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Oops.

Hang 'em all. Where's a good "yard arm" when you need one?



Somali pirates attack French military flagship

Wed Oct 7, 11:10 am ET

NAIROBI (AFP) – Somali pirates attempted to storm the French navy's 18,000 tonne flagship in the Indian Ocean after mistaking it for a cargo vessel, the French military said on Wednesday.

The crew of La Somme, a 160-metre (525-foot) command vessel and fuel tanker, easily saw off the brazen night-time assault by lightly armed fighters on two lightweight skiffs and captured five pirates, a spokesman said.

"The pirates, who because of the darkness took the French ship for a commercial vessel, were on board two vessels and opened fire with Kalashnikovs," Admiral Christophe Prazuck said in Paris.

La Somme is the French command vessel in the Indian Ocean, overseeing French air, sea and land forces fighting Somali pirates and hunting terrorists under the banner of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom.

Officers on the ship have directed commando operations to free French hostages in the hands of Somali pirates.

The pirates tried to flee when they realised their mistake but were pursued by French forces who, after an hour-long chase, caught one of the skiffs, Prazuck said.

On it they found five men but no weapons, water or food as the pirates had apparently thrown all of the boat's contents overboard, the spokesman said.

A Western official at sea in the area, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said that there had been an exchange of fire between the warship and the pirate launches.

"One of the skiffs managed to get away in the night because La Somme was busy with the first pirate boat," he said.

"Despite the arrival of other vessels, they haven't yet managed to find the second boat," he said, adding that many warships in the area were busy hunting another group which attacked a cargo ship off the Seychelles on Sunday.

The world's naval powers have deployed dozens of warships to the lawless waters off Somalia over the past year to curb attacks by pirates in one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes.

La Somme was operating 250 nautical miles (460 kilometres) off the Somali coast, on its way to resupply fuel to frigates patrolling shipping lanes as part of the European Union's Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission.

This was not the first time that Somali pirates have mistakenly attacked a French naval vessel. Several pirates were captured in May when they attempted to board a frigate in the area.

Somalia has had no proper government since it plunged into lawlessness after President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.

The country is riven by factional fighting and pirate gangs operate freely from several ports along its Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden coasts.

According to the environmental watchdog Ecoterra International, at least 163 attacks have been carried out by Somali pirates since the start of 2009 alone, 47 of them successful hijackings.

Last year, more than 130 merchant ships were attacked, an increase of more than 200 percent on 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Pirates have in recent weeks resumed attacks with the end of the monsoon season. Last week Somali gunmen captured Spanish fishing boat The Alakrana with 36 crew members in the Indian Ocean.

The US Maritime Administration warned last month that the end of the monsoon season was likely to bring an increase in piracy off Somalia and urged shipping companies to be vigilant.

Calmer waters allow pirates, who often operate in small fibreglass skiffs towed out to sea by captured fishing vessels, to hijack freighters, trawlers and private yachts. Cruise vessels have also been attacked.
 

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heck i couldn't believe that the french dident drop there guns first.
 

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Come on.... they never figured the French would shoot back, they never have before, have they ?
 

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after mistaking it for a cargo vessel

A understandable mistake . . .:rofl:
 

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As BikerRN would say... That is what we call an "acute failure of the victim selection process."
 

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I'm surprised they didn't raise the white flag. Maybe next time the pirates will wear German helmets.
 

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Thats funny. The french probably were not armed anyway.
 

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Boy the French sure don't get much respect, not that it isn't deserved.
 

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Let's see two boats attacked one warship,the pirates fire on french war ship,5 pirates captured,none shot or killed and one boat evades capture.Did the french even fire back?Had it been an American warship they woulda shot the heck outta the boats,we can see in the dark
 

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Discussion Starter #11
after mistaking it for a cargo vessel

A understandable mistake .
The news reports indicate La Somme is a "command ship and fuel tanker," shown below. To be somewhat fair, it might be a tad difficult to tell it's a command flagship, when its twin goal is to carry fuel and it looks like this:





Under certain lighting, it might look quite similar to this, a trawler fishing vessel:



or this, a deep-sea fishing vessel:



Of course, the "war grey" is a clue, as would be the other warships around, if indeed it was a command vessel. Don't know.
 

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That ships skipper may be in hot water for violating French National Policy. Isn't it national policy for the French to first Surrender, then Collaberate with?
 

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Time to lift anchor, go out to deeper water, and feed the sharks...:yup:
 

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That ships skipper may be in hot water for violating French National Policy. Isn't it national policy for the French to first Surrender, then Collaberate with?
Thanks Black Knight now I have coffee to clean up!
 

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I want a French rifle. They are brand new, never been fired and only dropped once.

They were probably trained by US forces, you will note they are part of the US "Operation Enduring Freedom". Left up to just the French, the outcome may have been in reverse.
 

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Let's see two boats attacked one warship,the pirates fire on french war ship,5 pirates captured,none shot or killed and one boat evades capture.Did the french even fire back?Had it been an American warship they woulda shot the heck outta the boats,we can see in the dark
I was going to say you guys were being a Tad unkind...Until I remembered a recent UK TV program that showed the Royal Navy out on patrol in "pirate seas" .... They encountered what they thought were pirates but had to radio back to the Admiralty in London on what they could do:banana: You cannot make this stuff up...Really:aaa:
By the time the "nod" came back, all the weapons were over the side and all they had were smiling "fisherman"

When my old man was in the Navy back in the 50's, he told me they encountered white slavers (cannot remember what sea).. Had to watch them toss their human cargo overboard, when they got close enought, the captain used the Arabic dhow for gunnery practice!!!!

I bet that went in the Log as " Ships Company Carried out Gunnery Practice, drifting arab dhow"

Tint Bob (UK)

PS don't forget the French Foreign Legion!!!! Now they kick Ass!!:comeandgetsome:
 

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When my old man was in the Navy back in the 50's, he told me they encountered white slavers (cannot remember what sea).. Had to watch them toss their human cargo overboard, when they got close enought, the captain used the Arabic dhow for gunnery practice!
We need a return to simpler times, yes.

In regard to the on-scene handling of pirates, we absolutely should. And we can, on an individual basis, with each ship, each shipping company, each country vowing to take the fight to the enemy, right then. Of course, there will be those in the "international community" who will squeal, loudly no doubt, about the rights violated. But when pirates are found in the act of piracy, y'all don't simply dick around by calling back to the Home Office to determine what you're able to do. You act.

Where's a good Exocet when you need one. Dites bonjour à mon petit ami ... Indeed.

"Detached reflection is not demanded in the presence of an upraised knife."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Chief Justice​


How d'ya say that, in French, Arabic, Dutch, Hindi, Russian, ...
 
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