What to Do About Somali Pirates?

Today we hear that yet another super tanker has been hi-jacked by pirates operating from Somalia, and pundits have speculated that if these actions continue, our oil supplies could be put in jeopardy. Do we really want new petrol shortages and prices going through the roof because sailing through the Gulf is too risky?

So what do you do against a gang of skilled, successful thieves who hold ships and crews for ransoms running into millions?

The Samho Jewelry Rescue

Despite the successful recapture of the ship Samho Jewelry in January by a South Korean Navy vessel in which 8 pirates were killed, and the freeing of a Russian tanker by Russian Navy commandoes a few of weeks ago, it is a difficult situation for the forces of law.

The pirates hold the crew of the vessel they have taken as hostages against any rescue attempt. In fact, the captain of the Samho Jewelry was shot in the stomach during the rescue, and last January, two Thai crewmen were killed by the pirates in a similar situation.

The second major problem is, there are no international laws covering such a situation. Ok, so you recapture a ship and take the pirates prisoner, but what do you do with them. Who do you hand them over to, and who puts them on trial? It is a legal problem that has so far resulted in the Somali’s being released on the spot to attack another ship.

In Control

In this respect, the Russians recently took a positive step by sinking the pirate’s boat and setting them adrift in a rubber dingy 300 miles from shore. Whether they made it to shore or not is unknown, but for that matter, who cares. Certainly not the Russians!

It is clear the first step is to amend maritime law to cover such situations, and perhaps this could be done by an agreement that pirate suspects are tried in the International Court of The Hague, or in the country that owns the ship in question. Whatever the international community decide, we need a decision soon.

The Seabourn Spirit

As far back as November 2005 the pirates even had the audacity to attack a cruise liner the Seabourn Spirit with RPG’s in an attempt to hijack the vessel. A quick increase in speed by the ship made it impossible for them to board, and although more such bold attacks have taken place, none thankfully have been successful. A fully laden tanker however does not have this option, which makes them an easy target.

Pirates Armed With RPG's

Since March 2010 at least 29 vessels have been captured, with an estimated number of crew hostages put at nearly 700. Considering the pirates receive a ransom in the millions of dollars for return of the vessel and crew depending on the ships value, you can imagine it’s a very lucrative business. The latest capture, a Greek super tanker called Irene SL, carries a cargo worth $200m.

In the beginning, attacks only took place within 2 or 3 hundred miles of the coast of Somalia, but since then the pirates have become better organized and bolder, using so-called ‘mother ships’ far into the Indian Ocean to increase their range of operations. In January this year a ship was hi-jacked 1,300 miles off the Somali coast.

The Choi Young - Rescuer of the Sanho Jewelry

The United Nations has for some time had warships from various countries patrolling these waters, but far too few to cover an area of ocean in the region of 4 million square miles.

To me it is clear decisive action needs to be taken to stamp out this menace.

It seems the majority of Somali’s indulging in this lucrative trade may well be Muslims, so perhaps vessels travelling the area should carry tanks of pigs’ blood with which to spray the approaching menace as they come alongside. We all know a Muslims reaction to pork! Put bluntly, it scares the s*** out of them, for if they come into contact with it in any way they will never get into Paradise and bang goes the chance of 77 virgins!

Let Them Paddle Back Home!

Secondly, perhaps we should take a leaf from the Russian approach. As we have no system of justice with which to deal with these people, we should sink their boat and set them adrift. If sufficient of them set sail on their nefarious cruises and never return it might be enough to discourage the rest. To ensure they do not starve to death we could always give them some healthy bacon sandwiches for their journey back to the coast.

The only other option from where I sit, is a marine landing at their bases and take them out once and for all. Either way, it is time for this assault on our maritime trade to cease.

Roy.

4 Responses to “What to Do About Somali Pirates?”

  1. this is a good article good job

    Like

  2. Awesome post man

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: