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Old 11-26-2005   #1
SWJED
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Default U.S. Firm to Fight Somali Pirates

24 Nov. BBC report - U.S. Firm to Fight Somali Pirates.

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A US company has been given a two-year contract to help fight piracy off the Somalia coast - seen as among the world's most dangerous waters...

Topcat Marine Security will target the "mother ship" launching pirate ships from the open sea, said the firm's Peter Casini...
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Old 04-07-2008   #2
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Default More Piracy Near Somalia

This is an interesting story. According the reports I read, a luxury yacht was captured by Somali pirates off the coast of Puntaland as it was sailing between the seychelles and the mediterranean. USA Today says there were 10 ukrainians on board, the French government says up to 20 and the Ukrainian governments says there was one. All were apparently crew - no passengers.

Is it common for Luxury yachts to sail near the coast of Somalia?

Apparently, the French government sent a "commando force", GIGN, to "reinforce" the negotiations (see http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...d/5680051.html and http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp..._yacht_pirates
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Old 04-07-2008   #3
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Default Only

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Originally Posted by Beelzebubalicious View Post
...
Is it common for Luxury yachts to sail near the coast of Somalia?
if the Captain is blazingly stupid...
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Old 04-07-2008   #4
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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
if the Captain is blazingly stupid...
Or perhaps been directed to do so to generate a causus belli to justify a military strike.

Actually, I understand that this yacht does a winter round in the Seychelles area then transits the Suez Canal in April to do a summer round of cruising in the Med. Last time I checked, one needs to sail past Puntaland to get into the Red Sea and the Suez from the Seychelles. The only question is how close one needs to be to that coast. Since this yacht has 3 masts worth of sail power, perhaps it was just following the winds.
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Old 04-07-2008   #5
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Default La Belle France. A casus belli?

surely not...

Edited to add: I guess it would depend on whether you wished to be captured by Somalis or Yemenis...

Last edited by Ken White; 04-07-2008 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Add Brilliant Comment
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Old 04-07-2008   #6
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Default

I read the monthly piracy reports and Somalia has been a hot spot for a long time. Unfortunately if you want to transit the Suez Canal, and you've come up the inland passage between Africa and Madagascar (like coastal sailors are going to), then you end up rounding Somalia no batter what. Some sailors (yachties) are going all the way out to Mauritaus (off the coast of Somalia) to make the swing. Still most of the piracy (way more than terrorism) is against container ships and after the crew belongings more than the cargo.
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Old 04-07-2008   #7
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Default I don't like math much these days,

but according to this article, there's not much room for more than two Ukrainians, since the passengers were elsewhere during the capture

Quote:
PARIS (AP) - France's military is keeping close tabs on a French luxury yacht seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's coast, and officials hope to avoid using force to free the 30 crew members, the prime minister said Saturday.

Attackers stormed the 88-meter Le Ponant on Friday as it returned without passengers from the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean, toward the Mediterranean Sea, officials with French maritime transport company CMA-CGM said.

France's defense minister said the crew included 22 French citizens, including six women. Other members included Ukrainians, military spokesman Cmdr. Christophe Prazuck said. About 10 attackers continued to guide the boat south along Somalia's eastern coast, he said.
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Old 04-07-2008   #8
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Default ICC piracy reports

You'll find the ICC piracy reports here. They always make for interesting reading.

As they note:

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The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has received 31 actual and attempted attacks in 2007. Many more attacks may have gone unreported. Some pirates are dangerous and would fire their automatic weapons at ships to stop them. Occasionally, they would use their RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) launchers at ships. Pirates are believed to be using “mother vessels” to launch attacks at very far distance from coast. These “mother vessel” is able to proceed to very far out to sea to launch smaller boats to attack and hijack passing ships. Eastern and Northeastern coasts are high risk areas for attacks and hijackings. Vessels not making scheduled calls to ports in Somalia should keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast, ideally more than 200 nautical miles. Mariners are also advised to report any suspicious boats to the Centre.
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Old 04-08-2008   #9
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Default Blown outta da water !

