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Maersk Repels A Second Pirate Attack

From the Associated Press:

Maersk Alabama repels 2nd pirate attack with guns

By Jason Straziuso, Associated Press Writer Wed Nov 18

NAIROBI, Kenya – Somali pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama on Wednesday for the second time in seven months, though private guards on board the U.S.-flagged ship repelled the attack with gunfire and a high-decibel noise device

Four suspected pirates in a skiff attacked the ship again on Tuesday around 6:30 a.m. local time, firing on the ship with automatic weapons from about 300 yards (meters) away, a statement from the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain said.

An on-board security team repelled the attack by using evasive maneuvers, small-arms fire and a Long Range Acoustic Device, which can beam earsplitting alarm tones, the fleet said.

Vice Adm. Bill Gortney of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said the Maersk Alabama had followed the maritime industry’s "best practices" in having a security team on board.

"This is a great example of how merchant mariners can take proactive action to prevent being attacked and why we recommend that ships follow industry best practices if they’re in high-risk areas," Gortney said in a statement.

However, Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the London-based think tank Chatham House, said the international maritime community was still "solidly against" armed guards aboard vessels at sea, but that American ships have taken a different line than the rest of the international community.

"Shipping companies are still pretty much overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of armed guards," Middleton said. "Lots of private security companies employee people who don’t have maritime experience. Also, there’s the idea that it’s the responsibility of states and navies to provide security. I would think it’s a step backward if we start privatizing security of the shipping trade."

A self-proclaimed pirate told The Associated Press from the Somali pirate town of Haradhere that colleagues out at sea had called around 9 a.m. — 2 1/2 hours after the attack.

"They told us that they got in trouble with an American ship, then we lost them. We have been trying to locate them since," said a self-described pirate who gave his name as Abdi Nor.

A U.S. Navy P-3 surveillance aircraft "is monitoring Maersk Alabama and has good voice communication with the vessel," said Lt. Nathan Christensen, the Bahrain-based spokesman for the 5th Fleet.

"Everything is safe and secure and Maersk Alabama is proceeding to their intended destination," Christensen said. The ship was heading for the Kenyan port town of Mombasa.

Maritime experts said it was unlucky but not unprecedented that the Maersk Alabama had been targeted in a second attack

Underscoring the danger, a self-proclaimed pirate said Wednesday that the captain of a ship hijacked Monday had died of wounds suffered during the ship’s hijacking. The pirate, Sa’id, who gave only one name for fear of reprisals, said the captain died Tuesday night from internal bleeding.

The EU Naval Force has said the Virgin Islands-owned chemical tanker the Theresa was taken Monday with 28 North Korean crew…

Funny, it seems that guns work.

Despite what the piracy expert at the London-based think tank Chatham House think.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Maersk Repels A Second Pirate Attack”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    I am reminded of one Maya Angelous’ ‘pearls’ of wisdom:

    Effective action is always unjust.

  2. proreason says:

    Wasn’t blowing the head off the boy pirate the first time a war-crime?

    Was he Mirandized? Did he have a chance to engage a lawyer? Had he committed a capital crime? Do we even know for sure that he intended to commit a crime? Was he sane? Wasn’t his behaviour influenced by a difficult childhood? Did he get a bad grade in school? Was he unjustly excluded from a job?

    Surely there was less evidence against that young man than against KLM.

    Yet Mr. Obama ordered his execution in the cruelest possible manner without even pretending to follow the rule of law.

  3. Chuckk says:

    “Using guns” to fight off armed pirates is a step backward. Of course it is. A modern, civilized society gives up and pays ransom.

  4. Georgfelis says:

    Glad to see these pirates are getting their traditional rights.

    You have the right to intercept high-velocity ammo.
    You have the right to a short rope and a long drop
    You have the right to become an example to the survivors of What Not To Do

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    “.. repelled the attack with gunfire and a high-decibel noise device…”

    What .. no RPG’s? Mortars? Surface torpedos?

  6. canary says:

    some crew members said they wanted ship renamed, but company refused.

  7. crosspatch says:

    “Funny, it seems that guns work.”

    Bet flame throwers would, too.

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