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Thread: Pirates! Activity Around the world

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    To Stop Pirates, Nations Must End Catch and Release Policy

    By Doug Burnett
    Published February 22, 2011
    | FoxNews.com


    The murder of four Americans by Somali pirates is not a remarkable event. Unfortunately, many others, mostly sailors, have been murdered, tortured and imprisoned for months. Eight were killed in 2010, 10 in 2009, and 11 in 2008.
    But this time the victims are Americans, so it hits closer to home.
    The two couples, Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle, of Seattle, and the yacht's owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., were on an around-the-world sailing trip when they were captured by pirates Friday.
    Certainly, the yacht's skipper made poor and ultimately fatal choices as he planned his final voyage. For more than a year there have been the most severe warnings directed to all mariners, from yachts to tankers, that the piracy peril was ever-present in the very waters where the yacht was taken.
    What led to the pirates to murder the Americans? Answers are in short supply. Perhaps they resisted. Maybe the fact that the ship carried Bibles for distribution offended the Islamic pirates and triggered the murder. Sadly, we may never know.

    But the one fact remains the American crew, whatever their errors in judgment , did not deserve to die at the pirates’ hands.
    Hopefully, the U.S. Navy will be able to hunt down the pirates responsible and end their depravity once and for all. For the U.S. Navy, pirates are an old adversary -- and the Navy can do more if allowed to by the Obama administration.
    But, in a larger sense, even capturing the pirates will not change the underlying dynamic. The truth is the pirates are winning. About 1,181 mariners were captured by pirates in 2010 from 52 ships. The average hostage spends about 7 months in brutal pirate captivity. The ransom for the VLCC Samho Dream was reportedly $9.5 million before the vessel was released in November 2010.
    There is blame for all: lax mariners and ship owners; the shipping industry that campaigns against the arming of merchant vessels and their crews or the use of armed guards; and national governments that lack the political will to do what history tells us is required to deal with pirates.
    It is imperative that the pirate bases be destroyed. Also, pirates must be denied access to the sea -- especially mother ships . And the prosecution of captured pirates in national courts is key to sending them a message. But these measures are not being taken.
    A Danish frigate captured a mother ship and freed the fishing vessel crew that had been held hostage and used for slave labor for more than 4 months. The 2 skiffs were sunk. BUT THE CAPTURED PIRATES WERE SET FREE TO ATTACK AGAIN. This event highlights perfectly the failure of the current failed policy toward mother ships.
    In a democracy, the Navy must obey the civilian masters. The civilian masters have not seen fit to approve changes in the Rules of Engagement that Navy commanders would need to hunt down mother ships. Think of the Royal Navy and they way it hunted down German surface raiders in the first year of World War II, effectively removing them from the sea. The same could easily be accomplished from a naval point of view. But the Royal Navy is under the same restriction as the other EU naval commands. The lack of political will to deal with pirates is conspicuous across the majority of nations.
    In the U.S., the Navy will only deal with pirates and deal out consequences when U.S. ships or interests are involved. So, the U.S. Navy, like the Danish frigate, has freed many non-U.S. crews captured by pirates. But catch and release has unfortunately become the norm and is the de facto policy of not only the U.S., but the EU, Japan, Korea, and most of the other nations that have stationed warships to deter piracy.
    Capturing mother ships will be meaningless if the pirates continue to face no consequence for their actions. That means a package needs to reach an international consensus that includes:
    -- Changes in Rules of Engagement that require naval captains to seek out and capture or destroy mother ships. Close blockade of pirate bases to prevent mother ships from sailing. Hostages would be freed, but the pirates captured must be tried in the nations whose naval forces captured them. In other words no more catch and release.
    -- Use of armed guards and escort vessels should be expressly authorized so that vessel owners can use them where appropriate. (I note the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is well known for its long term opposition to these types of defensive measures. But the ICS cannot have it both ways, complaining about the lack of naval action and political will while letting shipping companies operate however they choose and providing comfort and legitimacy to vessel owners that are lax with their vessel security.)
    -- Changes in domestic laws of nations that allow for prosecution of piracy in domestic courts for violations of the laws of nations regarding piracy. In other words, buying justice in Kenya or other local countries will not be favored. Every nation must do its part.
    -- Naval actions such as raids to clean out pirate bases or at least naval actions to prevent new pirate vessels from reaching ports of haven in Somalia to include disabling vessels and tactics to wait out the pirates or recapture vessels if hostages are at risk.
    So, until the problem arises to the level that nations feel their interests are negatively impacted to a degree that would cause some versions of the above package to be implemented, I am afraid the pirates will keep on winning. And they will be getting bolder.
    Maybe the death of the four innocent Americans will lead to stronger U.S. actions. But the U.S. cannot solve the problem alone. Other nations must instruct their ships and back their captains when they engage pirates in mother ships, in their bases, and wherever they are encountered. Other nations must follow the U.S. example and prosecute pirates they capture.
    If not, the four dead Americans will not be the last to suffer at the hands of the murderous pirates.
    Doug Burnett is a maritime attorney with the firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey.



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/...#ixzz1FGo77ksA
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.ph...Sea&Itemid=106





    Feature: pirates are ‘masters of the ocean’ – and what to do about it


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    Written by Guy Tuesday, 15 February 2011 11:49


    As the world faces the prospect of the worst ever year for piracy, the United Nations has admitted that pirates are becoming masters of the ocean and that 90% of suspected pirates that are captured are released again.

    Jack Lang, the United Nations Special Advisor on Somali Piracy and former French Culture minister said that “there is this race between the pirates and the international community, and progressively that race is being won by the pirates.”

    “Piracy still increases,” Lang told the UN Security Council last month. “Nine out of ten pirates captured by naval forces are freed, despite efforts by many states to have a single jurisdiction,” Lang says, and adds that, "this impunity encourages piracy". Indeed, naval forces have released between 500 and 700 pirates over the last three years – some pirates have even been arrested several times, the Economist reports.

    In January this year there were 35 attacks on ships, with seven of them being successful, giving the pirates a further 148 hostages, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). The situation will worsen in March when the monsoon abates and the Arabian Sea grows calmer - experts predict 2011 will be the worst year of Somali piracy. The IMB also reports that 1 016 sailors were taken hostage off Somalia last year and 49 ships hijacked, while 28 ships with 638 crewmembers are currently being held.

    According to Lang, “Piracy has created an economy with a level of sophistication. At first it was artisan, now it has taken on an industrial scope.” The rapid sophistication of its methods, organizational structures and resources have allowed pirates to demand high ransoms and launder money similar to the operation of a mafia. Ransom costs have increased markedly of late, amounting to US$238 million last year, or an average of US$5.4 million per ship, compared with US$150 000 in 2005 and $3.5 million at the end of 2009. The South Korean oil tanker Samho Dream set a new record when it was released for US$9.5 million in November last year.

