Pirates are nothing more than Terrorists


Well-known member
27 Dec 2004
Marine Surveyor in Barbados
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The article below is copied from the latest edition of 'Bow Wave', a weekly e-zine from http://www.wavyline.com/

Note how it mentions that the crew are 'not allowed to be armed'.
Sitting ducks almost?

3. Piracy Thoughts

Alan Coleman has passed us this extract from his firm's new monthly newsletter.
The firm is Times Marine, a UAE based marine consultancy company with survey stations in 24 countries.

A thought for our 'civilian' Mariners

I recently surveyed a small tanker in the Indian Ocean and saw firsthand what these poor souls (the crew) have to endure.
From these photographs one can clearly see the bullet holes in the bridge wing area.
The RPG fired upon them apparently (luckily) flew over the top of the wheelhouse!
The attempt to take the vessel was thwarted by the crew.

The crew (although not allowed to be armed) have taken to deploying razor wire all around the ship,hanging 45 gallon oil barrels over the side (which bounce around in the water deterring the small skiffs from approaching with their 'window cleaner' step ladders) and building improvised pipe guns which shoot pyrotechnics (safety rocket flares) with surprising accuracy at the assailants.
This particular vessel had the engine room hatch welded shut and the common steering
access fortified.
As a last resort the crew would barricade themselves in to the steering compartment and steer the vessel to an area that was known to have coalition forces around.
This was possible because of stored provisions, a GPS navigator and charts positioned within the steering compartment.
The vessel would steer from the emergency steering position 'blind'!

Some say the Korean's stance is the way to go, however, the word on the street is that the Pirates will now not bother with taking hostages from any Korean Flagged vessel, instead that they will fire upon and kill the crew.
This may have been an option for all security forces at the outset of this saga but with over 700 crewmen and a multitude of vessels now being held by the pirates, if this stance is now taken these innocent 'civilian' vessel operators may simply be put to death by their
captors as retribution?

The Chinese and Russian Navy appear to be the most effectual to date, in that they position a frigate at the front and rear of a convoy and deploy at least 4 armed guards on to every vessel in the convoy...none of these vessels have been taken.

The US and European forces complain that they cannot help while the pirates are in the water as they may merely be fishermen (with RPGs?) and that once the pirates are on the vessel it is then a hostage situation and the forces cannot intervene for fear of hurting the crew (who are probably being beaten by the pirates at that time) and that they can
only intervene in the period that the pirates are boarding the vessel.......
This seems a little complicated and political, the end result normally being that they effectively do nothing.

Finally, whilst money is being made by the many 'private army escort' companies and the ransoms are being paid there is probably no real incentive to stop this nightmare for the crew.

The names of the vessel and crew mentioned in this report are not given to protect the identity of the crew who fear that their actions may be frowned upon by their vessel owners, cargo owners, brokers, charterers, lawyers, P & I Clubs, Flag States, IMO, UNO Coalition forces...with these people up against them (the crew) one wonders how they have time to worry about the Pirates!