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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Show All Comments
Rainer
19,981
Tim White
Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt - Hart, MI - Hart, MI

Prime example that the U.S.is losing it's "Not to be toyed with" stature in the world. Let me scoop up some of my Marines, and we'll remind them why you don't want to be on the wrong side.

Apr 08, 2009 10:54 AM #1
Rainmaker
453,501
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

I just heard a report that the crew had re-taken the vessel. Hope it's true. There's also a small group of French tourists who were recently captured. These guys need some harsh justice.

Apr 08, 2009 11:00 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

John,

Yes, I just saw that. That must be one tough crew. It will be interesting to see how it works out. One thing is for sure, they still need to stop this.

Apr 08, 2009 11:15 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,717,545
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC, e-PRO

Hi Steve

The good news is we have taken back the ship, now the country has to deal with it so it doesn't happen again. The question is will we deal with it  or will we make a apology.

Good luck and Success

Lou Ludwig

Apr 08, 2009 11:18 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Lou,

This seems like something we need to deal with.

Apr 08, 2009 11:23 AM #5
Rainmaker
222,486
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

These guys are definitely getting more aggressive.  If we send in the US armed forces to deal with it properly we'll probably be criticized for our barbaric behavior.  Even by some of our own citizens. 

Apr 08, 2009 11:38 AM #6
Rainmaker
718,853
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

There was a long article about this type activity in probably "Newsweek."  I was fascinated as I read through it.  They are pretty bold guys to board the ships and ask for money, which they are obviously getting! 

Apr 08, 2009 12:40 PM #7
Rainmaker
296,982
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

These days, the pirates are going after anything close to the coast of Somalia. Most countries have been turning their back on this situation and just paying them off for the past few years. Things may change now that is has effected the US. These pirates have an unbelievable amount of money, weapons, resources, and an ideal location. They won't go away easily. Thanks for the post. 

Apr 08, 2009 02:35 PM #8
Rainmaker
179,204
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

It is now time to go in find these guys and make the waterways safe.  I wonder how they would feel about a USN carrier and a couple of seal teams.

Jack (ex USN)

Apr 08, 2009 02:37 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

It sure makes me feel like I am living in another era....like going back in a time machine.

Apr 08, 2009 03:39 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

I was just reading the latest on this. It says that the pirates are holding the Captain hostage but that the crew had taken control of the ship. Sounds like they have the captain. I am not certain but, from what I read, I assume he is American. These are some pirates. Sounds like a big business operation probably run by only  a few with satellite pirates.

"Somali pirates are trained fighters who frequently dress in military fatigues and use speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades. Far out to sea, their speedboats operate from larger mother ships."

Apr 08, 2009 04:42 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,231,066
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I think these guys are learning about ships, their management, downloading computer systems and learning what they can.  They take different crews from different countries to see the reactions.  It is all information gathering, military intelligence really.  These are not scrub operations, and they are not all Somalian.  They have time on their side.

One day they will use this information, grab a ship, load it with a nuke or a biological and ram it into an American port.

And all the while this President will sit in a room with "advisers" to discuss what diplomatic actions to take while someone else has to take the bull by the horns and does something adult about the situation.  Like today!

Apr 08, 2009 08:51 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jay,

It is a frustrating world out there for sure.

Apr 08, 2009 09:37 PM #13
Rainmaker
179,204
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Wow Jay, don't hold back just tell us how you feel!

Apr 08, 2009 10:20 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

It is not over yet. It is confirmed that the pirates are still holding the American Captain of the ship. They have an American hostage.

 

 http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/08/ship.hijacked/index.html

 

Apr 08, 2009 10:27 PM #15
Rainmaker
193,865
Tony Orefice
Wilkinson and Associates/www.TonyOreficeRealtor.com - Harrisburg, NC
Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC

Hey Steve,

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

Apr 10, 2009 09:20 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr Tony,

I agree totally.

Nutsy for the boss

Apr 10, 2009 10:49 PM #17
Rainmaker
312,527
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park

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

Apr 11, 2009 12:37 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,180,723
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

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.

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

Apr 13, 2009 10:37 AM #20
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,180,723

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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