Pirates?

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by luv2fly, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. luv2fly

    luv2fly Member

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    As follow the info about the Maersk-Alabama being taken over by pirates. I read that these merchant vessel's do not carry arms? I guess I don't know how things work at sea but, any U.S. vessel should have some sort of arms on board. Or is it just me?

    luv2fly
     
  2. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    Bet if these continue they will start to carry arms!! Now we have something else to worry about!!
     
  3. averx615

    averx615 Candidate

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    it would make loads of sense if they did. Just have an arms room like military vessels. When they are threatened, arm the crew. then we will see how those pirates like boarding american ships.
     
  4. kp13

    kp13 Member

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    I'm pretty sure the cargo ships are not allowed to arm themselves because of foreign port's laws.
     
  5. Mikesdad

    Mikesdad Member

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    Gun Lockers on the bridge along with trained Merchant Marines
     
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yeah, insurance policies and port laws are the problem.

    Personally, I think a 25mm Bushmaster would solve the piracy problem very efficiently...
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Merchant vessels may carry small arms, although many do not. Small arms can only do so much against AK-47s and RPGs, and you don't want to make 6 guys with AK-47s angry as you fire off a dozen rounds from your 9mm.
     
  8. KPMarineopsdad

    KPMarineopsdad Member

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    I believe there are also issues of maritime law. An unarmed ship has a "right of innocent passage" which allows it to travel unhindered through international waters. Taking on too many weapons could compromise this status. As was posted on another forum....This is why we have a navy, protecting sea lanes is
    part of their mission.
     
  9. MaritimeGirl11

    MaritimeGirl11 Member

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    and you cant fire apon unless being fired apon. and no US ships can not have small arms aboard. our training ship does not have any. we use fire hoses instead ;-)
     
  10. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    If they have fire hoses why were the bad guys not blated and sunk?
     
  11. MaritimeGirl11

    MaritimeGirl11 Member

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    Good question, must not have been enough of a blast for them.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That's not quite the concept of "innocent passage".

    Merchant vessels may have weapons on board; you OFTEN find fishing vessels armed as well.

    It's not a huge deal.
     
  13. wilbur5672

    wilbur5672 Banned

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    “Merchant vessels may have weapons on board; you OFTEN find fishing vessels armed as well.

    It's not a huge deal.”

    If the captain wants to keep a 9mm in his safe for "law enforcement" purposes or if a fisherman wants to carry a gun and play Ernest Hemingway if a shark gets in his nets is entirely different than a merchant ship armed specifically to deal with pirates.

    First off, why carry weapons? If it is to repel boarders, fire hoses are probably more effective. To add firearms to the situation would only escalate it unnecessarily. Ships also have lighting, radar, speed, and maneuverability in their favor. I am almost positive that when all is said and done, the Mersck-Alabama had let her guard down because she was outside the area normally frequented by pirates.

    Secondly, if the purpose of weapons is to overpower the pirates, a whole new set of issues arise. In the past, when we have involved the military in hostage operations, we sent in highly trained special forces. Ethically and morally, can we ask the same of a merchant seaman without comparable training? Would it be criminal to ask an untrained seaman to defend his ship against seasoned pirates? How much initial training? Since merchant crews are not permanent, how much ongoing training to ensure the teamwork so critical in this type of evolution? What would be the salary requirements of a SWAT merchant seaman? What would be the insurance premiums for a ship load of SWAT seaman? What would the unions say to a requirement that their members play John Wayne?

    It probably boils down, unions possibly aside, to an economic decision between the shipping companies and their insurers. The premiums are probably lower, and rightfully so, to pay a possible pirate ransom in lieu of payment to the bereaved family of a deceased seaman who, improperly trained (at least in the eyes of an "inpartial" jury), gave his life for a boat load of contaminated Chinese dog food. This has, I am sure, been discussed extensively between the insurers and the shipping companies. And a part of this discussion, again, I am almost positive, would be that the shipping company can, in no way, shape, or form, encourage, or even acknowledge, assault-type firearms aboard their ships.

    I think economic reality has made it what it is. The fact that it is the first US flagged vessel in over 200 years to be pirated is the real situation. How do we save face?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Why carry guns Wilbur? I assume in asking this, you have never been out to sea by yourself. Why would a fisherman have a gun on board? They carry tens thousands of dollars in catch, and the ocean is a big place. You have to worry about leaving your GPS in the back seat of someone could break into your car and take it. Now picture tens of thousands of dollars in catch on a boat that barely makes 10 knots, and everyone around them know what they've been doing over the past 10 days. Can I blame them for carrying a gun? No, no more than I can blame you for locking the doors on your car.
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Also the Maersk Alabama well within the "pirated" area, as you can see cases since January that have occured almost 500 miles out, in those same waters.
     
  16. wilbur5672

    wilbur5672 Banned

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    "You have to worry about leaving your GPS in the back seat of someone could break into your car and take it."

    Not quite sure I totally follow your analogy. I suppose I should carry a gun to protect my GPS. If fishing catch theft is so rampant, I am surprised it is so well hidden by our news media.

    "Also the Maersk Alabama well within the "pirated" area, as you can see cases since January that have occured almost 500 miles out, in those same waters."

    Again, just what I read. The following article is symbolic of all the news agencies. Increased naval patrolling combined with the good weather of late has caused them to venture further afield (or would that be asea) than ever before:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,618374,00.html#ref=rss
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    When you humanize terrorism (that is what a pirate is); you encourage more of it. When you negotiate with a terrorist, you legitimize what they're doing. You acknowledge them as an equal with valid reasons for their actions. Thus, the reason to negotiate. This perpetuates their rationalization and that of others to continue the practice. Especially if they know the "Worst" you will do is "Talk" with them. And that the insurance companies will easily pay a few million dollars to get their boat back. Sorry, place some seals in the water and take over the terrorist boat. Do your best to save the captain's life. And ONLY allow a terrorist to live if they surrender. And in a surprised rescue, the terrorists will not have but a second or two to decide if they want to surrender and live; or die. Either way is fine by me. Talking to terrorists/pirates should NEVER be an option; other than the initial communication of: "Dude, you screwed up. Release the hostage right now or get ready to be blown to hell". And make the statement clear so others decide in the future that it's probably not a good idea to do similar actions.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    wilbur, I'm not sure how I can spell this out anymore for you. I guess it's just one of those "you'd have to be there" kind of things. I obviously will not be able to clarify the dangerous, both natural and man-made, of the sea any more than you could imagine it. :rolleyes:
     
  19. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    You know...the military officer part of me says: "Why not mount some CWIS on these ships..." I know when flying a "sea strike" mission against the navy...we got a bit nervous when the CWIS radar started to "chirp" nearby.

    For those of you unfamiliar with CWIS think 20mm Gatling cannon that sends out a firehose-like stream of BIG bullets, seemingly forever!

    The "non violent, negotiate, save lives" part of me says...well...CWIS or Sea Dart...I like them both.

    Hmm...doesn't sound to pacifistic, does it? :thumb:
     
  20. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Not being of a seagoing profession, I don't know what the concept of "innocent passage" means.

    I heard on a news report that one reason why many merchant vessels don't carry any weapons is that they travel to ports all over the world and in some cases can't enter ports with weapons on board as it would violate the gun laws of some nations.
    Does that sound plausible?
     

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