Today, Danish forces (hell,I didn’t know the Danes had a navy; I thought they were skilled in growing cannabis!) secured a merchant ship that had been seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates got away, again, but the crew is safe. Last year Somali pirates mounted 217 attacks, hijacking 47 vessels with 867 crew members. The EU estimates that the pirates were paid between $60 million and $80 million in ransom. Furthermore, they still hold nine ships and about 225 seamen along the coast of Somalia.
Now here is the part I don’t understand. How can a half-dozen Somali kids on a small fishing boat board an ocean-going vessel without getting their asses shot off! My wife, Jane, who is very street-wise, said, “Just shoot the bastards!” It’s a valid comment because this problem has been going on for years and the owners of these ships don’t seem to taking appropriate actions to protect the cargo and crew.
Let’s suppose you owned a merchant ship worth tens of millions (maybe, hundreds of millions) of dollars and you were carrying cargo worth more than the ship, wouldn’t you put a few mercenaries on board for the trip through the Gulf and past Somalia? How much can it cost to protect your investment when the risk is millions in ransom that goes to support terrorism and drug traffic? And I would assume that there is plenty of available talent to use the machine guns to blow these pricks out of the water! There may be some international conventions that prohibit weapons onboard vessels; but, if so, that needs to change!
And, if you are some rich Brit who sails your expensive yacht around the Horn with only your wife to protect you, well, what can I say!!! That may be the ultimate in naivete’ or, maybe, stupidity!
So, what am I missing here? I think Jane has it right!