    “There are 1 500 [pirates] who are defying the world, defying the UN. We must act now, quickly and firmly,” Lang said. “So do we do nothing, or do we try to find more effective solutions?”

    In a report delivered to the UN last month, Lang calls for a multi-dimensional approach to the issue: economic, security, and judicial or penitentiary. He stressed the need for effective specialised courts to prosecute captured pirates and equally the facilities to imprison them. He recommended the international community work towards “Somaliasation” of responses to piracy by setting up courts and prisons in Somaliland and Puntland in Somalia as well as in the Tanzanian town of Arusha. The Somali courts would operate under Somali jurisdiction and laws.

    Lang called for a modest US$25 million special funding, in order to better coordinate and empower the fight against piracy. In comparison, the report estimates piracy costs the world economy $7 billion. The US$25 million would be used over three years.

    In April last year, the UN Security Council called on all states to criminalise piracy under their domestic laws and urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to consider setting up a regional or international maritime piracy tribunal.

    Some 700 suspected and convicted pirates are now in detention in 12 countries, more than half of them in Somalia, according to Yury Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

    At the moment very few countries are prepared to hold and prosecute pirates, while lawlessness in Somalia makes trials there practically impossible. Somalia has not had a central functioning government since the civil war that erupted following the overthrow of former president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. “The problem in Somalia is there is no state; this has been the case for twenty years,” Lang stressed, adding that political instability and poverty are rife, although the region of Somaliland is relatively stable and prosperous.

    Somalia’s neighbour Kenya has become the lead prosecutor of suspected pirates, after persuasion from the West. In 2009 The European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China and Denmark signed anti-piracy agreements with Kenya, the BBC reports. Eighteen Somalis are currently serving long prison sentences in Kenya, according to the Economist, and 130 suspected pirates captured since 2008 are currently being held by the country.

    In exchange for its help, the European Union invested roughly US$3 million in the country’s judicial system through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, some of which went on building a special court for piracy trials. However, with its legal system already overloaded, the government is reluctant to take any more. In November last year a Kenyan High Court judge ruled in a case that the country had no jurisdiction over piracy committed in international waters, the BBC reports.

    Meanwhile, the Seychelles has said it will host a second UN-supported centre to prosecute suspected pirates seized by foreign navies. It has amended its criminal code to enable it to prosecute them under universal jurisdiction, according to the BBC.

    Despite the agreements with Kenya, suspected pirates have been taken to the Untied States, France, Yemen, Germany and the Netherlands, among others, for prosecution. In the first case to come to trial in Europe, a Dutch court sentenced five Somali men to five years in prison for attacking a Dutch Antilles-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden in 2009.

    The International Maritime Bureau has said that the logistical and legal burdens involved in transporting pirate suspects to Western countries could be expensive and time-consuming. Another issue is if the pirates are set free, the prosecuting country has to deal with them and possibly grant them asylum - pirates captured by South Korea said they were liking their time in prison and had even asked to stay in the country, Reuters reports. The pirates were captured by South Korean commandos during a raid to free a hijacked chemical tanker on January 21. South Korean maritime police have formed a team of 50 officials to deal with the country’s first legal attempt to punish foreign pirates in a move that will be closely watched by other countries dealing with piracy.

    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) allows sovereign nations to seize and prosecute pirates but nations are often frustrated by cost, rules of engagement and politics. Whether a country wants to prosecute arrested pirates depends on its own law.

    In their article, Fighting Piracy (which appeared in the February 2009 Armed Forces Journal), Commander James Kraska and Captain Brian Wilson state: "On the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of a state…pirated ships may be boarded, the pirates can be detained and the property on board the vessel can be seized and submitted to admiralty and criminal courts. The registry or 'flag' of the attacked vessel, the state of nationality of any of the victims or crew, the nationality of the on-scene warship, and, in some cases, coastal and port states, all have a valid basis for asserting jurisdiction. But it can take weeks or months to sort out these logistics and legal issues."

    “If we do not act quickly, we will reach a point of no return,” Lang warned. “We can not spare our spending here.” Piracy costs between US$5 and US$9 billion a year, with a knock-on effect of increasing prices and reducing activity in the fishing and tourist industry, Lang said.

    The UN and other organisations agree that solving piracy involves solving the issue on land, and not at sea, by creating economic prosperity, a functioning legal system and a stable government.

    So far no nation, not even the United States, has seriously contemplated fighting piracy on land by destroying pirate bases, according to the Economist. Instead, the international community runs several seaborne anti-piracy missions off North Africa, with the European Naval Forces Operation Atalanta, NATO-led Operation Ocean Shield and Combined Taskforce 151 led by Americans. Atalanta was originally set up to safeguard the United Nation’s World Food Programme aid deliveries to Somalia but has expanded to take on a general anti-piracy role. Other nations like South Korea, China, Japan, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and India also have ships off the East African coast.

    Although waters in the Gulf of Aden are now safer, the international efforts have pushed pirates move farther offshore, even going as far as India and Mozambique. Colonel Richard Spencer, the British chief of the EU’s naval force, told the Economist that policing this enlarged area would require five times as many warships as the international task forces can muster. According to Lang, “There are numerous gaps in the counterpiracy effort.”

    While piracy off the Somali coast is most often in the spotlight, it is also a big problem in the Malacca Strait and the Caribbean, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

    Pirates used to be most active in the Malacca Strait but piracy has been alleviated there through a successful campaign of patrolling, arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning pirates. Conditions onshore improved with a peace settlement among rebels in Aceh, which led to economic development and improved living conditions, Gulf News reports.

    As the prospect of improving conditions in Somalia remains elusive, ship owners are exploring a variety of options to defend against piracy. BAE Systems, for example, recently demonstrated a prototype laser beam capable of “providing a visual warning to pirates at distances greater than 2 kilometres, and of disorientating attackers sufficiently at lesser distances so that weapons cannot be targeted effectively” at commercial vessels.

    Italio-British company Selex Galileo has developed a detector, able to provide 2D and 3D imaging capability from a single laser illumination pulse (BiL) to give sailors enhanced recognition and identification capability, day and night.

    In January Samsung Heavy Industries rolled out a system that alerts the crew to an approaching vessel and enables sailors to remotely fire water cannons at the attackers. Mace Personal Defence recently announced it had joined with Shipboard Defence Systems to create an anti-piracy device that would spray Mace pepper spray at boarders. Other anti-piracy systems work by using strobing lights to disorient attackers or firing a rope across the water to entangle propellers.

