomization at their lair seems just fine to me also, with concurrent hostage rescue.

Ian0351
April 11, 2009, 11:02 AM
I totally agree with the OP about encouraging terrorism by playing along. When people around the world live in fear of terrorists and decide not to take part in activities they otherwise would, terrorists win. I believe the appropriate reaction of both governments and citizens is to retaliate, not negotiate. Personally, I am deeply offended that the skipper of Maersk Alabama is still in enemy hands and no overt moves have been made to secure his freedom. I am very proud however of the sailors who used ingenuity and cunning to secure their vessel from the pirates without weapons and protect not only their lives but their employers property and the aid shipment they were carrying.
I would like to second the OPs military training (which correlates with mine) to run when you have to, stay alive as long as possible, utilize any tactical advantage, and when you can't run fight 'til the bitter end. You guys didn't plan on living forever did you?

ltcdoty
April 11, 2009, 11:07 AM
The shipping companies should take a lesson from the WWII German Navy and create a couple of surface raiders. Two or three old freighters loaded with shipping containers that the sides flip down exposing deck guns or mini guns or what ever. Kind of like a giant concealed carry weapon:) They will never know who is armed or not. If they start to recognize the armed ships, send them to a port and repaint them and send them out again...:D

Vanya
April 11, 2009, 12:04 PM
In private maritime vacationing, a pump shotgun, mini-14 and a .45 cal pistol along with the required flare gun is going to hold off all but the most hardened determined pirates.

It makes total sense to me to be prepared to defend yourself, whether from so-called pirates, or drug runners looking for nice, speedy and/or innocent looking craft.. whatever the threat.

But just for the record, it's not accurate to label these pirates as "terrorists," if you define terrorism as politically motivated violence. Some of them are gangsters looking to make a quick buck. The kind of ransom they're getting is a great return on investment: if you figure, as this source from Reuters (http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/26/the-business-case-for-high-seas-piracy/) does, that buying new AK's, an RPG or two, and a speedboat sets you back around $25,000, and a potential ransom may run well into the millions:as this article notes, piracy can be an excellent business model.

But according to this piece in the Independent, (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html) the current outbreak of piracy off the Somali coast actually began as a homegrown, "coast guard" type response to two things: dumping of nuclear waste off the coast, and illegal fishing -- both by European-registered vessels -- following the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. So it's possible to argue that the people we're calling "pirates" started out as, umm, patriotic defenders of their homeland...

And according to the Reuters piece, Xe/Blackwater is working with maritime insurance companies to make it cheaper for shippers to hire them to protect their vessels; the main reasons shippers don't currently carry security forces come down, oddly enough, to cost/benefit ratios and concerns about liability. So it's just another business opportunity...

So, all this chest-thumping about dying rather than submitting to terrorists is a bit naive, and arguing that workers should be willing to die in order to protect the profits of their employers just seems -- sort of creepy, in my opinion.

Carne Frio
April 11, 2009, 12:13 PM
Pirates/terrorists ? Don't matter what you call them, they all be murderous,
scurvy ridden scum. Kill them wherever you find them, including their home
bases. The countries that are victimized already have the ability to do this,
if only they had the will. :D

kraigwy
April 11, 2009, 12:15 PM
Pirates arnt a big problem in Wyoming, I dont really feed the need to put cannons on my canoe.

Dingoboyx
April 11, 2009, 12:21 PM
The satelites that cruise around in our atmosphere can get live real time imagery in darknes and thru clouds and on a clear day can track a mouse in a rainforest, or see if the captain of a ships girlfriend is sunbaking on the deck of the ship.

You cant tell me someone in a little room somewhere cant watch pirate boats and see where they come from, who they are stalking and who they attack. Having to build (or tie up existing) vessles to escort fleets or whatever isnt neccessary. They can monitor the shipping lanes from the atmosphere, now?

If they want to get rid of the pirates, and put off the newbie pirates from wanting to become pirates, and they want to get rid of nuclear waste, they could spread a rumour that a certain ship is carrying billions of dollars of gold or something, get one of the ships out of the ghost dock, load it up with the nuclear waste, remote control it to somalian waters, wait til the pirates are attacking it and blow it (& the pirates) up :eek::D

Simple.... :cool:

Just this BS diplomacy getting in the way I guess?

Am I right? or shall I go back to sleep? :D

David Armstrong
April 11, 2009, 12:24 PM
If you are about to be captured, then go on the offensive even if it means that you will die.
Sorry, but my main responsibility is to get home to family alive, not worry about what mighthypothetically happen in the future.
I certainly wish that the government would come to their senses and allow these sailors on the seas to carry weapons. Resistance is the only way to stop these encounters from happening even if it does mean a certain disaster.
So your view is that it is better that thousands of tons of food be destroyed, or that millions of barrels of oil pollute the water and air, untold dozens or hundrfeds of good, hard-working people die, etc. rather than some insurance company make a payment? Wow.

So, all this chest-thumping about dying rather than submitting to terrorists is a bit naive, and arguing that workers should be willing to die in order to protect the profits of their employers just seems -- sort of creepy, in my opinion.
+1, Vanya.

Stevie-Ray
April 11, 2009, 12:27 PM
Pirates arnt a big problem in Wyoming, I dont really feed the need to put cannons on my canoe.Not yet anyway. May come a time when you'll want a punt gun mounted on there though.:D

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 12:35 PM
David, No one is suggesting these crew members blow up their own boats... And an RPG is going to be grossly inaccurate if fired from a 20 something foot open craft that is trying to get on plane to escape the barrage of defensive gunfire from an armed crew.

What I cannot fathom is any one who reads the tactics and training section of a fine forum such as TFL expecting high seas sailors in known dangerous waters being unarmed and defenseless against armed assault and risk of violent death at the hands of pirates...

Maybe guns should be banned from US citizens as we are in a much safer place and don't need the right to defend our selves!:mad:
Have a wonderful day though!
Brent

Brit
April 11, 2009, 01:02 PM
Spoke to a friend of mine who trains Merchant Marine Officers, he said they can carry weapons (M14s for one) Rifle and ammo government supplied, whilst in that sea corridor, two watch keepers with rifles, harden parts of the superstructure, issue night vision devices.

Direct communication to US Warships, attack helicopters are on those vessels. Missiles for mother ships, .308s for motor boats.

Self defense is a good thing, this is for the sailors protection.

chris in va
April 11, 2009, 01:20 PM
I certainly wish that the government would come to their senses and allow these sailors on the seas to carry weapons

They are allowed. The company chooses not to have them aboard for various reasons.

jgcoastie
April 11, 2009, 01:24 PM
And on the high seas "I AM THE LAW"...- Hogdogs

Actually I am the law on the high seas...

Spoke to a friend of mine who trains Merchant Marine Officers, he said they can carry weapons (M14s for one) Rifle and ammo government supplied, whilst in that sea corridor, two watch keepers with rifles, harden parts of the superstructure, issue night vision devices.


The only problem with that is the outrageous insurance rates that companies would have to fork over to allow their crews to be armed...


I have an idea... Send a couple of 270' WMEC's, and a handful of 110'WPB's over there... We are more flexible in our law enforcement regulations than the Navy is... This is one of our many specialties... And we've been doing the job longer than they have... Not sure why the CG hasn't been called into the mix yet... Darn squids...

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 01:35 PM
JG, The USCG may be the ultimate law in federal waters and holds a bunch of power in international waters... I think the fact that a captain can still marry aboard his vessel and hold on board gambling and prostitution as well as defend with any required force against mutiny and piracy, my statement wasn't far off base:D

I haven't heard any word of these capacities being removed from the captain of a vessel.

I also know the range of the average VHF radio is extremely limited and the time for response to a call at the distance from shore to international waters and the speed of the responding vessel requires the captain to handle the situation on their own...
Brent

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 01:41 PM
As far as the USCG being called to duty over there... I am not entirely happy that the Coast Guard ever got the power to do more than GUARD THE COAST OF THE USofA... Heck they are not even DoD... The job of anti Piracy in the hay day of sailing ships was that of the NAVY and the duty to defend the coast and handle law enforcement of federal waters was that of the USCG... I also don't feel that our government might should be used over there to escort COMMERCE vessels unless they are being billed fully for the "SERVICE". At which point it would be much more affordable for these shipping firms to hire security firms to be aboard the ship.
Brent

Vanya
April 11, 2009, 04:09 PM
I also don't feel that our government might should be used over there to escort COMMERCE vessels unless they are being billed fully for the "SERVICE". At which point it would be much more affordable for these shipping firms to hire security firms to be aboard the ship.

I completely agree with this.

But at the moment, given that the main threat is economically motivated piracy, in which the goal is to take the ship and crew and hold both for a ransom which the shippers' insurers will ultimately pay, it's still not clear that it's in the shippers' interest to arm their vessels, either by making the crews responsible for defending them or by paying for private security contractors to be aboard. There are hundreds of ships passing through those waters every day, and the risk that any one will be targeted is infinitesimal: according to the Reuters article I cited above, in the first 9 months of last year the International Maritime Bureau reported 36 hijackings of ships, against a number of vessels totaling 50,525, so, worldwide, the probability of a given ship being hijacked is around one tenth of one percent.

So it's much more cost-effective to carry insurance and pay a ransom than it is to put ships and crews at risk by trying to defend them. It's no different from a bank's telling its employees to hand over the money in the event of a robbery: it is just not worth it to put lives at risk by resisting, given the odds that the robbers, or pirates, are just after the money.

And the idea that a naval presence will either deter this type of piracy or be effective in dealing with these incidents is also problematic. From the same Reuters piece:

To make pirates think twice about the risk-reward ratio, nothing is likely to be as effective as brute force. But those who warn that 18th century methods can be problematic in the 21st can now point to the example set by the Indian frigate Tabar on November 18.

According to the Indian navy, the Tabar had come under fire from a suspected pirate mother ship that had failed to obey a command to stop. The Indian frigate returned fire, “in self defense.” The ship blew up in a ball of fire and sank.

A week later, it turned out that the suspected mothership was a Thai freighter that was being taken over by pirates when the frigate approached.

Not a great outcome, to say the least.

ssilicon
April 11, 2009, 04:15 PM
I saw a recent interview where a shipping exec was asked why they do not arm the crews. He gave a (not unexpected) half truth of "due to international and local laws where the ship travels". Anyone who did not know better, would take that to mean that they are not allowed to arm their crews. But that is not so at all! The real truth is, if they do arm them, then they have more hoops and red tape to jump through when going into and out of ports and this slows their process down some.

So... the TRUE answer why they do not arm their crews is...

We value less red tape in our operations than the risk of safety of the crews.

Absolutely despicable.

JohnH1963
April 11, 2009, 04:53 PM
Hi David,

Resisting and going on the offensive may mean you never return to your family and indeed die a certain death. It may mean you may be placed into a jail cell or be wounded to the point where a limb may have to be cut off.

However, one thing is for certain, others will be able to live and the persons who commit such crimes will be offered a deterence from ever doing something like this again.

If the hijackers knew they would encounter resistance from the passengers or the pilots, then maybe they wouldnt have hijacked the aircraft on 9/11. Maybe the planes wouldnt have reached their intended targets. If burglars or crooks know that they would encounter an armed person in their acts of thievery, then maybe there would be less stealing....

In reading American history, you learn that not everyone simply stood by to become victims. I am very happy for those who sacrificed themselves throughout American history so that others could live free.

