Saturday, October 22, 2005

Dangerous Waters

Piracy has never gone away. Indonesian waters have long been the most pirate infested waters in the world. Now the coast of Somalia has joined Indonesia as a region for mariners to avoid. Pirates are not like the cute Jack Sparrow character played by Johnny Depp. These are human scum who know no law or morality. They usually kill everyone they come across.

There is only one cure for piracy. Every Navy in the world should be involved in killing pirates.

Pirates hijack ship off Somalia.
Pirates have seized a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia, local officials have confirmed.

They said the Maltese-registered ship, Pagania, was attacked late on Wednesday as it sailed from South Africa to Europe with a cargo of iron ore.

The hijackers are reportedly demanding a $700,000 (£394,000) ransom for the release of the ship and its crew, all believed to be Ukrainian.

More than 20 ships have been seized or attacked in the area since March.

The International Maritime Bureau - which records such attacks - has recently advised ships "to keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast".

A UN-chartered ship carrying food aid to tsunami victims in northern Somalia, the MV Semlow, was released this month, after being held by hijackers for 100 days.
See the related linked included with the article.

See also;
Murders by pirates 'on the rise'

Rise in Murders, Kidnappings at Sea Makes Piracy a Top Naval Priority Worldwide
The Nigerian naval escorts were of no help to Americans Ryne Hathaway or Denny Fowler. The pirates who attacked their boat on the Olero Creek in Nigeria's Western Delta State April 23 gunned them down, along with five Nigerians.

Armed with Kalashnikov rifles, the pirates had drawn near the Americans'’ vessel -- possibly using military-style dress as a ruse -- and demanded that the escorts throw down their arms. The escorts refused and the pirates opened fire. Hathaway and Fowler, both Texans, had gone to Nigeria in April as contractors for ChevronTexaco Corp. to assess the feasibility of resuming drilling operations that had been shut down due to escalating tribal violence.

Weeks later in the Strait of Malacca, a narrow channel between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula notorious for violent attacks on shipping, the Indonesian transport Ikan Murni was boarded by two dozen pirates armed with automatic weapons. Waiting near Berhala Island, the pirates fired on the ship and boarded. Twelve crewmembers jumped overboard and were later picked up by local fisherman.

The pirates, believed to be Aceh separatists [who want an Islamist state, btw - ed.] in Indonesia, kidnapped the ship'’s master and another crewmember, and abandoned the ship. They demanded a substantial ransom for crewmembers'’ release, but authorities decline to say whether a ransom was paid. The owners of the Ikan Murni hired a tugboat to bring the ship back to shore, according to an account in "Tale of a Modern Pirate Gang" by piracy expert Mark Bruyneel.

Lawlessness on the High Seas

These incidents, and hundreds more like them each year, help explain why international piracy has become a top priority for military and police officials from Southeast Asia to Africa and the United States.

"The seas are unpoliced and unregulated and, therefore, attractive to those who want to exploit or abuse them," said U.S. Navy Secretary Gordon R. England. Speaking in July at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., England said, "On average, more than one ship each day is attacked, robbed, hijacked or sunk."
The effort to kill all pirates should be global. In fact there is significant international cooperation in this mission, mostly by the Americans, the Australians, the British, and others who have not given up on themselves (count the French out).

Of course, the UN in its effort to support all that is evil, covers for the pirates in the MV Semlow case, Somali pirates 'not looting aid'
The UN has denied reports from local residents that pirates who seized a ship carrying tsunami aid to Somalia have started looting the food.

"Our contacts in the region assure us that the vast bulk... of rice aboard the MV Semlow has not been taken ashore," the UN's Robert Hausser said.

Weeks of talks have failed to secure the release of the ship and its crew.
Of course, the piece quoted at the top of this post reports that they have been released. Sadly, no pirates were killed.

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