    Another device is the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which works at distances up to 300 metres by disorienting attackers with high energy sound. It was used in November 2005 when pirates attacked the Seabourn Spirit, and in November 2008 when the MV Biscaglia was attacked. The pirates failed to board the Seabourn Spirit but captured the Biscaglia.

    Another solution is to have a protected ‘citadel’ or safe room from which crewmembers can safely steer the ship even with pirates aboard, until being rescued by naval forces. However, pirates are using explosives and cutting torches to breach some of these ‘citadels’.

    Increasingly, ships are carrying private armed security guards - the German Ernst Komrowski shipping company said it will now have its 20 ships protected by armed guards and the Hamburg-based Offen shipping company says it will also put armed guards on ships passing through the pirate zone, Der Spiegel reports.

    The problem with employing armed guards provokes a more brutal response from pirates while applying the historic cure for piracy – exemplary violence – would lead to many more dead hostages, the Economist reports. However, experts like US author Ralph Peters suggest that only when groups like pirates become exceedingly violent will the international community make a concerted effort to stamp out the problem.

    Meanwhile, ships sailing in risky waters have been given guidelines to maintain a high cruising speed (travelling at 18 knots or more makes it almost impossible for pirates to board), erect physical barriers and use hoses and foam to deter pirates.

    Historically, piracy has been stopped by hunting down and destroying pirate ships and bases. Many pirates, such as William ‘Captain’ Kidd (1645-1701) and ‘Calico Jack’ (Jack Rackham – 1682-1720), were hanged in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indeed, there was a time when "to see to it that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: a short drop and sudden stop" - a hanging - was not just Hollywood dialogue (in this case Lieutenant James Norrington in Pirates of the Caribbean). Captured pirates in previous eras were notoriously "hanged from the nearest yardarm." Indeed, the last pirate to be hanged was Nat Gordon in New York in 1862.

    Most studies of crime have concluded it is the certainty of capture and punishment (and not capture and punishment itself) that influences criminal behaviour. When nine out of ten pirates are released unpunished, it is hardly surprising that the IMB is predicting 2011 to be the worst year on record for incidents of piracy.
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    UK's oldest world cruise cancelled



    Blue Water Rally made decision before yacht deaths




    A round the world sailing rally, due to set off from Gibraltar this October has been cancelled due, in part, to the threat from pirates.

    The 2011-2013 Blue Water Rally would have been the company's ninth global cruise via the Trade Winds route. This route takes in the northern sector of the Indian Ocean into the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden.

    BWR's decision was taken before the killing of the four kidnapped American yachtsmen at the hands of pirates.

    The yachtsmen, skipper Scott Adam, 68, and his wife Jean, from California and their crew Phyllis Mackay, 59, and Bob Riggle, 67, of Seattle were sailing Quest, a 58ft Davidson a pilot house double-headsail cutter, as part of the current BWR round -the-world rally.

    But they dropped out of the rally at the crucial moment: just as it was about to cross the Indian Ocean. Adam, described as ‘very independent' may have become frustrated travelling in convoy, but whatever the reason it was a fateful decision.

    The first alert that the Quest might not be alone came from a helicopter flying from a Danish warship which spotted the yacht towing a skiff. This meant only one thing: that pirates had boarded.

    Three US warships - the guided missile cruiser USS Sterett, guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley and a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise deployed in the area - then steamed towards the yacht.

    Negotiations were taking place between the military and the pirates when gunshots were heard. It seems a row had broken out between the pirates: one theory being examined is that the gunmen were from different warlord clans - there were an incredible 19 pirates on the yacht - and that a ‘surf war' - as opposed to a turf war - had broken out and two pirates were killed in a rival shoot-out.

    Whatever the truth, the stand-off then escalated into a boarding by US Navy Seals who shot one and stabbed another pirate to death. They then made the grim discovery that all four yachtsmen had been attacked. Two were already dead and two more died later.

    For the full story on Blue Water Rally's cancelled world cruise see Yachting Monthly April.
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    5th Fleet News Brief: Vice Admiral Fox discusses piracy aboard S/V Quest

    By rob
    Share On Facebook February 23rd 2011 · View Comments
    DOD News Briefing with Vice Adm. Fox via Telephone from Bahrain on Somali Piracy Aboard the S/V Quest
    COL. DAVID LAPAN (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations): Admiral Fox, it’s Colonel Dave Lapan here at the Pentagon. How do you hear me?
    ADM. FOX: I hear you loud and clear; how me?
    COL. LAPAN: Okay, sir, we have you loud and clear.
    Good morning, all, here at the Pentagon. And good afternoon to Admiral Fox in Bahrain, we have with us today to talk to you briefly about the incident involving the Sailing Vessel (S/V) Quest. Vice Admiral Mark Fox is the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. He also serves as commander of the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet and commander of the Combined Maritime Force.
    Again, as I mentioned, Admiral Fox is speaking to us from his headquarters in Bahrain. He will make a brief opening statement and then take your questions.
    With that, sir, I will turn it over to you.
    ADM. FOX: Thank you, and good morning. I’m Vice Admiral Mark Fox. I am commander of the U.S. Naval Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet. I’m speaking to you today from Manama, Bahrain, in my headquarters.
    As many of you already know, the four Americans who were being held onboard the Sailing Vessel Quest were killed early this morning by their captors. I want to express my deepest condolences to the family — families of the crew of the Quest. The loss of our fellow Americans is a tragedy.
    We are in the process of investigating and piecing together the events that led to their deaths. And here’s what we know right now.
    On Friday, February 18th, at about 4 p.m. local time, the Royal Danish Navy Ship Esbern Snare reported to the 5th Fleet Maritime Operations Center that its helicopter had identified a U.S.-flagged, privately owned yacht that may have been pirated. The Sailing Vessel Quest was approximately 190 nautical miles southeast of Masirah Island, Oman, when it was pirated.
    The commander of the U.S. Central Command directed for forces, predominantly U.S. Navy ships and aircraft operating in the 5th Fleet area of operations, to investigate the scene. Four U.S. Navy warships responded to the effort to recover the yacht: USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier; Guided Missile Cruiser Leyte Gulf; and Guided Missile Destroyers Sterett and Buckley.
    The U.S. Navy warships found and shadowed the Quest, made contact with the pirates via bridge-to-bridge contact, talked to the ship’s master and verified the status of the hostages, that were safe at the time, and began a series of negotiations. On Monday, February 21st, two pirates boarded USS Sterett to continue negotiations, and they remained onboard Sterett overnight.
    At 8 this morning local time, a rocket-propelled grenade was fired from the Quest by the pirates towards the Sterett. The Sterett was approximately 600 yards away from the Quest.
    Immediately thereafter, gunfire also erupted inside the cabin of the Quest. Several pirates appeared on deck and moved up to the bow with their hands in the air in surrender.
    U.S. naval reaction forces closed in on the Quest in small boats and boarded the yacht. As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the U.S. sailors discovered that all four hostages had been shot by their captors.
    Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four of the American hostages died of their wounds.
 