If I died at the hands of a terrorist or pirate after resisting, then my son would be proud that his Dad did the patriotic thing...the right thing.

Having a free society means that some must make sacrifices. Therefore, if it came down to it, I would do what I had to do to stop such things from happening.

Its not about a ship full of cargo, its not about me coming home to my family...its about freedom. If the ship has to sink, if I have to die then thats a small price to pay so others can live and sail the sea in freedom.

I hope that this crew's actions set an example for all. Its better to resist and make a statement to all those that want to commit such acts of terrorism and outright hooliganism. Its not the easy thing to do, but its the right thing to do.

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 05:03 PM
JOHNH, Great post... The saying... "all gave some while some gave all" comes to heart! I have many relatives buried on foreign soil and shark poop in pearl harbor givin their lives to not only our freedom but the freedom of other nation's citizens so ultimately we remained free. I don't want to die a hero but I refuse to die on my knees! I know of one ol' timer radio operator who never went on a single freighter trip without his Gen 1 Colt 1911. He retired with full honors from the shipper at over 80 and never had a write up in his company file. He would have gladly taken a dismissal for what he would have called justified use of the pistol. But what did he know he was just a radio man on WWII bombers.
Brent

jgcoastie
April 11, 2009, 05:04 PM
I think the fact that a captain can still marry aboard his vessel and hold on board gambling and prostitution as well as defend with any required force against mutiny and piracy, my statement wasn't far off base

Fair enough... I was just trying to mess with ya a little bit :D

As far as the USCG being called to duty over there... I am not entirely happy that the Coast Guard ever got the power to do more than GUARD THE COAST OF THE USofA... Heck they are not even DoD...

The CG had that authority since it's inception. And the fact that we are not DOD gives us more lee-way than the Navy. They are a combat-oriented organization. Combat, as in war. We are not at war with the pirates as the US has not declared such.

On the other hand, one of the CG's primary duties (especially since 9/11 and DHS inception) is law enforcement/enforcement of laws and treaties on the high seas and US territorial waters.

When a similar situation transpires on land, do we call in the Army or Marines? No. We let the law enforcement agencies handle it (local, state, federal). When a situation such as this transpires in a maritime environment, the CG should be taking the lead, not the Navy (IMO). The CG is the premier maritime law enforcement agency in the world. Most of our allies who have a similar service call upon the USCG to train and advise their personnel at all levels. Happens many many times each year. Why do they ask for the CG's advice and expertise? Because we're the experts.

A bit of U.S. Code which defines our LE duties;

14-USC-2
The Coast Guard shall enforce or assist in the enforcement of all applicable Federal laws on, under, and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; shall engage in maritime air surveillance or interdiction to enforce or assist in the enforcement of the laws of the United States; shall administer laws and promulgate and enforce regulations for the promotion of safety of life and property on and under the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States covering all matters not specifically delegated by law to some other executive department...

14-USC-89
The Coast Guard may make inquiries, examinations, inspections, searches, seizures, and arrests upon the high seas and waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, for the prevention, detection, and suppression of violations of laws of the United States.

For such purposes, commissioned, warrant, and petty officers may at any time go on board of any vessel subject to the jurisdiction, or to the operation of any law, of the United States, address inquiries to those on board, examine the ship's documents and papers, and examine, inspect, and search the vessel and use all necessary force to compel compliance...

MrNiceGuy
April 11, 2009, 05:07 PM
If I were to see pirates coming at me, I'd simply order my private yellow submarine to dive and dive quickly.

they'd have a hard time catching me 20,000 leagues under the sea.

alberich
April 11, 2009, 05:34 PM
I don't understand what's the matter with the Somali pirates. IIRC the photos, it's like a bunch of savages on inflatible gum boats with AKs attacking the ships. I've seen the boats floating side by side with these captured ships. Now, can somebody explain how do they climb up to the merchant wessel deck looming some 5 meters above them without the merchant's crew cooperating?

Another thing I don't understand: looks like some two machine gun crews properly equipped would easily repel the attacking pirates. Can't imagine their Zodiac boats afloat when pierced by bullets. Also the crew makes a nice target from upside. Heck I'd dare to say that any halfdecet shot armed with a selfloading carbine would wreck the pirate boat easily since the big ship won't rock that much compared to the small speedboats, and then the fire from the larger ship must be way more accurate.

Finally, the pirate bases are well known. They were named in the press already. So why not to pay a visit and raze the place?

Concerning the captured captain - muslims react pretty well to a counter captures. There is a story about a Russian contingent on a visit in Chechnya during czar period.
The muslims captured one officer and demanded a ransom. The commander ordered all the messengers to be hung leaving only one alive. Then he moved his troops to a home village of the kidnappers. He ordered his men to arrest all men including the priest and then sent the lone surviving messenger back with an ultimatum: the officer wil be returned immediatelly or all the elders of the village and the priests will die.
Now his officer was returned in some 2 hours time with all respect complete with his horse.

Ian0351
April 11, 2009, 06:12 PM
Having a free society means that some must make sacrifices. Therefore, if it came down to it, I would do what I had to do to stop such things from happening.

damn right. It isn't machissmo, it's principles and values. Which, for the record, is why we speak English without an accent in this country (not colony).

Another thing I don't understand: looks like some two machine gun crews properly equipped would easily repel the attacking pirates.

from a former USMC zodiac coxswain: you'd be surprised what talented and enterprising men can do with a little rubber boat and a couple of balls.

and FWIW, this isn't a coast guard responsibility, it's a Marine Corps responsibility. We knew how to deal with piracy on the Barbary coast and we know how to deal with it now... if only the suits in Washington would let the pros do their jobs my brothers in green would show these lowlifes how deadly a zodiac can be!

Wagonman
April 11, 2009, 06:46 PM
What's with the hating on the Coasties?

