Why aren't merchant ship crews armed? - Page 2

Why aren't merchant ship crews armed?

This is a discussion on Why aren't merchant ship crews armed? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My brother is in kahootz with a security firm who are in the business of putting armed security forces on the merchant ships in that ...

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Thread: Why aren't merchant ship crews armed?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array DrLewall's Avatar
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    My brother is in kahootz with a security firm who are in the business of putting armed security forces on the merchant ships in that area. He asked me if I wanted to go and I turned him down. I asked him if the security detail could respond with deadly force and something abt terms of engagment came up. When I asked, why don't we go in there and just sink and kill every one of them, his response was, "if we did that, then there wouldn't be any jobs"...
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  2. #17
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    Crime (pirating) should be a much more dangerous (and less profitable) occupation.

    I say hang one container by the crane on the ship, when a small craft gets close enough for anyone to board.....drop it on them. Everything inside is insured. Better yet, drop an empty one on them, nothing lost but the container.

    Just since guns are against the maritime laws.
    Last edited by sigmanluke; April 9th, 2009 at 01:31 PM. Reason: more info
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  3. #18
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    I was on a cruise ship in the med sea, this particular ship had an attempted high jack on a cruise from Europe to Central America. This particular ship had a "sound cannon" they used this cannon and it actually knocked some of the pirates off the boat. Eventually the captain ran the boat over. The cannon looks very similar to a spot light.

    I don't want to infer I was on the boat at the time of the highjack, however the officer giving me a bridge tour was and it was verified online.

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  5. #19
    Member Array ws76133's Avatar
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    Admittedly I'm probably way to stupid in this area, but how can 5 guys in a rubber boat hijack a ship?

  6. #20
    Member Array xchief1's Avatar
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    The reason the are not armed is to prevent a mutiny by the crew and because of Maritime Laws. They are now teaching self defense, weapons training and hand to hand combat in the Maritime Academy.
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  7. #21
    BAC is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    What is really needed here are letters of marque. We don't need "unarmed merchant ships," we need privateers who can, by maritime law, kill pirates.
    Seconded. A particular Texas congressman has introduced a bill describing issuance of letters of marque just about every session, and it never receives any support. Crying shame, too.

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  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    I hate to say this, and I do admit Im no expert, but I dont know any maritime law that bans weapons in international waters. I know some UN documents condemming the act, but the Maritime Laws dont as far as I know.

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ws76133 View Post
    Admittedly I'm probably way to stupid in this area, but how can 5 guys in a rubber boat hijack a ship?
    Probably because the BGs don't care about maritime law and come to the ship ARMED!
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  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ws76133 View Post
    Admittedly I'm probably way to stupid in this area, but how can 5 guys in a rubber boat hijack a ship?
    When it's unarmed, no problem......
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  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerriLi View Post
    I hate to say this, and I do admit Im no expert, but I dont know any maritime law that bans weapons in international waters. I know some UN documents condemming the act, but the Maritime Laws dont as far as I know.
    I have not seen this 'so called' law either. Some news organizations say there is no law prohibiting weapons except the port of call issue brought up earlier. I'd like to see a source. Besides, anyone heard of a meritime law court? Where is that held and who has jurisdiction? We don't have standard laws from state to state, how are you going to have the world come together and agree on law governing international ships at sea?
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  12. #26
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    How 'bout using the same type of strategy as the pirates? Keep an armed detail on board, as well as a smallish boat (not a dingy). When the ship nears a country's oceanic boundary, drop off the security detail, unload in port, pick up detail on way out.

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by drs1457 View Post
    Just read the article about the American crew who were hijacked off the coast of Somalia by four guys. Seems to me one good assault rifle could have prevented it. The article says that merchant ship crews aren't allowed firearms. How come?
    I was watching the news and the commentators on the same thing...makes one wonder. Seems this has been going on for awhile now and nothing has really been done to fix. Hence, the BGs are emboldened to continue. Hummm...sounds familiar doesn't it.


  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I worked on a merchant ship for 2 years when I was younger. There was one gun allowed on board, the captain's revolver. From the rhetoric we, the crew heard, that gun wasn't for pirates as much as it was for mutinies. But that was probably just a story told to keep us in line.

    But also, back then, piracy wasn't that common. It did still happen, but not with the frequency of today's attacks.
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  15. #29
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    When a ship sails on the ocean there only law that applies is the law of the sea.

    Meaning that one must do whatever one must do to survive.

    Its when ships are sailing in territorial waters that the laws get crazy. Even armed Naval warships must have special permission to dock in most ports around the world unless they have a treaty with that particular country. They cant just go tie up to a pier because in most cases if not all, the armament that they carry is prohibited.

    First they contact the appropriate officials and ask permission and then the needed permits are granted. Its not an easy or quick task at times and they do occasionally get denied.

    Now enter the merchant ships. Like carrying a concealed handgun in a state other than your own, you are bound by the rules of the state you are in and it is no different with ships. One you tie up in their port, you are bound by their rules, their customs.

    Most countries do not allow firearms on board merchant ships although many have provisions for the Captain and his designated officers, this generally doesn't apply to the crew.

    So, if a ship gets boarded by that countries customs officers, having more than the exempted weapons can become a real hassle. In some countries, you cant have any weapons on board with out first obtaining official approval.

    This makes it a major effort, and one that alot of shipping companies don't want to deal with. The effort to do so just wasn't worth it.

    Now that the Pirates have figured out that merchant ships are easy targets, we are seeing more incidents occurring. Like most thugs, when there is no fear of retribution they get pretty brave. A merchant ship is nothing more than a target rich environment where the pickings are easy, much the same as our schools,churches and any place that prohibits self defense is.

    These attacks will only cease when the people doing the dirty deeds are killed and there cronies are made to believe that it just isn't worth it any more.

    Arming the crews ,mounting some serious hardware and some training is in order here. Like usual, because guns are involved and people both good and bad will die, there will be a lot of rhetoric, fear mongering,politics and downright lies that must be overcome first. Common sense must be applied and we all know how little that is found these days.

    Forget the sound cannons, the water hoses and all of the other feel good proposals to repel boarders.Lets do it the old fashioned way. Lets hunt them down and kill them.

    Then and only then will the Pirate attacks cease, when there aren't any of them left.
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Sounds like they need to get some diesel fuel or oil and a match and just set them up in flames when they pull aside the ships. A good flame thrower will go a long ways compared to a stream of water.
    Doesn't anybody have a flair gun and a few gallons of diesel fuel? Are you kididing me?

    I thought it was a distance of 3 miles. My ship would be loaded to the hill with firepower and when I got with-inthe 3 miles I would unload smaller ship to remain in international waters with fire power.

    I dont think it would take us a group more than 1 hour to come up with a battle plan and come up with a few dozen defensive weapons.

    1. Flame thrower
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    Last edited by Captain Crunch; April 11th, 2009 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tags.

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