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U.S.-flagged ship hijacked off Somalia - but the crew re-takes it!!!

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the U.S. crew of that ship, showed some balls, and didn't just "sit back, do what the bad guys say, and wait for someone else to rescue you".

    Wonder if the crew had weapons on board? If so, how did they get access to them? Thinking about it, a hijacking at sea doesn't sneak up on you instantaneously. You see the bad guys coming, you can usually tell they're bad guys, and you probably have a few minutes to arm yourselves if you have the tools. No doubt the bad guys then disarmed them, of course, but maybe they missed a hideout on one or two of the crew?

    KUDOES to the crew of the ship!!!

    P.S. If the crew DIDN'T have weapons, then that makes the retaking of their ship even more impressive.

    -------------------------------------------

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D97ECKC80&show_article=1

    Pentagon believes US crew in control of ship

    Apr 8 11:00 AM US/Eastern

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon says the American crew of a hijacked ship has regained control of the vessel.

    Pentagon sources spoke on condition of anonymity because information was still preliminary. But sources said Wednesday the hijacked crew apparently contacted the private shipping company they work for.

    The shipping company, Maersk, has scheduled a noon news conference in Norfolk, Va.

    The ship was captured by pirates near the coast of Somalia, in what is believed to be the first hostage-taking of American sailors in 200 years.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
    _________________________________

    WASHINGTON (AP)—Across the national security establishment, the United States urgently sought answers Wednesday for what is believed to be the first American hostage-taking by pirates in 200 years. The crew of the U.S.-flag ship hijacked off the coast of Somalia was believed to be safe.

    President Barack Obama's chief spokesman said the White House was assessing a course of action. Press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that officials there monitoring the incident closely. Said Gibbs: "Our top priority is the personal safety of the crew members on board." The White House would say no more about what actions it was considering.

    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said there had been no communications from the pirates for ransom. But he would not go into military plans. "I'm not going to speculate on any future military actions," Whitman said, when asked what the U.S. military may do.

    The UK Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa), an organization run by the European Union's Naval Force, said the crew was safe. British maritime officials had been able to contact the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama, according to a U.S. defense official in Washington who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record.

    Another U.S. official said similar information about the crew's apparent safety was passed during a 9 a.m. EDT conference call Wednesday among U.S. national security, military and homeland security officials.


    (Full text of the article can be read at the above URL)
     
  2. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    There is no truth to the rumor that the "pirates" were in reality Tim Geithner and a number of Democrat Congresscritters, who came up to the ship, offered to "bail them out", were allowed to board, and then tried to take over.

    And were promptly tossed over the side by the U.S. citizens whose JOB it was to run such a ship.

    Nope, didn't happen that way at all.
     
  3. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I would be shocked if they "saw the pirates coming" and thus armed themselves. A ship, such as the one that was hijacked, could easily out run a speed boat trying to overtake it.

    If they saw the pirates coming, why didn't they outrun them? I don't know if they had weapons or not, and it is good they retook the ship, but it was not done by arming themselves before the hijacking.
     
  4. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    A speedboat designed (or at least selected) for piracy (i.e. catching freighters on the high seas) can't catch a freighter on the high seas?

    And the crew retaking the ship was not done by arming themselves before the hijacking?

    You know these things how?

    I guess I'm puzzled where you're getting your "facts".
     
  5. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ...........anyway well done to the crew, slap on the back for each!
     
  6. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    I was extremely glad to hear they took the ship but... but I also heard that there was still some hostage situation. Hope all our guys get out alright.

    I'd love to see one of our Navy ships get there with these A-Holes still lingering around!

    Pirate speed boats = great US Navy target practice... I hope!
     
  7. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Rest assured "Somali speed boats" are a relative term. Simply look at the pictures of these "boats" and then imagine one going 22 knots. Seems dubious. Further, there are multiple instances of attempting hijackings where the freighter simply outruns the pirates. There was the example of a cruise ship doing it pretty recently in fact. Given that the average speed of cruise ship sits around 20 knots (slower than many ocean going freighters) it seems logical to assume if they outran the pirates, a faster freighter could do the same.

    In fact, one of the main suggestions by the US Navy in order to try to prevent hijacking is travel at full speed through the Gulf of Aiden. This drastically limits your chances of being hijacked. Is it impossible, no, but the odds are in your favor if you are paying attention. Given that this ship was inbound to Kenya, I would predict the odds are slim it was going full speed, and they obviously did not see the incoming pirates, hence the hijacking.