I have heard nothing but good things about them.

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 07:42 PM
I would never hate on the Coast Guard nor the coasties that serve! I am against the imposition that politicians have used by extending their duty. They were well busy enuff with the original duty. Viet Nam did not need the USCG but they were there too. The navy goes around the world kickin' butt as Navies do but the USCG by name is to guard the coast of this nation...

Brent

JohnH1963
April 11, 2009, 07:43 PM
I dont understand why the crews of these ships cannot be at least armed with pistols or have a specifically trained and licensed private security force on board...lets say a few Blackwater guys armed with assault rifles.

At this point in time, there is no way the Captain will come out of this alive except if the ransom is paid. If the ransom is paid, then that will send a message to terrorists, hijackers and pirates that all you have to do is take an American hostage and you will eventually get what you want.

The only solution at this point is either armed intervention or letting them sit until they starve. Any attempt to pay the ransom will result in increased future hijackings and more "human shields".

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 07:47 PM
Every ship should have an arms locker with 10-20 shot guns and 10-20 mini-14's and a gob of ammo. A few should be loaded and put to sentries as soon as away from the protection of their last port to call. the officer charged with ship security and awake at the hour should have the key to the locker at his ready. Pistols should also be at the ships use but individuals should, IMHO, be allowed to bring their own.
Brent

David Armstrong
April 11, 2009, 11:35 PM
David, No one is suggesting these crew members blow up their own boats...
OK, I didn't suggest it either, so I'm not sure where that comes from.
And an RPG is going to be grossly inaccurate if fired from a 20 something foot open craft that is trying to get on plane to escape the barrage of defensive gunfire from an armed crew.
That is a rather interesting assumption with little or nothing to support it.
What I cannot fathom is any one who reads the tactics and training section of a fine forum such as TFL expecting high seas sailors in known dangerous waters being unarmed and defenseless against armed assault and risk of violent death at the hands of pirates...
Just as I cannot fathom folks who read the T&T section of a forum such as TFL who think they know better than the professionals in the business, who almost unanimously say arming crews will generally be a bad idea. In fact, it is such a bad idea that the companies that insure the ships charge a HIGHER premium if the crew is armed.
Maybe guns should be banned from US citizens as we are in a much safer place and don't need the right to defend our selves!
Not sure what that has to do with fighting pirates.

David Armstrong
April 11, 2009, 11:46 PM
However, one thing is for certain, others will be able to live and the persons who commit such crimes will be offered a deterence from ever doing something like this again.
That is far from certain, it is not even likely.
If the hijackers knew they would encounter resistance from the passengers or the pilots, then maybe they wouldnt have hijacked the aircraft on 9/11. Maybe the planes wouldnt have reached their intended targets. If burglars or crooks know that they would encounter an armed person in their acts of thievery, then maybe there would be less stealing....
If, maybe, maybe, if...how about some facts instead of guesses? I've seen very little evidence to suggest that previous failures on the part of others has had any significant deterrent value on the part of those who have followed them. If anything it usually means the violence factor is escalated, not that the incidents stop.
If the ship has to sink, if I have to die then thats a small price to pay so others can live and sail the sea in freedom.
But sinking the ship and dieing will not do much of anything to help others live and sail the sea in freedom.

Everybody needs to re-read Vanya's post #20.

hogdogs
April 11, 2009, 11:56 PM
You asked for it...
So your view is that it is better that thousands of tons of food be destroyed, or that millions of barrels of oil pollute the water and air, untold dozens or hundrfeds of good, hard-working people die, etc. rather than some insurance company make a payment? Wow.

Above is why I said...
No one is suggesting these crew members blow up their own boats...
It ain't like these crews are going to destroy the tons of food or pollute the oceans and shores with crude oil...
But I guess you allude to the pirate destroying the ship in battle...???
And an RPG is going to be grossly inaccurate if fired from a 20 something foot open craft that is trying to get on plane to escape the barrage of defensive gunfire from an armed crew.

That is a rather interesting assumption with little or nothing to support it.
Obviously you never tried to shoot clay birds off the back of a 23 foot fiberglass boat boat at 1-3 knots in one to 2 foot seas let alone 4-6 foot swells? Now try the same thing as the boat accelerates! And it is far easier at the transom with a thigh under the gunnel than forward facing with a 2 handed over the shoulder held RPG! Some of us have done extreme things with less than stellar results!
BTW we soaked cases of clays in Menhaden oil and shot them as "chum" in our trolling pattern... Noise and visual attraction of the clays splattering on the surface were superior to just piddling the oil on the surface. When we drug our baits thru the residue we got great hits...
We also dropped catfood cans but would toss them up to be shot too... better spread! But anyway the point is we had under 5 or 10 percent hit ratio when the seas were over 2 foot or if the "cap'n" decided to goose the throttle.
Brent

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 12:19 AM
It ain't like these crews are going to destroy the tons of food or pollute the oceans and shores with crude oil...
Right, which is why suggesting they would is rather silly, IMO.
But I guess you allude to the pirate destroying the ship in battle...???
Don't even have to destroy the ship to breech the hull, or to start a fire, etc.
Obviously you never tried to shoot clay birds off the back of a 23 foot fiberglass boat boat at 1-3 knots in one to 2 foot seas let alone 4-6 foot swells?
I really shouldn't even have to point this out, but shooting clays has almost nothing in common with hitting a ship bigger than two football fields.

Old Wanderer
April 12, 2009, 12:23 AM
Some years ago I had a large sail boat and traveled the pacific. I wanted to go to Thailand and would have to cross the Straits of Malacca, which has been know for a hundred years for pirates.

I was able to purchase a 105 recoiless rifle, 100 rounds of ammo, and solid mount for it. Unfortunately I did not make that trip, and stayed in the south pacific (women again. :barf:), but I often still fantasize about what would have happened with a pirate and this 73' sail boat when they met.

