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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Default One Of The World's Largest Ships Hijacked

    Hijacked Supertanker Anchors Off Somalia

    JIDDA, Saudi Arabia — A hijacked Saudi-owned supertanker carrying more than $100 million worth of crude oil is believed to have anchored off Somalia and its owners are working toward “the safe and speedy return” of the 25 crew, the owners said Tuesday.



    A statement from Vela International, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabia-based oil giant Saudi Aramco, said the company was “awaiting further contact from the pirates in control of the vessel” who seized it some 480 miles off the coast of Somalia. Earlier reports said the 1,080-foot Sirius Star had been hijacked off the Kenyan coast.

    The statement did not say specifically that negotiations with the hijackers had started. The supertanker, about the same length as an American Nimitz class aircraft carrier, is the largest ship known to have been seized by pirates.

    The statement from Vela International, issued in Dubai, quoted the company’s president and chief executive, Salah B. Ka’aki, as saying the company’s “first and foremost priority is ensuring the safety of the crew. We are in communication with their families and are working toward their safe and speedy return." The crew is composed of 2 British, 2 Polish, 1 Croatian, 1 Saudi and 19 Philippines nationals.

    “Vela continues to monitor the situation and coordinate with the relevant embassies. At this time, Vela is awaiting further contact from the pirates in control of the vessel,” the statement said.

    Earlier, Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, stationed in Bahrain said that if the hijacking follows the pattern of previous attacks, the ship would anchor and “negotiations will begin between the pirates and the owners of ship.”

    Although the supertanker’s exact location near the Somali coast was not clear, in the past most pirates have brought hijacked vessels to a stretch of coastline between Eyl in the north to the Harradera region to the south, Commander Campbell said in a telephone interview.

    The hijacking follows a string of increasingly brazen attacks by Somali pirates in recent months, but this appeared to be the first time that pirates have seized a loaded oil tanker.

    Asked about a possible naval intervention, Commander Campbell said: “Once the attack takes place, this is a hostage situation, and there are 25 crew members on board that ship. As with any hostage situation, there has to be concern for those individuals.”

    Negotiations with pirates have often taken weeks or even months. A Ukrainian vessel hijacked in September, loaded with tanks and other heavy weapons, is still being held at Hobyo on the Somali coast, where the ship’s crew remain captives, Commander Campbell said.

    According to the International Maritime Bureau, a global clearinghouse for piracy reporting based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, , 88 ships have been attacked in the Gulf of Aden alone this year. And 14 hijacked ships remain in the gulf — the heavily armed hijackers still on board, with the crews, cargo and the vessels themselves being held for ransom.

    “They’re still at sea and still negotiating,” said Noel Choong, the head of the bureau’s piracy reporting center. As ransom payoffs have risen, he said, pirates have increased their demands. “They know the going rate.”

    Only a few years ago, the average ransom was in the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now payments can range from $500,000 to $2 million.

    The pirates’ profits are set to reach a record $50 million in 2008, Somali officials say. Shipping firms are usually prepared to pay, because the sums are low compared with the value of the ships.

    The attack on the Sirius Star took place despite an increased multinational naval presence off the Somali coast, where most of the recent hijackings have taken place. The pirates, often armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, travel in speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment.

    The location of the latest attack, far out to sea, suggested that the pirates may be expanding their range in an effort to avoid the multinational naval patrols now plying the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

    “I’m stunned by the range of it,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a news conference in Washington. The ship’s distance from the coast was “the longest distance I’ve seen for any of these incidents,” he said.

    The vessel was headed for the United States when it was seized, Reuters reported.

    Maritime experts recently have noticed a new development in the gulf — the pirates’ use of “mother ships,” large oceangoing trawlers carrying fleets of speedboats which are then deployed when a new prize is encountered.

    “They launch these boats and they’re like wild dogs,” said Mr. Choong in Kuala Lumpur. “They attack the ship from the port, from starboard, from all points, shooting, scaring the captain, firing RPGs and forcing the ship to stop.”

    There are some countermeasures the merchant ships can use when approaching pirates are spotted. Fire-retardant foam or huge blasts of water can be sprayed from the ship to douse the would-be hijackers.

    Once pirates get aboard, however, the ship is theirs, because crews on commercial vessels are rarely armed, according to Mr. Choong and other maritime experts. “They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons,” he said.

    Nor do many ship owners use armed contractors — seagoing mercenaries — to fight or ward off approaching pirates. Experts said crew safety and insurance liability were overriding concerns of captains and owners.

    “We do not advocate this, having armed escorts on board,” said Lee Yin Mui, assistant director of research at the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships at Sea. Known as ReCAAP, the 16-nation network is based in Singapore.

    “Armed escorts could only escalate the situation,” she said, “and perhaps trigger off heavy crossfire.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/wo...pirate.html?em
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  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    This story is unbelievable. It just flat-out floored me. These Somali pirates are getting ballsier by the day. Their stupid meter is starting to hit the red.

    Last year, I did a deployment supporting Spec Ops - Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command, or CFSOCC (which is the forward-deployed element of SOCCENT) - and got to travel all over that part of the world. Somalia is one of the armpits of the world. Too bad we couldn't just pull the cork on that country and let it sink into the Indian Ocean.

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  3. #3
    Good Enough Ace Ventura's Avatar
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    01.01.13 @ 04:06 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    “They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons,” he said.