 The U.S. sailors also found two pirates already dead on board. While clearing the vessel, two additional pirates were killed. The remaining 15 suspected pirates are in U.S. custody.
    There were no reported injuries to U.S. naval personnel or any damage to U.S. ships.
    We’re in the process now, in conjunction with the FBI, in conducting an investigation into the events that led to the tragic deaths of the hostages. Our thoughts go out to their families.
    And at this point, I’ll be prepared to take your questions.
    COL. LAPAN: Mik?
    Q: Admiral, Jim Miklaszewski with NBC. Is there any indication whatsoever, either from the hostages [sic: two pirates] on board the Sterett, or in the bridge-to-bridge communications, as to what may have triggered the shooting of the hostages? And how do you account for the two pirates found dead aboard? Was that pirate-on-pirate as a result of the shooting of the hostages? Can you provide any details?
    ADM. FOX: (Off mic) — speculating on that. There were ongoing negotiations that had continued for a number of days. And this morning, with absolutely no warning, is when the rocket-propelled grenade was fired and the gunfire erupted on board the yacht. And all I can tell you factually is that there were two dead pirates when we came on board the vessel.
    Q: (Off mic) — wounds, Admiral?
    ADM. FOX: Yes.
    Q: This is David Martin with CBS. Do you know if the four Americans were armed or had weapons on board their yacht?
    ADM. FOX: I do not know if there were any weapons on board the yacht from the people that had owned the yacht. I do not know that.
    COL. LAPAN: Tony.
    Q: Sir, Tony Capaccio with Bloomberg News. Before the gunfire this morning, how would you describe the negotiations? Were they tense or proceeding apace, and were you surprised by what happened today then?
    ADM. FOX: You know, I can’t give you a characterization. The intent always had been that this would be a negotiated process and not ever going to a point where we actually had gunfire.
    So I can’t give you a characterization right now. I’d remind you also that this is an active, ongoing investigation that’s being conducted by the FBI that we, the U.S. Navy, are helping with. And so it’s a crime scene. And quite honestly, I don’t have any information about the tenor or the tone of those negotiations.
    Q: Broad question — was the — were the pirates launched by one of these mother ships that you’ve warned about is the new trend in pirating in that region?
    ADM. FOX: We assessed that there was a mother ship. I — right now, the details of that are still somewhat sketchy, but we do assess it to have been a pirated — or a mother ship that produced the pirates that actually went on board the yacht.
    COL. LAPAN: Yochi?
    Q: Admiral, this is Yochi Dreazen from National Journal. You mentioned that when the boarding vessels from the U.S. approached the Quest, that there was a further exchange of gunfire.
    Are you absolutely positive that the four American hostages were already dead and were not killed in that exchange of gunfire?
    ADM. FOX: [During the boarding phase] there was no gunfire by the boarding team whatsoever — there was no ordinance expended by the boarding team. The gunfire that occurred was the RPG, the rocket-propelled grenade, that was fired [by the pirates] at Sterett. And then as they came on board, there were two dead pirates. There were hostages who had been injured, but – (inaudible) –
    Q: — Got it. And then the two pirates who were killed during the clearing, that was enough after the bodies of four Americans were found that there was no possibility the Americans could have been injured or hurt in that operation?
    ADM. FOX: That’s correct. [During the clearing phase] the two pirates that were killed thereafter — one was killed with a firearm; we killed him with a gun, and there was another pirate that died from a knife.
    Q: Didn’t he just say he killed one? We’re confused.
    Q: Yeah, we are.
    Q: You said that no gunshots were fired, but then you just said that you killed one pirate and the other died from a knife wound. Could you — did U.S. forces shoot any pirates?
    ADM. FOX: And let me — let me clarify this for just a second. There were no gunshots fired from the boarding team as they boarded — none. And then as they were clearing the vessel, they did kill one pirate as they were clearing it, and then there was another pirate that was — that was killed in a knife fight.
    Q: How far off the coast of Somalia did this occur?
    ADM. FOX: This is approximately — if you’ve got a map before you, it’s approximately midway between the island of Socotra and the north tip of Somalia. It’s a little bit — if you — if you had an equidistant point between Socotra and Somalia, it’s just a little bit on the closer side to Somalia.
    Q: Could I get further clarification? The pirate — after the boarding team was onboard, was the — did a U.S. military sailor, whoever it was, shoot and kill a pirate, and stab and kill another pirate?
    ADM. FOX: There were two pirates that were dead onboard the vessel when they boarded. As they were clearing it below decks, there were two more pirates who were killed in the clearing process by the boarding team.
    COL. LAPAN: Andrew.
    Q: Admiral, can you just confirm how many — it sounds to me like you had 19 pirates total on the ship, two sets of two dead and 15 now in custody.
    And also, could you give us a little bit more detail on who this boarding team was? I mean, who left the Sterett and went over to the Quest — I mean, how many? Were they sailors? Were they SEALs? How many were there? How many boarded the ship? Just give us a little more detail on that.
    ADM. FOX: I can’t give you the specific numbers. They were U.S. special operations forces.
    Q: And how did they — did they board? Was this by a small boat, or was this by helicopter?
    ADM. FOX: They boarded by small boat.
    Q: And 19 pirates: Is that accurate?
    ADM. FOX: Nineteen total pirates were on board; four are dead; 15 remain.
    Q: But two — were two of those still on the Sterett doing negotiations?
    ADM. FOX: Yes.
    Q: Admiral, what was the time lapse between the gunshots aboard the yacht until the boarding team reached the yacht?
    ADM. FOX: Well, the time distance of the time for small boats to come over, it was — the Sterett was about 600 yards away. So there was some — there was a rocket-propelled grenade that was fired towards Sterett, and then there was the sound — the reports of gunfire from the yacht. And so there was a time distance of some period of time to get the small boats from Sterett over to the — over to the yacht.
    Q: So there was no U.S. rescue operation under way at the time?
    ADM. FOX: That is correct.
    COL. LAPAN: Justin.
    Q: Sir, it’s Justin Fishel from Fox. So is it safe to say these were Navy SEALs that boarded the ship? And why do you suppose those two pirates were already killed?
    ADM. FOX: You know, that would be — first of all, they were U.S. special operations forces.
    And it would be speculation on my part to tell you how I thought they died. There was obviously gunfire inside the cabin of the yacht. And it took the — ultimately it injured the hostages in such a way that they were fatally injured, and so I can presume that inside the cockpit of the — of the vessel was a lot of small-arm fire that — but that would be part of the ongoing investigation.
 