There is no defense that is ever better than a strong offense.

I am positive if the seal teams that are present were not being micro managed by these pencil necked geaks in DC, the problem would be over.

Even my unprofessional self can see how a small underwater charge to pop a hole in the boat, would make sorting out the pirates pretty easy when the boat sinks.

Hooking a 1/4" cable to the bow and towing them away would be another answer.

A discreet application of some colorless/orderless gas would be another non-lethal solution.

hogdogs
April 12, 2009, 12:56 AM
It ain't like these crews are going to destroy the tons of food or pollute the oceans and shores with crude oil...
Right, which is why suggesting they would is rather silly, IMO.
You said the loss of cargo and pollution... NOT ME!
But I guess you allude to the pirate destroying the ship in battle...???
Don't even have to destroy the ship to breech the hull, or to start a fire, etc.
To breech the hull is to "DESTROY THE VESSEL"... for the most part...
Obviously you never tried to shoot clay birds off the back of a 23 foot fiberglass boat boat at 1-3 knots in one to 2 foot seas let alone 4-6 foot swells?
I really shouldn't even have to point this out, but shooting clays has almost nothing in common with hitting a ship bigger than two football fields.
Have you ever fired any gun from a bucking vessel?
Have you ever tried to accurately place a top water lure 150 feet from the bow at 6 knots? To a weed line that is several football fields long? what is the accurate range of an RPG? From a bucking vessel?
Keep in mind the wake from a 15-20 knot ship is 4-6 foot at minimum (never seen it so small) and more like 6-8 foot or more? These ships lumber along at 15-20 knots in a shipping channel and have no steerage at under 6-10 knots. The fastest 23 foot 'glass center console I fished on had well tuned twin 150 horse power outboards and would run a wide open low fuel no supplies max speed on high octane 53 knots FLAT OUT! we never caught up to a ship a couple miles away to fish their prop wash and we did try. The few we came alongside we were never closer than a quarter mile due to wake created swells and fear of being shot as pirates (it is illegal to approach too close to a ship in american waters... a cruise vessel cannot take on a passenger or supply from ANY vessel) were running 25-30 knots give or take....
These pirates are in rough wake created seas just approaching let alone trying to flee a defensive crew! They ain't at the fire ready on approach. They are at the forced boarding ready on approach... send them a bunch of love notes written on lead postage stamps and watch them run like cockroaches in the lights!
Offensive defense as stated is the only acceptable way to handle pirate/terrorists on the high seas! Always has been!
Many ships have been lost battling pirates but countless others were left alone due to the same offensive technique.
Mr.Armstrong, I am sure you do not have what it would take to traverse the high seas in a pleasure vessel let alone command or own a commercial vessel in dangerous waters. You are not in the required capacity of this realm. It takes a survivalist mindset of all degrees to handle this.
A lucky shot I am ready to soak up so long as I did everything I could to defend! But to have violent armed desperate thugs awaiting my boss to pay them off is not in my capacity.
What about when these insurance companies start refusing renewal of policy? One high dollar robbery of your home could cause a refusal of renewal. One 30,000 dollar burglary caused my electrical employer to be refused after 17 years without a single claim to nationwide. What we did was took turns sleeping in the "job trailer" that was robbed fully armed until we finished that job. 60 days total... 30 each we spent the night alone with a .44 revolver, SKS and 12 gauge pump next to the cot. I had no investment nor insurance protection... Just loyalty to the boss who takes care of me and provides a means for me to earn a living.
Rant squelched... Others can carry on!
Brent

Tucker 1371
April 12, 2009, 01:49 AM
I dont see why they can't just give the shippers a few M4s, M1As, and shotguns.
It's not like one ship crew is going to bring down an entire country with just small arms.

Hirlau
April 12, 2009, 01:50 AM
Start with their "homeland", their safe harbors, destroy them. Let them live off their boats. How long do you think it will be, before they choose a different occupation.

hogdogs
April 12, 2009, 01:54 AM
Hirlau,.... Not freakin' long at all!!! :D Just to be fired on by each targeted vessel for a few tries and the piracy gig would be far too much risk versus reward ratio to be profitable to even the poorest terrorist!
Brent

Ian0351
April 12, 2009, 02:21 AM
I really shouldn't even have to point this out, but shooting clays has almost nothing in common with hitting a ship bigger than two football fields.

ummm... where to begin here... have you ever ridden in a zodiac in stage 3 seas? have you ever fired a shoulder fired rocket? I have never attempted the two at the same time, because it is a genuinely bad idea. Hitting a Main battle tank with a rocket is genuinely difficult at 200 yards, in a kneeling position with no additional factors. Combat stress makes it more difficult and rolling seas makes it infinitely moreso... basically same odds as hitting a flying helicopter (don't believe hollywood, unless it's taking off or landing it's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) at full speed. Even if the ship is huge, an effective kill shot is going to be relatively small area (20 square meters or so), not to mention the fact that ransoming the crew requires you not sink the ship. While many of these pirates do carry rpgs, I have yet to read about a ship being rocketed.

Also, in response to an earlier post regarding the differences between pirates and terrorists: kidnapping and extortion are comon weapons in the terrorist arsenal, as are drug trafficking and extortion. Add in the recent surge of fundamentalist islamic revolutionaries in and about the Somalian sphere of influence and it's not too hard to imagine that at least some of these pirates have economic or idealogical ties to terrorists. So, as far as I'm concerned, the response of an individual or a government should be the same: no deals, no talking; mess around with the USA and get hurt where you live.
You don't like it? Move to France, commie.

