Somali pirates

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by bntii, Feb 22, 2011.

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  1. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

    I guess for the time being, sharing a map with the area's with activity and passing on information regarding these incidents is very important as well as applying pressure to the legal entities that would either allow for firearms, create a task group, etc... (what ever is the most efficient solution).
     
  2. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    This talk of arming vessels only makes sense on large commercial ships, there is simply no way any of us on this forum are going to be able to carry enough weapons and enough crew who are profficient at using them, on our sailboats to be able to ward off 19 well armed pirates. There is simply no good reason to be in the danger zone imho. Granted they are expanding their range but at least stay out of the hornets nest until they get erradicated.
    Steve.
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I agree, Steve. First defense: Stay out of the danger zones. That means no going to the Red Sea, South China Sea or South America. Those are the most common areas for attacks (see IMO website - it shows all attacks).

    Again, I agree about not being able to fend off a small para-military group. Luckily for us, these guys tend to go after ships, not boats under 150ft.

    However, there are plenty of cases of people on boats under 100ft being attacked (and often killed brutally) in the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as in the USA itself. Us small time charter boats should be able to legally carry arms to defend our places of business while traveling outside of our home countries - say to the Bahamas for instance.

    This should all be set up with the IMO, overriding land-based gun laws and allowing boats a way to defend themselves against attack. Of course, all defensive weapons should not be permitted to leave the vessel.

    Even large ships going through the Red Sea are prohibited from carrying defensive weapons. A large ship with a trained security contingent could, IMO, repel boarders. It wouldn't even be so hard to rig up a steel ship to have some old fashioned armored turrets. A few RPG's for us for a change (on the larger ships) and the pirates would end up having to find a new line of work.

    This could all be done just like the other IMO/SOLAS regulations adopted internationally by all the countries that participate (most or all countries).

    The trouble is, we need a unified, worldwide policy pertaining to defensive arms aboard working vessels, possibly also extending to leisure vessels.

    Land based gun restrictions make no sense at sea where there is no protection.
     
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    This is something I'd like to see happen. I have already written to the IMO requesting such international law. Obviously, my one request means nothing, but it would be nice to get the ball rolling.

    Having defensive weapons aboard a vessel should be covered by international law, superseding local regulations.

    I wish I knew how to get something rolling in that direction.. :confused:
     
  5. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Allowing ships to arm themselves may solve one problem but lead to another. I can foresee crew members of ships calling into ports selling guns as a means of extra income.

    Of course there are the short sighted people who would claim that "we only allow a certain number of guns and they should be registered blah blah blah, but it would be very difficult to police and these ships also go to ports where there is no problem with pirates and for those countries to set up policing procedures and impliment them would be out of the question cost wise on an international scale.

    However the international navy squad can't seem to stop it:
    1. They can't cover the area.
    2. If a ship is under attack they can't get to it fast enough.

    There should be international navy anti pirate squads set up that are posted on merchant ships specialy trained in fighting pirate attacks.

    These squads could be dropped by chopper onto the decks of merchant ships, not easy but the reason for the special training.

    Then the pirates are playing a game of Russian Roulete, which ships have the squads on??

    It would have to be a no prisoner engagement as the squad would be airlifted off the ships after they get past the danger zones.

    Probably 6 of these squads which will travel internationaly and work out of cooperating countries.

    The pirates would eventually run out of boats or people willing to be pirates.
     
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Those squads sound very expensive. Who would pay for them?

    All you would have to do is require that each gun is registered internationally, and ban anyone from taking them off the vessel for any purpose, except servicing by an authorized/legitimate gunsmith.

    Much less expensive and much more effective.
     
  7. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    @ Catbuilder, who would police it. It would have to policed at every port in the world, a logistic impossibility and more expensive than what I suggested.

    Expense of these squads would only be a fraction of the cost when you consider they are already navy personnel who are already being paid with choppers and planes thay already have.

    It would also be a military exercise that would be useful in war time as well as a goodwill military cooperation between countries.
     
  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    The local police would police it.

    All shipboard arms are part of the ship's equipment and must remain aboard. Several countries allow you to bring firearms to their waters already, but you are required to keep your weapons aboard.


    The minute a weapon is brought off the ship, it falls under local law jurisdiction. Local police would enforce land based local firearms laws, like they do every day in this case. So, if you took your gun off your boat in Mexico, for instance, you'd go to jail for 20 years. If you kept it aboard, you'd be safe from the Mexico's harsh land-based gun laws.

    In all other cases, weapons must remain aboard the boat at all times as part of the ship's equipment, like flares and the like.

    This is getting crazy. Another one hijacked today. You know every little petty criminal in the Caribbean is looking at these guys and thinking he can start robbing people on a small scale in a similar fashion.

    We need an IMO/SOLAS body of law allowing ships to carry defensive weapons. Where do I get started? We need a movement. The current regulations (which vary by country and even state here in the USA) don't work.

    There is nobody to help you at sea. There is no police, no military, nothing but whatever resources you have at hand. It's about time we professional mariners had a right to protect ourselves legally. Where do I get the movement going?
     
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    You can carry weapons at sea, its the company policy that might be the problem.

    My boat is in the Malacca straits. I used to carry weapons bought in Singapore removed from the government armaments ware house and released to me in the street with a customs, port and immigration clearance .

    I personally know a mercenary who works the waters off Somalia with 2 others and is flown back and fourth for another, he carries weapons from hell.

    Any one who has checked into a foriegn country will be familiar with the entrance form --you are asked to declare arms -- it is legal they just want to know. They may be locked and sealed in a secure location on board OR held by the local police till departure.

    Its no big deal.

    In my virgin days of travel I asked another if the authorities were surprised at arms on board boats he said they would be more surprised if you had'nt.
     
  10. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    So everybody stay away from Indian Ocean :rolleyes:
    Another matter when people want away from Somalia.. they get a boat, old kalashnikov, head out and surrender for the first western navalship in sight, admit their quilty to piracy and of they go to a civilized prison with much better life than any refugee camp ever.. :eek:
     
  11. Vulkyn
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    Vulkyn Senior Member

  12. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Frosty, this isn't true for many places.

    As an example, if you check into Mexico with weapons aboard you lose your vessel, you are taken ashore and put in jail for 20 years for possession of a firearm.

    Bahamas: You can bring guns, but you have to declare every gun and every round of ammo. If your inventory changes, you are in big, BIG trouble.

    Turks and Caicos: Firearms must be declared and will be taken from you by customs while you stay. Does you no good if you are attacked.

    Columbia: Penalty for possession of firearms is 3-10 years in prison.

    UK (you probably should have known this one!): Firearms and ammunition are not allowed for visiting yachts.

    It goes on and on like this... either they lock up your weapons aboard with their own padlock or the weapons are taken from you. In some very strict countries (like Mexico), it's a jail term if you arrive with firearms.
     
  13. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Canada: One summer a guy spent the weekend in jail, lost his silver plated hand gun and was deported even after declaring what he had onboard... He and his wife were up from Washington State for the weekend. Some weekend. His wife and I had a good time though...
     
  14. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler


  15. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    "there is simply no way any of us on this forum are going to be able to carry enough weapons and enough crew who are profficient at using them" - Bet me. I can make it near impossible and very undesirable to approach to within a mile - even in rough water. An RPG has an effective range of a few hundred yards in calm water with trained, practiced operator.
    "I can foresee crew members of ships calling into ports selling guns as a means of extra income" - We could use a few in Egypt, Libya, and Iran - Those poor people can't defend themselves because of anti-gun thinking. Anybody up for a trip to Somalia to sell arms? I didn't think so.
    Cat, spot on.
     
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