 Q: Can you say what kind of weapons the pirates had, just so we know?
    ADM. FOX: I don’t have any specifics on that. I’d seen an early report where we had seen — they obviously had an RPG because they fired it at the Sterett, and then there were also, you know, the typical things that we see are, you know, the pirates with AK-47s and small arms.
    COL. LAPAN: Carlo.
    Q: Carlo Munoz with Defense Daily, sir. A quick question on the mother ship. One, is there any additional information on the location of that ship? And once that’s fixed, are there any plans to pursue operations against the pirates on that ship?
    ADM. FOX: At this point I don’t have anything to add to that. And in fact, there is — there is ongoing efforts going on that I — that I’m — I won’t go into. But the mother ship, we do assess, as I said, that the 19 pirates went onboard the yacht from a mother ship.
    COL. LAPAN: Phil.
    Q: Admiral, Phil Ewing with Politico. I wanted to clarify one small detail.
    Were the pirates who were aboard the Sterett in communication with their pirate colleagues on the yacht at the time when this all went down? Could they have sent them a message because they were displeased about whatever they had been told?
    ADM. FOX: I can’t tell you that. I honestly — I honestly don’t know.
    Q: Sir, it’s Jim Garamone with AFPS. What are you going to do with the 15 pirates that you’ve captured?
    ADM. FOX: Well, they will be — they’re currently in our custody on board one of our ships, and we will go through the appropriate processes to ultimately bring them to a judicial process and hold them — hold them accountable for their activities.
    Q: Two quick questions. On the issue of the timing — so the American hostages died — just to be totally clear, they died before the team boarded. So there was a gunshot, they were injured, then the team boarded, and then they died from those previous wounds, not after that? And then the second thing is, this is the deadliest incident involving U.S. hostages taken by pirates that you know of, correct?
    ADM. FOX: It is. It is the deadliest incident that I can think of in terms of activities with the pirates. When our team got on board the yacht, there were hostages who were still alive, and we applied and gave first aid immediately to them, but they were fatally injured.
    COL. LAPAN: Luis.
    Q: Admiral, it’s Luis Martinez with ABC. How long — how long a period were those two pirates aboard Sterett? How long had they been there? At what point were they taken aboard? Were there negotiations to take them aboard, or did they volunteer to go aboard?
    ADM. FOX: I’m sorry, can I get you to repeat that question?
    COL. LAPAN: Admiral, I’ll give it here from the lectern. The period of time at which the two pirates aboard Sterett — when did they come aboard? Did they voluntarily come aboard as part of the negotiations?
    ADM. FOX: The two pirates that came aboard Sterett came on board on the 20th — no, I’m sorry, on Monday, the 21st was when the two pirates came on board the Sterett, and they remained overnight and remained for the remainder of the evolution.
    Q: Charlie Keyes, CNN. Thanks for talking to us, Admiral. Can you just tell us as much as you can — I know you didn’t — avoided it earlier — how many U.S. forces were involved in this final operation? And also, can you give us anything — a broader picture about the negotiations, in terms of were there initial demands made?
    ADM. FOX: I don’t have specifics on the initial demands. It was clear that the pirates wanted to get the yacht to Somalia. It was very clear that they wanted to make — you know, to bring the hostages into Somali territorial waters, if nothing else. And so I don’t have any other information of the demands of the pirates, other than the fact that they were — they were tracking consistently from the point near Masirah Island — I mean, you know, over there towards Oman when the vessel was pirated, and they were making a southwesterly flow towards Somalia.
    COL. LAPAN: And –
    Q: I’d like to follow up, Admiral — oh, I’m sorry.
    COL. LAPAN: Just — and anything you can give us about the number of U.S. forces involved in the final part of this operation.
    ADM. FOX: [USS] Leyte Gulf, USS Sterett and [USS] Enterprise were the three U.S. vessels that were closest to the incident at the time this morning that this went down.
    Q: Yeah, if I could — if I could follow up, Admiral, did at any time the U.S. negotiators make it clear to the pirates that they would not be permitted to go ashore in Somalia? And during the course of the negotiations, was there any indication of division or conflict among the pirates themselves about what to do with these hostages?
    ADM. FOX: You know, those are details of the negotiation that I quite honestly don’t have in terms of the interactions between the negotiators and the pirates and the way that those were characterized. That’s just detail that I don’t have. I’m sorry.
    COL. LAPAN: Go ahead.
    Q: Thank you. Shaun Tandon with AFP. On a different note, I was wondering if you could say a little bit about the victims, if you can identify all four of them by name and just say, were you in contact with their families throughout this?
    ADM. FOX: Stand by for just one moment.
    First of all, the victims’ families and next of kin have been notified. The Americans that were on the yacht were Scott Adam, his wife Jean, of Marina del Rey, California; and then the other two Americans were Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle, both of Seattle, Washington. The owner of the yacht was Scott Adam and his wife Jean.
    COL. LAPAN: Tony.
    Q: Sir, Tony Capaccio again with Bloomberg. I had a couple quick questions on whether Americans are going to be shocked — or will be shocked by these killings today — but how many — roughly how many people from other nationalities have been killed by pirates over the last year or two, to put this in perspective?
    ADM. FOX: Let me think for just one second and I’ll give you an answer.
    Q: In this calendar year, in the last year.
    ADM. FOX: In calendar year [2010], there have been less than 10 fatalities associated with pirate activity in this region, not all in one incident.
    Q: What about in 2010.
    ADM. FOX: You know, I’m going to have to — I’m going to have to pull a string to see how much — in terms of how many people in 2010 were — how many fatalities. We can get that information for you, but I don’t have it at my fingertips right now.
    [Update: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command states that to date in 2011, two people have died during piracy actions in their area of responsibility. In 2010, less than 10 people died during piracy actions. Data regarding nationality is released by individual countries.]
    Q: Did a U.S. soldier or a Special Operations soldier actually kill the pirate with a knife in a knife fight?
    ADM. FOX: A pirate was killed by a Special Operations Force member with a knife on the vessel. While they were clearing, they were in close combat. They were clearing the interior of the vessel.
    Q: (Off mic) — the two pirates who had been aboard the Sterett, are they also in U.S. custody along with the other 15? And secondly, I know that in the past there’s been legal uncertainty about what kind of crimes you might be able to bring against pirates. In this particular case, is this being investigated as an act of murder of American citizens?
    ADM. FOX: I’ll leave the way that the characterization of the — of the investigation to lawyers and to the FBI. These are American citizens. There are four dead American citizens that died as the result of pirate activity on their yacht. And so — and the answer to your question of all of the 15 pirates are now being held together. And they’re both — they’re all on a — on a U.S. warship right now. And as I said, we will be going through the due diligence process here of taking all the appropriate steps to take them to justice.
    Q: It was 15 total or it was 15 and then two more from the Sterett, so 17 total?
    ADM. FOX: There were — there were 19 total pirates on the sailboat. Two came off the Sterett, leaving 17. And then there were four dead.
    COL. LAPAN: Charlie.
    Q: Charlie Keyes, CNN. Sir, talking to a friend yesterday of Scott and Jean Adam, he described how this was a life-long dream of theirs to sail around the world. He said that they were aware of the risks.
    What do you say to other Americans contemplating such an adventure?
    ADM. FOX: Well, I think it’s prudent to listen to the warnings of the international maritime organizations that talk about the dangers of this area. You know, you’ve got a — there’s a huge volume of maritime activity that goes on around here. And we have seen a growing — a growing problem here in terms of the pirate activity off of the coast of Somalia. It originally was just in the Gulf of Aden. We’ve done a pretty good job of setting up an internationally recommended transit corridor for merchant ships that we patrol very carefully routinely.
    And so pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden has actually gone down. But what’s happened is because of a relatively less than — less-than-normal strength monsoon season for the last few months and then also because of this mother ship activity, the pirates have been able to go for long distances out to sea, up to 1,3(00), 1,400 nautical miles away from Somalia. So there’s pirate activity that’s gone all the way up into the North Arabian Sea, off of the coast of India, down to Madagascar and so forth.
    The warnings are issued to mariners about where pirate activity goes on. There are real-time warnings that we put out. And so there’s a due diligence piece in terms of going to sea and operating and taking heed of all of the warnings and so forth.
    Our job, of course, is to maintain free movement of innocent passage on the sea. And so the scope of the distances that are involved here — the entire East Coast of the United States east of the Mississippi could fit into the Somali Basin/Indian Ocean area. I mean, we’re talking 1,3(00), 1,400 nautical — 1,500 nautical miles. And so it’s a vast, vast area.
    We currently have 34 vessels, warships, that are patrolling in this area, under 15 different flags, as we speak. And that number will vary. There’s an EU [European Union] counter piracy task force, there’s a NATO counter piracy task force, and then I’m in command of a counter piracy task force. We each take — we work well together and cooperate and share our resources and our information. But even with the vast distances that are involved here, you know, there’s a lot — there’s a lot of places where we are not.
    Q: What role did UAVs play in helping track the Quest? And in general, what role are they playing to cover these vast distances?
    ADM. FOX: As we track this particular instance, we devoted UAV assets from various places in this region to give us information about the movement, and then that of course once we got our vessels on site there, then we also had our own organic surveillance as well.
    Q: Were those the ScanEagles you used?
    ADM. FOX: I don’t think — I don’t think we used any ScanEagles in this particular case. But that would be — I don’t think so.
    COL. LAPAN: David and Justin and Luis, and we’ll wrap it up.
    Q: Dave Martin with CBS. Was there a specific warning out about the — that covered the area in which the yacht was taken?
    ADM. FOX: Yes. Yes, there were explicit warnings to mariners about the regions, the dangers and the pirate activity in this area.
    COL. LAPAN: Justin.
    Q: Just to be clear — and Mik may have asked you about this, but before the shootings took place, during the negotiation process, was there ever a cash ransom offered to the pirates?
    ADM. FOX: I — you know, I can’t tell you what went on between negotiators and the pirates. And I can’t comment on that because I don’t have any information on it.
    COL. LAPAN: Luis, last one.
    Q: Admiral, again, going back to the RPG that was fired at the Sterett, was that when the Sterett arrived? Was it after the two pirates were on board? What was the timeline between the firing of the RPG and the shots that you heard on board the yacht?
    ADM. FOX: The way the report I read described it was, there was an RPG fired at Sterett. It missed. The Sterett was about 600 yards away. And after the RPG was fired, there was gunfire — the sound of gunfire coming from the yacht, but near — not simultaneous but sequential. An RPG fired, followed almost immediately by small-arms fire.
    COL. LAPAN: All right, Admiral. Thank you very much for your time and the information you’ve provided to us. I’m sure we’ll be in touch with you PAO for any follow-up questions.
    ADM. FOX: Thank you very much.