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 07:26 AM
You said the loss of cargo and pollution... NOT ME!
Don't know why this is so hard to understand. The loss of cargo, etc. would not be from the crew blowing up the ship (your idea), it would come from the fighting, with the pirates doing the destruction.
To breech the hull is to "DESTROY THE VESSEL"... for the most part...
Many hulls are breeched without destroying the vessel.
Have you ever fired any gun from a bucking vessel?
Yes.
These pirates are in rough wake created seas just approaching let alone trying to flee a defensive crew! They ain't at the fire ready on approach. They are at the forced boarding ready on approach... send them a bunch of love notes written on lead postage stamps and watch them run like cockroaches in the lights!
No, they are not in a rough wake, they are at the fire ready during approach, and they have been under fire before, so again, a lot of assumptions without anything to really support them.
Offensive defense as stated is the only acceptable way to handle pirate/terrorists on the high seas! Always has been!
It seems a large number of professionals in the field disagree with that assessment.
Mr.Armstrong, I am sure you do not have what it would take to traverse the high seas in a pleasure vessel let alone command or own a commercial vessel in dangerous waters. You are not in the required capacity of this realm. It takes a survivalist mindset of all degrees to handle this.

Yawn. I am sure you haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about when you make such comments, particularly when it comes to my cpacity. But again, you don't have to take my word for it, the professionals in that business are virtually all in agreement with me and against what you propose. That is fairly indicative of who has the correct mindset to handle this.
What about when these insurance companies start refusing renewal of policy?
Doesn't happen. Th insurance of commercial cargo vessels is not at all like you homeowners insurance.

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 07:33 AM
ummm... where to begin here... have you ever ridden in a zodiac in stage 3 seas? have you ever fired a shoulder fired rocket?
They don't attack in stage 3 seas, and yes, I've fired many a shoulder-fired rocket, including RPGs.
Even if the ship is huge, an effective kill shot is going to be relatively small area (20 square meters or so)
Depends on how you define a kill shot. The area that is vulnerable can be as much a 700 meters by 100 meters.
not to mention the fact that ransoming the crew requires you not sink the ship. While many of these pirates do carry rpgs, I have yet to read about a ship being rocketed.
Think that the ships crew not shooting at the pirates has just a little bit to do with that?

hogdogs
April 12, 2009, 07:50 AM
An rpg that doesn't sink the boat is a failed shot.

Mr.Armstrong I do apologize for assuming your lack of previous maritime experience.
But these shippers do not have their crew's safety in mind. Just the bottom dollar.

These approaching pirates are on a lurching boat and at high speed. They are never on smooth water. I already quantified this by stating wake and ship speed.

Kill shot on a vessel is not just a hit. It must fully destroy the vessel or at minimum render it non-mobile or uncontrollable forcing it to come to a near stop. I am not experienced with RPG but I thought they explode upon impact of a solid material... They aren't likely to pierce the hull then detonate inside. If I am correct this means it is not likely to get to the powerplant. Into the wheel house would be very destructive I concede.
I do hold fast to the crew defending them self and be danged if it takes an extra 2 hours entering a port to declare the ships defensive armaments. This is about the life and liberty of law abiding citizens... NOT CARGO OR VESSELS!!!
And you just keep believing that the insurance company will ALWAYS pay ransom claims and NEVER refuse to renew policies! Lemme know how that works out for ya... The fact that they are only in business to make money says to the lay person that there is a bottom in that cash barrel...
But to heck with the boat, cargo, and money! Allow the crews to legally protect them selves. They don't pay enuff to subject yourself to the risk
Brent

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 09:52 AM
An rpg that doesn't sink the boat is a failed shot.
No it is not. An RPG round that disables the ship can work. An RPG round that blows up some highly volatile material and starts the ship burning is not a failed shot. There are a lot of problems that do not involve sinking the ship.
But these shippers do not have their crew's safety in mind. Just the bottom dollar.
Keeping crews safe is a part of that bottom dollar.
These approaching pirates are on a lurching boat and at high speed. They are never on smooth water. I already quantified this by stating wake and ship speed.
But the pirates don't always lurch around at high speed in the wake of the ship. They can pull alongside. They can be at the front. You seem to be assuming there is only one angle of attack and only one method of attack., which is not correct. Note that our Coast Guard and Navy don't seem to have much trouble getting rounds onto much smaller and faster ships on a regular basis.
I am not experienced with RPG but I thought they explode upon impact of a solid material... They aren't likely to pierce the hull then detonate inside.
An RPG can work its way through light armor. It will blow up assorted physical structures and penetrate buildings. A ships hull may or may not cause it much trouble, depending on distance and other factors. And of course the pirates can be equipped with much more than RPGs.
This is about the life and liberty of law abiding citizens... NOT CARGO OR VESSELS!!!
I'm not sure why some people seem to think that getting into a fight helps people stay alive. If you are dead you do not have life, and I'm not sure how much liberty is available inside a coffin. Would you care to hazard a guess how many hostages the Somali pirates have killed in the last 2 years? And of course it is about Cargo and Vessels. That is usually the main reason for the piracy, the ransoms for the crews is just a little extra on the side.
And you just keep believing that the insurance company will ALWAYS pay ransom claims and NEVER refuse to renew policies!
Piracy on the high seas has been going on for centuries, and the insurance companies are still writing policies. I doubt this little burst of activity is going to do much to change that.
The fact that they are only in business to make money says to the lay person that there is a bottom in that cash barrel.
LOL!! I sometimes wonder if people have taken even the slightest bit of effort to find out the facts behind some if these things. Yes, there is a bottom to the barrel, but we aren't even close to starting to think about the bottom. In spite of the recent media attention, piracy is still an extremely rare event for commercial shipping, and even with recent payouts the maritime insurance business is making LOTS of money. In fact, they are doing so good that recent maritime insurance rates have gone DOWN!
But to heck with the boat, cargo, and money! Allow the crews to legally protect them selves. They don't pay enuff to subject yourself to the risk
So increasing the risk to the crews will make things better? I think not.