    They very well could have done this, however I would be surprised if it was the case (which is what I said.) The pirates generally rely on surprise, which they get by the crew simply not paying attention. If the crew was not paying enough attention to notice the pirates coming at the ship, it seems dubious to me they were then able to quickly arm themselves to "retake the ship" upon its hijack.
     
  8. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    having not seen pics of these boats, my guess is they where in fact faster...or else they are very sneeky and I doubt that. Given the huge amounts of profits some of these groups make, I think many are going to have some pretty fast boats. though there is something to be said for them not paying attention in areas they realy should know this is a hazard.

    side note not related to that post....


    On the issue of arming the crews as some have suggested...the problem is that as ships arm them self to protect...the pirates use more aggressive tactics and firepower and we start seeing a lot more ships not able to take back the ship...as they are killed. They want money , not dead bodies, so they take the ships get there money and release the crew...they know if they start killing, they get more pressure on them, and have less leverage to deal with for cash...
     
  9. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    No, their boats are pieces of garbage, here are some photos of Somali pirates and their "speedboats."

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, you get the idea. They simply do not have boats that can catch a freighter going full speed (typically) in the open water. Typically crews just do not notice the pirates approaching and that is how they get hijacked.


    The other problem is if you don't bother to pay attention enough to see them coming in the first place (and then outrun them) having guns will do you no good because you will still be taken by surprise.

    On a side note however, there are many instances of African piracy where the intent was in fact to steal the ship and kill the crew. Often, the goals of the more organized groups, are to simply kill the crew and then take the ship somewhere and sell the cargo on the black market. If it started to occur, it would not be out of the norm.
     
  10. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    well like I said, unless those are the exact boats used, I am sure there is some degree of variance in what groups use what...but also you only need to get close...as a few RPG's in the side of a boat sucks....so they may stop the ship anyways...rather get jacked then sink....this of course could depend on your ship as well.
     
  11. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    I am sure that there are groups who do that yes, both in Africa and south east Asia where it is also a issue. But like I said, if it started to become the norm...I think we would see a major escalation in both firepower on both sides, and deaths. Also less and less traffic in the areas that are easy targets...thus less and less profits and more and more costs...its good economics to just take the ship get your money and let them go ...unless of course you plan to actuly keep the ship and sell it off and its cargo, but thats much harder then just take a few million cash and run.
     
  12. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    This whole incident is getting really confusing. Apparently the pirates (who were over-thrown by the crew), somehow left the ship in a lifeboat with the ship's captain.

    How did a group of pirates that had been over-thrown by the American crew, manage to 1)escape and 2)take the captain? Somebody is not telling the truth.

    In any event, as a former Naval Office, I am anxiously waiting to see what the Navy will do about this whole situation. For anybody who has not watched a movie in the last 10 years, you should know the Navy Seals (an elite group of special forces trained in combat at sea) are a mean group of combatants. I can kind of picture in my mind a group of perhaps 20 men suddenly popping up out of the water around the lifeboat with guns at the ready.

    This is the perfect situation for the Navy Seals to handle. They would look like heroes in the US and send a much needed message to the pirates that the US will willing to spend "millions for defense, not one cent for tribute" (a quote incorrectly attributed to Thomas Jefferson).

    I don't know how this will all turn out, but to my eyes, this is one terrorist attack where the US military finally has the ability to fight a skirmish on its own playing field. The terrorists are out in the open. No hiding behind civilians in this case - no where to run, no where to hide!
     
  13. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    its pretty clear how it happened if you read the accounts...they got one of there guys...the capt agreed to be there hostage if he let evryone else go and left ship.

    Also you need to go look up what terrorism is. This is not in any way terrorism...its Piracy. I would hope someone who was military would understand the difference.
     
  14. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ......indeed!.... I hope that's exactly how this works out because after the absurd decision taken by the owners of that Saudi tanker, paying the ransom only encourages these bastards.

    Apparently back in mud hut land these assholes are heroes with local women lining up to marry them......:mad:
     
  15. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I don't think a Seal operation would go exactly like that in this scenario. The lifeboat is not something like lifeboat from titanic, it is capable of being entirely closed off, which it is said to have been to avoid sniper fire. Therefore, any method to get into the boat and eliminate the pirates would have to open the outer doors of the lifeboat. While it could be done, it is quite a risky move, and would still allow plenty of time for the pirates to kill the hostage.
     
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