    Related Posts:




    Topic: Featured · Maritime News · maritime security · News
    Tags: piracy, S/V Quest
    By rob
    Rob Almeida is partner and CMO of Unofficial Networks and an editor of gCaptain.com. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1999 with a B.S in Naval Architecture and is an accomplished sailor and photographer. He also has quite a knack for squeegee-ing mud off the rig floor, pressure washing the pump room, and giving speeches at pre-tour meetings just for the heck of it.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    I am getting nothing more on this Danish yacht. I'm gonna check some other forums.

    There's ZERO in the news. I have an email in for our counter-intel folks to get with me on this.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Just posted

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02...p-seven-board/

    Somali Pirates Capture Danish Ship With Seven on Board



    Published February 28, 2011
    | FoxNews.com


    COPENHAGEN – Somali [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]pirates[/color][/color] seized a Danish yacht with seven people on board, including three children, the Danish foreign ministry said Monday.
    The ship was captured while traveling through the Indian Ocean, AFP reported.
    It is now being sailed toward Somalia, the Ministry told the wire service.



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02...#ixzz1FGsagdAo
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    PRIZE FOR PIRATE HUNTERS

    On 23 November in London, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) awarded Denmark a “Special Certificate for Exceptional Services Rendered to Shipping and Mankind”. The award goes to the Danish ship crews that have participated in anti-pirate operations at the Horn of Africa. Later in the week, Denmark was also re-elected for the IMO Council.



    Denmark received the award for protecting World Food Programme ships with the patrol frigate Thetis in the spring of 2008. The recognition also goes to the command ship Absalon which conducted anti-pirate operations as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 and CTF-151 in the period September 2008 to April 2009. CTF-150 and CTF-151 are multinational coalition naval task forces that monitor, inspect, board, and stop suspect shipping in the Horn of Africa region.


    Captain (Navy) Frank Trojahn receives the award from Mr Efthimios Mitropoulos of Greece, Secretary General of IMO. Denmark’s ambassador, Mr Birger Riis-Jørgensen, watches.

    Absalon’s first commander during the anti-pirate operations, Captain (Navy) Frank Trojahn, accepted the award on behalf of all the Danish crews.

    Denmark’s ambassador in London, Mr Birger Riis-Jørgensen, and representatives of the Danish Maritime Authority were present at the ceremony.

    The Royal Danish Navy will now pass on the recognition from IMO to the individual crews who truly deserve this international honour.

    At the end of the weeklong IMO Session, Denmark was re-elected for another two years in the Council, receiving 113 votes.


    On Friday 27 November, Denmark was re-elected for another two-year period in the IMO governing body, the Council. Director Christian Breinholt of the Danish Maritime Authority casts Denmark’s vote, overseen by the Secretary General.