Creature
April 12, 2009, 10:01 AM
Got to agree with David Armstrong here on every point.

A RPG is not designed to sink ships. Exocet and harpoon missiles are. An RPG was designed to defeat lightly armorered vehicles. The hull of a ship is no barrier for an RPG...unless your on a WW2-rea battleship. A RPG can cause moderate damage depending on the model, but it will almost never sink a ship that is in Material Condition Yoke or better.

As for shipping companies that are not concerned for the crew, I can tell you that any shipping company that doesn't care for it's crew isn't long for staying in business. Seamen and merchant marines are not stupid. Word gets around just like in any other business. And shipping is obviously a business with a very small community of sea-going employees.

skydiver3346
April 12, 2009, 10:18 AM
Well, Somalia is a country in turmoil, etc., so any suggestion of the government (which is actually a number of warlords, etc) working to prevent pirates from their takeovers is ridculous. They actually encourage piracy and are getting to be millionaires out of this. The Pirates are considered "heros" in Somalia as a recent news video I just watched was showing.
No, the bottom line to prevent these incidents is this:
Unless you are in a merchant ship that is carrying Liquid Petroleum Gas, Crude Oil and/or other explosive cargo, each ship should should defend itself and let it be known to the world, it will do so. For the ships which are carrying explosive type cargo, they should get a military type escort as it makes sense (for obvious reasons, it is too risky to shoot back and forth at those carriers). For the hundreds of other merchant ships who go through these waters, their crews should be throughly trained on defensive weapons such as pistols, shotguns and maybe some well placed (around the ship) Browning .50 caliber MGs. When these pirate "fast boats" get to close, warn them with bull horns. If they continue to approach the ship, fire warning shots over their bow, letting them know their intentions to defend the ship. If the pirates continue to close the gap and/or fire on merchant ship, ELIMINATE THE THREAT instantly. Not many of those "fast boats" could withstand .50 cal rounds and continue onward.
I truly believe that after this is done, that there will be a lot less boardings by pirates in the future (if at all). Fight fire with fire. If not, one of these days the pirates will kill all of the seamen when the ransom is not paid, or something goes wrong in the takeover, etc.
That is just my opinion on how to "fix" this mess.

jamiejaf
April 12, 2009, 10:20 AM
...with a Browning M2 mounted on the deck. :D

Tennessee Gentleman
April 12, 2009, 10:38 AM
Interesting Article on this subject: http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/04/08/to-stop-pirates-do-ships-need-firepower/

One of the concerns is if the ship's crews are armed and fight back then the pirates may just up the ante and use heavier weapons fired from farther away. The Pirates apparently have the money and could probably purchase bigger vessels and arms. However, the one crew DID fight back and threw off the pirates. I also read that some cruise ships are using some type of directed energy weapons (and speed) to try and repel these pirates

IMHO the bases of these pirates need to be ID'ed and then dealt with militarily if possible. I think the Marines did it once and wrote a song about it.:) But I know that it is hard to patrol such areas and more so than people think.

JohnH1963
April 12, 2009, 11:12 AM
The M2 has a maximum effective range of 2000 meters or about 1.25 miles. An RPG has an effective range of 500 meters. An AK47 400 meters.

A pintal mounted M2 with tracers could easily rain down a few hundred rounds and easily sink one of those small boats before they come into range. There are also other variants such as the Bushmaster.

There are many advanced systems out there where the M2 can be operated automatically and quickly zero in on the target and neutralize it.

I cant think of any craft the pirates operate that would survive a hail of bullets from an M2. Even if the craft did survive, the pirates would be hunkered down. The pirates do not have access to any weapons with the range of an M2.

The best solution at the end of the day is this...a rifle and a pistol...

Oh, one small fact about the RPG. There is a significant backblast and its use aboard a smallboat would be dangerous. The smallboat bobbing up and down would also make it difficult for the shooter.

Notice how the man behind the RPG is killed. He does not get up after the incident. The man sitting directly below the RPG is wounded to the point where he is cowering on the ground holding his head apparently severely injured.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yscc5x7-dAM

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 11:39 AM
The pirates do not have access to any weapons with the range of an M2.
Being as they are in Somalia, they have accesss to many weapons with the range of an M2, including M2s of their own. There are plenty of recoiless rifles, portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, assorted Surface to Air missiles, TOW anti-tank missles, etc. What some folks either forgot or don't know is that the U.S. was the major supplier of weapons to Somalia back in the 1980s when they were our friends, and before that Russia gave them huge amounts of weapons including tanks.

Hook686
April 12, 2009, 11:43 AM
I avoid areas that have a reported high level of traffic by terrorist and pirates.

amprecon
April 12, 2009, 11:51 AM
I am having trouble understanding the prolonged intricate dialogue in the media in regard to a simple question. My answer is for Americans to cowboy up for a change. Nobody can protect yourself better than yourself. It makes me sick to hear people offering the advise to cower in a corner and wait until the cavalry arrives.
Step one, have a weapon, step two, use that weapon to protect yourself and your shipmates.
Good lord I hate lawyers, make you second guess the legality of living.

Ian0351
April 12, 2009, 12:03 PM
IMHO the bases of these pirates need to be ID'ed and then dealt with militarily if possible. I think the Marines did it once and wrote a song about it.

Well said sir. That's also how Marine Officers acquired the fancy sword they wear to this day.

Oh, one small fact about the RPG. There is a significant backblast and its use aboard a smallboat would be dangerous. The smallboat bobbing up and down would also make it difficult for the shooter.

FWIW the American "equivalent" of the RPG (actually superior to the RPG) has a back blast of 50 meters for the propellant and 85 meters for debris, and they are very hard to aim while moving.

