This is a discussion on What to do with Pirates? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Piracy deserves NO MERCY... Where is ElCruisr when you need him...he could add some great info on pirates...he lived many years on the high seas...literally!...
Piracy deserves NO MERCY...
Where is ElCruisr when you need him...he could add some great info on pirates...he lived many years on the high seas...literally!
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
Well, that and running a small business, rebuilding a boat and 200 other small details but mostly banging my head on a wall lately.....
Piracy is indeed a closely watched subject for mariners. It is a complex and very regional problem and there are many different types of piracy and pirate. I could fill several pages in commentary but let's just say the problem is not easy to solve and not going away any time soon.
You have a mix of economic realities which means short crews on commercial shipping. Cargoes worth unbelievable fortunes and men willing to try for them. You can also mix in corruption in certain countries like China were well connected crews can show up with a freighter in the right place. Sell it's cargo, repaint and the register the boat under false papers and then sell the vessel on the open market. Think mega scale organized crime and you'll see the tip of that iceberg. At the other end is the poor third world fisherman who is near starving to death with a family to feed. His boat is on it's last legs and he sees that fancy expensive yacht with engine troubles and decides to change his fortunes.
The crews you think should be armed are often a bunch of good mariners who have never even touched a firearm in their life. Usually Filipino or Indonesian with a Greek Officer. None of them are trained shooters. The ships owner has been told by the experts that arming them will probably just get them killed or the company sued. Sound familiar?
Fire hoses are much more powerful than you think and the crews are trained with those routinely. I know of one mate who took pride in the fact he knocked over three armed pirates on a dock in Africa, rolled them down 100 feet of dock and deposited them in harbor, minus their weapons which had been blown out of their hands. And if it's a fire monitor instead of a hose well, that's like trying to play catch with a semi for a ball at highway speeds. The new Sonic stuff is also going on to liners and is very effective but I doubt you'll see it on many freighters.
As to those little boats that they operate from. In the straights outside of Singapore you're facing pro's with purpose built boats that can chase down and out maneuver any commercial vessel and not show up on radar. The crews are well versed and practiced at boarding from them. In other areas with pure opportunistic piracy then that may not be the case.
As for legal matters that's enough to give the shipping owner and his lawyers insomnia. In a countries territorial waters you are going to be subject to the laws of that country. That's the problem in the straights. Those hired guards are facing conflicting and changing laws of various countries as they move through. A shooting in one and it's self defense, a shooting in another and it was a crime to even posses the gun in the first place. On the high seas you will be subject to the laws of the vessels flag if it occurs on board. Some countries still convene maritime courts for these things. A group of professional sea men can be mighty understanding but civil courts have been muscling in on this old tradition with all the sewage that civil cases can bring. A further complication is that merely possesing over 100 rounds of ammunition in some countries upon entry can get you gun running charges and a long visit in an unpleasant jail. For the owner any legal case may well see his vessel siezed and held for the duration of the case and possibly losing the vessel. For a small company think bankruptcy.
I've known some captains who will no longer work certain areas of the world because of the no win legal nightmares, not to mention personal danger. I know others who specialize in high risk shipping. One gent has a hand picked crew on a tramp freighter that might as well be a stint in the foreign legion. He has two Ma Deuces, three cases of anti tank rockets, ten FN LARs, I don't know how many hand grenades and pistols and an armored bridge. He never calls in at first world ports due to obvious legal entanglements. The people who need his services know where to find him and he keeps a very low profile. So low I've lost track of him!
I won't even get into the headaches for the poor buggers on yachts like me. They are easy to avoid for the most part but only if you avoid certain parts of the world and keep your eyes open.
The economic cost is actually pretty high but so far no one is interested in really, aggresively going after it. History shows that any solutions are at best, temporary.
If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.