    The IMO is a United Nations specialized agency with Headquarters in London. The overall objectives are summed up in the IMO slogan: “safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans”. IMO currently has 169 member states and three associate members. Its governing body, the Assembly, meets once every two years. Between sessions, the Council, consisting of 40 Member Governments elected by the Assembly, acts as IMO’s governing body.






    Links


    IMO







    Edited April 28, 2010
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Maybe, just MAYBE these guys will come to the rescue....

    http://www.amblondon.um.dk/nr/exeres...d-fa29977a0753

    DANISH FLAGSHIP ABSALON SINKS PIRATE MOTHERSHIP

    NATO reports that the flagship of the anti-piracy task force in the Somali Basin, Danish HDMS Absalon, has successfully boarded and sunk a pirate mothership. “Disrupting the pirates’ capability just off their main pirate camps sends a strong signal that NATO and the international community do not tolerate their actions,” says Commodore Christian Rune of the Royal Danish Navy




    Yesterday, NATO released the following statement:

    On Sunday 28 February 2010 the NATO flagship HDMS Absalon undertook direct action to disrupt the piracy in the Somali Basin by scuttling a pirate mother skiff, one of the large, open boats that pirates use to transport and support their attack teams to offshore hunting areas.


    The Absalon is the flagship of NATO’s current counter-piracy operation Ocean Shield off the Horn of Africa.


    The mother skiff was scuttled by use of specialist teams from Absalon after it was intercepted by Absalon’s boarding team. It had been located earlier in the day having just left a well known pirate camp located on the eastern Somali coastline, fully loaded with pirate equipment and supplies.

    With the north-easterly Monsoon season coming to an end, the wind and sea conditions have been growing more favourable for pirates to venture out into the Somali Basin in search of merchant ships to seize.

    The coming months of March, April and May have been among the most lucrative in recent years for pirates operating in the region, because of the relatively calm seas at that time of the year. NATO and its Coalition Maritime Forces and EU partners had recently received indications of forthcoming pirate attacks. They therefore positioned themselves to stop the pirates.

    - This was a very well executed operation, said Commodore Christian Rune. Disrupting the pirates’ capability just off their main pirate camps sends a strong signal to the pirates that NATO and the international community do not tolerate their actions. Disposing of their vessels before they can head to sea hits the pirates before they can present a threat to merchant shipping, said Commodore Rune.

    ***

    Read more about the phenomenon of motherships and Absalon’s previous hunts.

    Read a full background on the Absalon Class of ships.

    ***



    The Danish Embassy in London has a Facebook page for Defence. The page gives you the possibility to comment on the stories and see even more of the many photographs from Afghanistan and other places.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Fox news just reported on this. No more than I already knew.



    They don't know where the yacht is, who is on board other than my initial report and they don't have anyone shadowing them yet, nothing.....
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Blackwater Plans Effort Against Piracy

    By AUGUST COLEPrivate security firm Blackwater Worldwide began holding meetings in London on Tuesday with potential clients for a new business venture -- protection from pirates.


    The Moyock, N.C., firm, which has grown rapidly through State Department security work in Iraq, has been courting shippers and insurance firms about protecting ships in pirate-infested waters. It's meeting with more than a dozen firms this week and hopes to drum up its first contract.


    View Full Image





    Neil Rabinowitz/BlackwaterThe McArthur can carry helicopters and inflatable boats.






    There have been almost 100 attempts this year to seize ships off East Africa, fewer than half of which were successful, according to the U.S. Navy. On Nov. 30, two skiffs harassed an Oceania Cruises Inc. ship passing through the Gulf of Aden. Eight shots were fired at the cruise liner, which evaded the boats, according to the Miami-based company.


    A chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden was seized by pirates last week, and earlier in November pirates grabbed a Saudi tanker loaded with $100 million of oil, which is still being held.


    Navies from the U.S., India, Russia and Europe, including the British navy, have stepped up their patrols off the coasts of Somalia and Kenya and in the Gulf of Aden, but don't have the resources to protect all of the vessels that ply those waters. On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution supporting a European Union naval mission to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.


    The U.S. Navy is warning that ships need to be ready to fend for themselves in an area four times the size of Texas. "We've made a lot of recommendations that range from keeping ladders up on the ships' sides to putting professional security teams on board," said a Navy official.


    The pirates, often armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, have lured ships with false distress calls and even attempted assaults with fast-moving boats, according to reports from the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre on recent attacks.


    Blackwater already has a ship it says could be deployed abroad to scare off or even challenge pirates: the 183-foot McArthur, which the company bought in 2006. It can carry two helicopters as well as rigid-hull inflatable boats favored by naval commandoes, and 30 guards in addition to a crew of 15. Blackwater's database of contractors includes former Navy SEALs and Coast Guard personnel.


    "Its primary goal would be one of deterrence, that's the idea here," said Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell. The company would prefer to keep its guards aboard its own ship because of legal uncertainties. "We would be allowed to fire if fired upon; the right of self-defense is one that exists in international waters," she said.


    Blackwater's push to land its first antipiracy contract is part of a strategy to build its business outside its State Department security work in Iraq, which brings in between $300 million and $400 million a year. There are growing concerns in the security industry that costs and legal risks in Iraq could skyrocket because, under a new agreement, foreign contractors there are set to lose their immunity from local law next year.


    Shippers are wary of hiring combat-ready contractors to defend their oil tankers or cargo vessels because of liability issues and because pirates may be tempted to shoot first if they see armed guards. Kristi Clemens, president of security firm Aegis LLC, says it could even end up raising insurance rates.


    Write to August Cole at august.cole@dowjones.com
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    That last article is old I guess. Was trying to locate something about them

    Apparently Blackwater is now called Xe Services.

    ???
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Pirates Reportedly Hijack Danish Boat With Three Children on Board


    Published February 28, 2011
    | FoxNews.com



    COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Pirates reportedly have hijacked a Danish sailboat with four adults and three children on board.


    The ship was hijacked Thursday while traveling through the Indian [COLOR=blue ! important][COLOR=blue ! important]Ocean[/COLOR][/COLOR] and is now on its way to Somalia, Denmark's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Charlotte Slente told DR News, a national TV News channel in Denmark.


    A Danish couple, their three children and two technicians were on board the sailboat, DR News reported.


    Navy Operational Command started investigating immediately after receiving a distress signal from the Danish boat, Slente said.


    All relatives of those on board the boat have been informed of the events and are in close contact with the Danish authorities, Slente told the station.


    "This is a very difficult situation - even to relatives. Not least because there are children involved, and therefore we are asking the Danish media about being gentle on the relatives, " she said.