Also, I think it bears repeating that the best way to defend against piracy is not to travel in areas frequented by pirates. Especially, for the moment, the
Gulf of Aden.

David Armstrong
April 12, 2009, 01:15 PM
Step one, have a weapon, step two, use that weapon to protect yourself and your shipmates.
How about protecting your shipmates by not starting a fight where they will get hurt or killed? Folks, I appreciate fighting when it is likely to help the situation, but it seems sort of silly to do it when it is likely to make it worse. Again, there is a reason that most all the experts in the field give the same advise, and that advise is that arming the crews will make things worse, not better.

Naterstein
April 12, 2009, 01:43 PM
Hire Ninjas.

Hondo11
April 12, 2009, 01:52 PM
At this point in time, there is no way the Captain will come out of this alive except if the ransom is paid. If the ransom is paid, then that will send a message to terrorists, hijackers and pirates that all you have to do is take an American hostage and you will eventually get what you want.


http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/12/somalia.pirates/index.html
Captain is safe and 3 out of the 4 pirates are dead.


While everyone was wringing their hands and saying, "Why aren't they doing anything?".....well, they were doing something.

JohnH1963
April 12, 2009, 02:02 PM
I have never fired a weapon aboard a ship. I wonder how accuracy would fly out the window with the ship constantly moving up and down. Automatic weapons would probably be the best tool on board one of these ships.

Well, this was the best possible outcome. The pirates getting killed and the Captain being freed. However, look at how the Captain did it. He kept resisting. He jumped into the Indian Ocean twice. After the first time, automatic weapons were fired. Then he did it a second time despite the risk of certain death.

This is how to behave when you are captured. If he had simply sit in the corner and let the pirates do their business then that would have only encouraged more pirate attacks.

No sir, the government did nothing in this instance. "They" did not do anything. It was one brave Captain and a crew who decided to intervene and not let these pirates get away with it yet again.

I do not support the conventional advice of waiting it out patiently with your captors or raising the flag of surrender. That doesnt work, it never worked. The Captain did something, the crew did something...it had nothing to do with the Navy.

The military teaches their soldiers well. Survive, evade, resist, escape...thats how everyone should think when confronted with these types of situations. Dont let yourself become a victim.

Creature
April 12, 2009, 02:10 PM
I have never fired a weapon aboard a ship. I wonder how accuracy would fly out the window with the ship constantly moving up and down. Automatic weapons would probably be the best tool on board one of these ships.

I have....and accuracy is not as nearly as adversely affected as one might expect. While pin-point accuracy and tight groupings are more difficult to achieve, rolling dips and swells are much easier to compensate for than say the inconsistent bumping and jerking one encounters while onboard a helicopter.

bamafan4life
April 12, 2009, 02:42 PM
ill just bring peter pan to defend my self from pirates lol everything else the second amendment and 80 million nra members shall handle.

hogdogs
April 12, 2009, 02:59 PM
As creature points out, the ship has far less motion and more predictable than a small boat...
But anyway that is neither here nor there as this case will set the motion for other ship crews to fight back and re-take their vessels. Or better to fight first and avoid the taking of the vessel in the first place;) Congrats to Capt.Phillips!!! And to his crew a big ATTABOY as well!
Brent

Tucker 1371
April 12, 2009, 03:31 PM
3 Pirates dead, 1 captured, Captain Phillips safe. That oughta teach the bastards not to mess with an American ship ever again. GO SEALs!!! GO USA!!




btwFWIW the American "equivalent" of the RPG (actually superior to the RPG) has a back blast of 50 meters for the propellant and 85 meters for debris, and they are very hard to aim while moving.


I believe you're talking about the AT-4 and they've actually worked out a version that can be used indoors that has significantly decreased backblast...

thanks Future Weapons ;).



Happy Easter to all

SPUSCG
April 12, 2009, 04:35 PM
Hit them with a .22 while they try to climb on the ship, so they're still alive hitting the water but bleeding.....let the sharks do the rest. There are a lot of sharks in those waters.

skydiver3346
April 12, 2009, 09:10 PM
In the end, the Navy Seals and their guns took these scumbags out, (which is the only way to deal with pirates who take over ships and/or threaten our merchant seamen). I'll bet this at least will slow it down a little (at least on American ships) and make them think twice. But who knows, we may have to call the Seals again and again until the threat goes away. But at least, someone acted and ended the situation. Someone higher up the command ladder must have given the go ahead to take them out. Give that man a cigar!

Wildalaska
April 12, 2009, 09:13 PM
Someone higher up the command ladder must have given the go ahead to take them out. Give that man a cigar!

Barack smokes cigs :)

WildheshowedhehadasetAlaska TM

skydiver3346
April 12, 2009, 09:30 PM
Not that high up Ken, as I don't believe he has the guts to make that kind of a call as yet.

Wildalaska
April 12, 2009, 09:40 PM
Not that high up Ken, as I don't believe he has the guts to make that kind of a call as yet.

Well if you believe the news he did...if you dont, he didnt...but knowing the way the government works, its clear that no go bang bang in international waters without POTUS approval

WildabsentrulesofengagementpermittingsameAlaska TM

armsmaster270
April 12, 2009, 11:05 PM
Sorry Wiid that's bul**** the Coast Guard does it all the time without POTUS and the Coast Guard is DOD they wear two hats DOD and Homeland Security We have at this time many small CG units in the War zone They were at Guadalcanal, The rivers and coast of Vietnam They are an Armed Force as well as Drug interdicters & SAR sailors.

pax
April 12, 2009, 11:49 PM
Not quite on topic anymore (if it ever was).

Feel free to PM me if you regularly sail as a merchant seaman in pirate territory, and want to re-open the thread to get more tips from the abundance of other experienced tactical sailors on TFL.

Closed.

pax