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Old October 26, 2008, 06:49 PM   #1
B. Lahey
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Anti-Gun Security Company vs. Pirates

This article had me hooting and laughing at several points:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081026/...acy_protection

Quote:
"If someone onboard a ship pulls a gun, will the other side pull a grenade?" Mody asked.

British contractors stress the importance of intelligence and surveillance, and a safe room for the crew to retreat to if the ship is boarded...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you are locked in a "safe room" on a ship taken over by pirates, you are still a hostage, right? Seems like if they have the ship, they have you, no matter where on the ship you are hiding.

Quote:
"The standard approach is for (pirates) to come in with all guns blazing at the bridge because when a boat is stopped it's easier to board," said David Johnson, director of British security firm Eos. "But if you have guns onboard, you are going to escalate the situation. We don't want to turn that part of the world into the Wild West."
He doesn't want to turn Somalia into the wild west! I don't think he reads the papers much, seems like it's already there. How exactly do you escalate a situation where you are already being fired upon with machine-guns? That's about the highest escalation I can think of short of airstrikes and nuclear weapons, and the pirates don't seem to have an airforce.

Quote:
Currently, pirates often fire indiscriminately during an attack but don't aim to kill or injure crew.
I think they are mistaking poor marksmanship for a lack of lethal intent. Pretty silly.

Thank god for the "trigger happy" American contractors. I know who I would want on my ship.
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Old October 26, 2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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I am thinking that sinking a few dozen pirate boats would get the message across.
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Old October 26, 2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
But if you have guns onboard, you are going to escalate the situation. We don't want to turn that part of the world into the Wild West."
what the heck is wrong with this guy, did he not see Black Hawk Down?

its so hystarical to me that american buerocrats always have to make a big stinkin deal about stuff no one else cares about. believe me no one in somalia thinks this is a bad idea. third world countries have armed guards in Burger King and gas stations, its not big deal to put them on ships as well
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Old October 26, 2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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It's the British companies that were responsible for the dumber quotes from that article.

The American companies they talked to are heavily armed and did not seem interested in willingly becoming hostages.
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Old October 26, 2008, 08:14 PM   #5
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So what happens to the "safe room" if the ship is scuttled?
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Old October 26, 2008, 08:35 PM   #6
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Somalia passed the violence level of the "wild west" a LONG time ago. Having the crime level of the "wild west" would be a blessing to Somalia!
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Old October 26, 2008, 09:38 PM   #7
4V50 Gary
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JohnSKA raises a good point. The saferoom becomes a place of entombment if the ship is sunk. The trouble with a saferoom is the pirates can always blow a hole through the hatch with their RPGs. What if the pirates decide to lock the inhabitants in the saferoom? They can starve them out or take the ship to port with the prisoners out of the way. Saferoom aboard ship is a fallacy and it's better to outgun the pirates than attempt to hide.
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Old October 26, 2008, 11:34 PM   #8
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Well if the bulk of the crew was inside the safe room with communications gear, then the contractors would be more likely to send in a team to clear out the pirates I would assume, since there would be less of a chance of a civilian casualty. So yes, you may be trapped, but I'd rather be trapped and have a team come by and shoot everything that moves, as opposed to be captive at gunpoint waiting for negotiations to resolve the issue.

Still, I'd rather just have a sidearm and take care of myself. How large are the pirate forces anyways?
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Old October 27, 2008, 12:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
So yes, you may be trapped, but I'd rather be trapped and have a team come by and shoot everything that moves
Yeah, but nobody is sending teams in to rescue hostages. Not even the Russians. So far, once a ship is taken by pirates it stays under pirate control until somebody pays them off. Sad but true.

Hopefully that will change soon, but waiting for the cavalry makes no sense when there is no cavalry in the area willing and able to help you.
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:58 AM   #10
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I have a university professor who is an expert on maritime piracy. I asked him the other day why these crews don't just carry guns or have armed guards. he said it's because after they get a few days out to sea the armed guards (or the crew members with the guns) would realize they've got all the guns, and they'd start to realize all the power they had, and get some bad ideas. best idea, he said, is to keep all the guns off the boat. Hundreds of thousands of cargo ships sail every year without incident, so why pay for guards to just hang out on the boat 99 percent of the time?

Interestingly enough, he said the best defense against pirate attacks is a deck that's all lit up with flood lights. apparently pirates like attacking dark ships in the middle of the night. if you have your ship lit up like a christmas tree, they'll find another ship that's an easier target.
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Old October 27, 2008, 11:15 AM   #11
RainbowBob
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Quote:
Johnson believes his company's refusal to carry guns has helped attract business: inquiries have gone up three- to fourfold in the past few months.
They may get inquiries...and I'll bet when they find out the company doesn't have guns they let their fingers do the walking.
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Old October 27, 2008, 11:57 AM   #12
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Guys, we have almost 60,000 members here at TFL. How many of those do you suppose will actually find themselves in this situation?

Answer: Not nearly enough to warrant discussion .
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