    For security reasons the Ministry would not supply any further details on the missing passengers, DR News reported.



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02...#ixzz1FH6HYGrN
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    From another internet forum. I can't confirm this though:

    According to our information the attack happened in position 14N and 58E and the name of the Yacht is S/Y ING.

    Pete
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    ANOTHER YACHT SEAJACKED BY SOMALI PIRATES (ecop-marine)
    On or about the 24. February 2010 a Danish Yacht was captured by pirates in the Southern Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.
    The Danish foreign ministry confirmed and stated this publicly only today, which is why we could release the alert only just now, since it always has also to be ensured that the next of kin are informed first.
    According to our information the attack happened in position 14N and 58E and the name of the Yacht is S/Y ING.
    Four adults and three children aged 12, 14 and 16 are kept hostage.
    The yacht is at present commandeered towards Somalia.
    It is really hoped that the navies this time do not make the same mistakes as in the cases of SY TANIT AND SY QUEST.
    According to our information also two other Danes from weapons-ship MV LEOPARD are still held hostage by a Somali pirate gang.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    http://maritime-security-seamarshal....situation.html

    LATEST:

    DANISH VESSEL POSSIBLY SEAJACKED BY SOMALIS IN TANZANIA
    (ecop-marine)
    Reports from the boundary between Kenya and Tanzania indicated earlier that the 46,955 dwt chemical- and oil-products tanker MT TORM REPUBLICAN had been attacked today. Now it is said, but officially not yet confirmed, that the vessel has been sea-jacked and is already commandeered towards Somalia.

    The vessel belongs to TORM A/S in Hellerup, Denmark but is managed by TORM SHIPPING INDIA PVT LTD in Andheri-Kur, India. The crew of about 22 is said to be all of Indian nationality.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Vessel is S/V Ing Danish Flagged.

    Four adults, three children.

    Here's their site: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/jordenrundt.info/

    They were taken near the last dot on the map from what I can figure out.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Pirates Hijack Vessel Carrying 7 Danes, Including 3 Children

    By J. DAVID GOODMAN

    Published: February 28, 2011







    Pirates in the Arabian Sea hijacked a yacht carrying seven Danish passengers, including three children, the Danish government said Monday, in the first reported attack on a small pleasure vessel since four Americans were killed by their pirate captors last week.

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    That attack was the deadliest in recent years by Somali pirates, who have struck with increasing impunity throughout the waters off the Horn of Africa, and appeared to mark a departure from the usual hijacking playbook, which includes steep cash ransoms and little violence.
    What effect the American deaths would have on Denmark’s approach to the latest hijacking remained unclear. Along with the United States Navy, Danish naval ships are part of international antipiracy patrols in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. However, Denmark has in the past favored negotiation over taking an aggressive posture toward pirates.
    There were seven people aboard the Danish yacht, which was taken on Thursday, including a man and a woman, their three children, 12, 14, and 16, and two crew members, the Danish Foreign Ministry said. The ministry did not explain why it had waited several days to make the announcement; it said relatives of the hostages had been notified.
    It was not immediately clear how many pirates boarded the yacht or whether they were Somali. Ecoterra International, a nonprofit maritime group that monitors pirate attacks, said the yacht had been hijacked in the southern part of the Arabian sea, far from the Horn of Africa, but appeared to be heading in the direction of Somalia.
    “Naturally, I am deeply concerned over the situation,” the Danish foreign minister, Lene Espersen, said in a statement, adding that “especially as there are children involved and I can only express my utter disdain for the pirates’ actions.”
    Governments have pleaded with ship owners and sea-faring vacationers to stick to designated shipping lanes when passing through the Arabian Sea, where pirates continue to strike with impunity, despite the presence of dozens of warships. The United States Navy sometimes provides escorts for convoys and the ships travel in numbers for safety.
    Last Tuesday, pirates shot and killed Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and Phyllis Macay and Robert A. Riggle of Seattle during what appeared to be a dispute among the jittery pirates as United States naval forces shadowed their hijacked yacht, the Quest, off the coast of Oman. Why the pirates chose to kill their captives remains murky, given that their business model, which has raked in more than $100 million in the past few years, is based on ransoming captives alive.
    Several Danes have been held by Somali pirates in recent years. In 2007, five Danish sailors were held captive for 83 days on board the hijacked Danish freighter “Danica White,” the Danish newspaper Politiken has reported, and pirates are currently holding a Danish freighter with two Danes and four Filipino sailors on board. The ship was hijacked on Jan. 12 near Oman in the Gulf of Aden.
    Somali pirates increased their attacks in 2010 for the fourth straight year, striking more ships and taking more hostages last year than in any year on record, according to a January report by the Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau, taking 1,181 people hostage over the course of 2010, and killing eight in attacks on 445 ships.
    More than 50 vessels with more than 800 hostages are now being held captive.
    Christina Anderson contributed reporting from Stockholm.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Danish family's sailboat hijacked in Indian Ocean



    Feb 28, 2011 7:47 PM | By Sapa-AP

    Pirates have hijacked a Danish sailboat with four adults and three children aboard as they were crossing the Indian Ocean, Denmark's government said.


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    Most hostages captured in the pirate-infested waters off East Africa are professional sailors, not families. Pirates are not known to have captured children before.



    The Danish Foreign Ministry said the ship sent a distress signal on Thursday. On board was a Danish couple, their three children - aged 12-16 - and two adult crew members, also Danes.



    "It has now been confirmed that the sailboat was hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean," the ministry said in a statement.



    Two days before the Danish sailboat sent the distress signal, four Americans were killed by Somali pirates in a hostage standoff. They were the first Americans slain by Somali pirates since a wave of attacks began six years ago.



    Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said she was "deeply concerned" about the situation and expressed her sympathies to the Danes on the boat and their relatives.
    "It is almost unbearable to think that there are children involved and I can only sharply denounce the pirates' actions," Espersen said.



    Danish news agency Ritzau, citing Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Charlotte Slente, said the boat was believed to be heading toward Somalia.



    Earlier Monday, the European Union Naval Force said Somali pirates hijacked a Greek-owned cargo vessel with 23 crew on board.



    The MV Dover was seized Monday in the north Arabian sea, 260 miles (420 kilometers) northeast of the Omani port of Salalah, the naval force said. The MV Dover was on its way to Yemen from Pakistan when it was attacked. It was registered with shipping and naval authorities.



    There are three Romanians, 19 Filipinos and a Russian aboard the Panama-flagged vessel. There is no communication with the ship and no information regarding the condition of the crew.



    In a separate incident, pirates released the MV Izumi on Friday, the naval force said Monday. The Panama-flagged vessel and its Filipino crew of 20 are believed to be making for a safe port. There is no information on the condition of the vessel or the crew. The ship was taken in October.
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