International Incident: Pirates Seize U.S. Crew

By
Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
Well, today we are confronted with an international incident that is a first for the USA in modern times. A ship flying our flag has been seized by modern day "pirates."

Fascinated, I have been reading news stories over the past year about the new Somalian pirates. When I read the first story, I was amazed that these guys were operating in our modern world. I thought the gangs of pirates went out with Treasure Island. Apparently there is little or no semblance of a government in Somalia and bad guys rule and do as they wish. Somalia sounds like one of Blackbeard's safe havens back in the golden age of pirates. Algiers was a popular haven for pirates in those days of old. These modern pirates are not far removed from Robert Lewis Stevenson's novels, except they have high powered weapons and electronic communication and motorized craft.

Sure, I have known for years that some piracy took place. For example, bad guys were sometimes taking over rich people's yachts and sometimes the rich people vanished. That is more like murder and robbery but this new bigtime trend is nothing like that. These teams of pirates swarm large cargo ships and ships with commodities or valuables on board. These pirates are not to be confused with terrorists. The pirates are in it for money, not specifically for mayhem or publicity for a cause. They want bucks. They will use their weapons if necessary, but the primary goal is to intimidate with the guns and to hijack the ship and stay on-board until some company or government will pay millions of dollars to get them to leave.

A major breaking story this morning is that, for the first time, the pirates have had the courage to take a ship flying the US flag. The ship they have seized sails out of Virginia and is owned by a US subsidiary of a Danish company. A crew of twenty Americans is being held captive.

These pirates are emboldened. In the last few days, they have taken action against ships with French, British, Italian and now US crews.

It seems like the time has come to stop this international treachery. There must be some way to put an end to this old-world crime that has had a major revival on the open waters. You can read the latest on the capture of the US crew at Reuters.

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Comments 20 New Comment

Rainmaker
193,261
Tony Orefice
Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC
Wilkinson and Associates/www.TonyOreficeRealtor.com

Hey Steve,

all these "pirates" should be made to walk the plank...in shark infested waters!! 

April 10, 2009 09:20 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,480
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

Mr Tony,

I agree totally.

Nutsy for the boss

April 10, 2009 10:49 PM
Rainmaker
312,527
Carol Culkin
Overland Park
Reece & Nichols

Steve - We need to send our Coast guard over there!

April 11, 2009 12:37 AM
Rainmaker
1,172,480
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc

It seems like as soon as this one is resolved, they need to figure something out. Years ago the US and England worked to capture Blackbeard as I recall. I cannot believe we are talking serious pirates again. Are we in a time warp or what.

April 11, 2009 12:54 AM
Rainer
19,981
Tim White
Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt - Hart, MI

How about those SEALs, huh? The boys got the captain home safe and sound. Amazing what we can do when our leadership takes the leash off.

April 13, 2009 10:37 AM
Rainmaker
1,172,480

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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Additional Information

Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals. Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector, ASHI certified inspector #252760 and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.