    Yet they are put in charge of 100 Million dollars worth of crude and the largest oil tanker on Earth??? .....makes sense to me....
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  4. #4
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post

    There are some countermeasures the merchant ships can use when approaching pirates are spotted. Fire-retardant foam or huge blasts of water can be sprayed from the ship to douse the would-be hijackers.

    Once pirates get aboard, however, the ship is theirs, because crews on commercial vessels are rarely armed, according to Mr. Choong and other maritime experts. “They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons,” he said.

    Nor do many ship owners use armed contractors — seagoing mercenaries — to fight or ward off approaching pirates. Experts said crew safety and insurance liability were overriding concerns of captains and owners.

    “We do not advocate this, having armed escorts on board,” said Lee Yin Mui, assistant director of research at the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships at Sea. Known as ReCAAP, the 16-nation network is based in Singapore.

    “Armed escorts could only escalate the situation,” she said, “and perhaps trigger off heavy crossfire.”[/I]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/wo...pirate.html?em
    I think they are going to have to revisit whether ships are armed or not. With modern weaponry, they could sink the speedboats before they get anywhere close to the ships. When you walk through the ghetto/slum of any city, it's wise to have something to protect yourself be it a taser, stun gun or pepper spray. If you have to carry cash such as an employee taking money to be deposit, you might even want to carry a gun. Why wouldn't a boat do the same?
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  5. #5
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    10.16.17 @ 11:43 AM
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    This one will be resolved before the ship with tanks on it gets resolved.
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  6. #6
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    From now on, start blasting at anything or anyone that comes near the ship or displays threatening behavior. Done.

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    "Are they still behind us?"
    "Yes, Mdonka. Floor it and then take a sharp left"
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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  8. #8
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 07:41 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    "Are they still behind us?"
    "Yes, Mdonka. Floor it and then take a sharp left"
    yup...Kinda hard to take evasive maneuvers when you're captaining something the size of a small town.....talk about being a sitting duck

  9. #9
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    the only way to stop these things from happening is for these pirates to be blown out of the water a few times.

  10. #10
    Future's in the past....
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    3 words...Carrier Task Force


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  11. #11
    Baluchitherium mistere's Avatar
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    07.11.09 @ 03:27 AM
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    So what, the crew had Acid Reflux?

    Oh, right...


  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    Just anchor an aircraft carrier in the area and load it up with helicopter gunships. Patrol the area and watch every boat/ship via radar. When a threatening "speed boat" is spotted, turn the gunship pilots loose on their motherfucking asses and blast them into oblivion. Works for me!

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Couple of things.

    Machine guns or even an armed crew on an oil tanker is problematic. Oil releases flamable fumes which are vented out onto the deck. Firing even a handgun can set those fumes off and 1 million gallons of oil burns as half of the ship is blown straight to Mars. That's why they don't have armed security onboard. Some countries do put private security who are trained to work around the problem (crossbows and directed energy weapons).

    Oil tankers are easy to take down, when full they sit low in the water and are slow.

    Pirates need to be identified on shore and eliminated there and there needs to be a proactive program of stopping and bording small vessels off of the horn of Africa.

    Attack submarines can be put to great use in this situation as they can fill multiple roles. They can observe and track pirates back to their ports where they can be targeted from the air or by cruise missile. They can also launch SEAL teams to intervene in certain hijack situations.

    The only way that this stops is when Pirates start dying in large numbers globally.
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  14. #14
    Eruption ddzavis's Avatar
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    I'm seeing a Bond flick here!

  15. #15
    Good Enough Nickdfresh's Avatar
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    11.27.17 @ 11:27 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    Couple of things.

    Machine guns or even an armed crew on an oil tanker is problematic. Oil releases flamable fumes which are vented out onto the deck. Firing even a handgun can set those fumes off and 1 million gallons of oil burns as half of the ship is blown straight to Mars. That's why they don't have armed security onboard. Some countries do put private security who are trained to work around the problem (crossbows and directed energy weapons).
    Um, I'm not sure that this is the case. I've always thought that oil was very stable and the only real threat was of crude oil leaking into the environment as the result of a ruptured hull from an attack...

    Sorry man, but I'd love to see data saying that crude oil was so volatile....

    The reason that they don't have armed security aboard is that it is controversial (as in the mercenary thing, as in they're expensive and the legalities of killing pirates on the open sea also provide some risks) and because large ships are largely automated, and small crews can simply use firehoses to repel hostile pirate boarders.

    Oil tankers are easy to take down, when full they sit low in the water and are slow.
    Oil tankers are "easy to take down" because they're largely automated with very small crews, and the rules of engagement for "private security firms" (aka, mercenaries) is very sketchy under international law...

    Pirates need to be identified on shore and eliminated there and there needs to be a proactive program of stopping and bording small vessels off of the horn of Africa.
    Of course! but easier said than done...

    Attack submarines can be put to great use in this situation as they can fill multiple roles. They can observe and track pirates back to their ports where they can be targeted from the air or by cruise missile. They can also launch SEAL teams to intervene in certain hijack situations.

    The only way that this stops is when Pirates start dying in large numbers globally.

    Um, why would the US launch SEAL teams when this doesn't affect our sovereignty? Anyways, they're very busy with the War on Terra nonsense...
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