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...according to this article, there's not much room for more than two Ukrainians, since the passengers were elsewhere during the capture
This article really helps figure out just who is on board the French Yacht these days

6 Filipinos On French Yacht Seized By Pirates:

Quote:
MANILA (AFP)--Six Filipinos are among 30 crew members of a luxury French yacht hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, the Philippine foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The Filipinos along with the 26 other crew members of the 32-cabin Ponant are "in good physical condition" at present, but there have been no demands from the pirates who captured them, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
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Old 04-08-2008   #10
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Default Hmmm.....

This is starting to sound more and more like some kind of botched French intel operation to me.... Either that or they just don't know who actually was working as crew on the yacht.
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Old 04-08-2008   #11
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Default What to do ?

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This is starting to sound more and more like some kind of botched French intel operation to me.... Either that or they just don't know who actually was working as crew on the yacht.
Hey Steve,
Wayne and I were PMing potential options for a quick and dirty intervention. My version included 500 rounds of .50 cal at 300 meters followed by a small torpedo while Wayne envisioned Zodiacs stormin' and a boardin' with an AC-130 providing suppressive fire (ahem... without hitting the ship).

A quick trip to the International Maritime Bureau's site however has come up with an ingenuous device to keep those pesky pirates at bay... with 9,000 volts

Quote:
Secure-Ship is the most recent and effective innovation in the fight against piracy. It is a non-lethal, electrifying fence surrounding the whole ship, which has been specially adapted for maritime use. The fence uses 9,000-volt pulse to deter boarding attempts. An intruder coming in contact with the fence will receive an unpleasant non-lethal shock that will result in the intruder abandoning the attempted boarding. At the same time an alarm will go off, activating floodlights and a very loud siren. The IMB strongly recommends ship owners to install this device on board their ships.
For you sailboat fanatics, the IMB also has a Weekly Piracy Report
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Old 04-08-2008   #12
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Joshua Slocum used tacks on the deck.
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Old 04-11-2008   #13
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Default French Commandos? Now that's

an oxymoron. Evidently the folks with enough money to staff and sail a luxury yacht also have enough juice to get some commando action.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/11/africa/yacht.php
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Old 04-12-2008   #14
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Default Sorry, but...

French commandos there are. GIGN and the Legion fellows definitely hold up their part of any tactical bargain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVRYgrwhhM8

I'm just not so sure I agree with GIGN's choice of an entry gun, which used to be a revolver.
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Old 04-12-2008   #15
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Default Back in the day

the SEALs used to use wheel-guns for ship board stuff...evidently it helped keep the old slip-and-fall to a minimum by reducing spent brass all over the deck. And, yes, I'm positive the french maintain a capable CT force...I just keep having images of pepe lePew in a beret and striped shirt...
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Old 04-13-2008   #16
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Default French pirate raid footage

Reuters Apr 12 -
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The French Defence Ministry releases footage of special forces moving in on people it says were fleeing pirates.

French forces have seized six men in Somalia they say were part of the pirate gang which seized a multi-million dollar luxury yacht last week but officials deny reports that at least five local people were killed in the operation.

Paul Chapman reports.
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Old 04-21-2008   #17
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Default Now a Spanish trawler

The BBC reports a Basque trawler 400kms off Somalia has been captured by pirates and is heading towards Somalia: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7357831.stm

Now what will Spain do? Not sure if they contribute to the naval task force in the region.

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Old 04-21-2008   #18
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Certainly didn't take long for the pirates to regroup, although seems they've lowered their standards a bit. There's gonna be a real handsome reward for the tuna boat and the release of the 13 African crew members
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Old 04-21-2008   #19
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Hey David !
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post

Now what will Spain do? Not sure if they contribute to the naval task force in the region.

davidbfpo
Don't look now, but a Spanish Naval Frigate is a headin' for Somalia
Quote:
Spain in hostage hunt off Somalia
The captain of the trawler - contacted by Spanish radio - said the crew were "all well". The Somali pirates have demanded a ransom.

"The defence ministry has instructed one of its ships which is nearby to head immediately to the area of the incident," the foreign ministry's statement said.
A Spanish military frigate that was in the Red Sea was heading towards the area where the fishing boat was seized, a government source said.
The defence ministry has also been in contact with military officials of nations with a military presence in the area to request "logistics support and help in locating the affected boat, the statement added.
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Old 04-21-2008   #20
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Default Senorita to the rescue

Stan,

One wonders if the new Spanish cabinet with its majority of female ministers, one being defence minister, has made a difference. I doubt if rescuing a trawler was on her list of things to achieve.

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