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Maersk Alabama crew trained to defend itself, but not permitted to
St Louis Gun Rights Examiner ^ | 7 December, 2009 | Kurt Hoffman

Posted on 12/08/2009 4:10:35 AM PST by marktwain

The Maersk Alabama, a U.S. flagged cargo vessel, is now a veteran of not one, but two attacks by Somali pirates. The first, back in April, although ending well (except from the perspective of the pirates), was a horrid ordeal. The crew, using kitchen knives [Correction: I have just been informed that it was pocket knives, rather than kitchen knives, that the crew used--my apologies for the mistake] as their weapons, staged a fighting retreat to a secure compartment. There, they endured terrible (and potentially fatal) conditions: for 13 hours, in 130° heat, without drinking water or ventilation, they waited out the attack.

Captain Richard Phillips was taken by the pirates and held for 3 days, until liberated by Navy SEALs. That rescue operation resulted in the unlamented deaths of 3 of the pirates.

A satisfactory ending, certainly, but how much better it would have been to have thwarted the attack from the very beginning.

That, indeed, is pretty much what happened in the more recent attack, as I discussed on my blog, Armed and Safe. Last month's attack was met with return fire from the embarked security team, quickly convincing the pirates to beat a hasty retreat, and live to find easier prey.

It would seem that even for those not quite sharp enough to have already figured out that a ship prepared to defend itself (with armed good guys on board, in other words), is safer than one that is not, this would be enough to convince them. Alas--not necessarily. Take United States Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, in his statement for the committee's May hearing on piracy.

Arming the crew is not an option.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; examiner; guns; maersk; maerskalabama; maritime; pirates; somalipirates; usnavy
Making it difficult for ships at sea to defend themselves has always been about political correctness rather than logic or reason.
1 posted on 12/08/2009 4:10:35 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain
A half dozen or so strategically placed Gurkhas may have made a difference...
2 posted on 12/08/2009 4:13:22 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Sarah Palin - For such a time as this)
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To: marktwain

The problem is not arming the crew, but dealing with foreign countries when the ship comes into port. If the ship is not a warship, the firearms aboard must be declared and the paper work becomes horrendous. The other option of assigning armed private guards to each ship is costs that many shippers want to avoid. The crews on these ships are caught between cost cutting bosses and anti gun laws of foreign countries.

3 posted on 12/08/2009 4:19:55 AM PST by Fee (Peace, prosperity, jobs and common sense)
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To: marktwain

It should be such a simple matter to thwart ANY hijacking
of such a large ship at sea, by a ragtag handful of kids
and their grappling hooks.
A few Uzis and buckets of boiling oil come to mind.

I love the Russian cruise ship that actually wants to attract pirates.
The passengers rent whatever exotic weapons they want.
The ship runs very slow and close to shore, begging for pirates.
I have not heard if they have had any encounters yet.

4 posted on 12/08/2009 4:23:31 AM PST by AlexW (Now in the Philippines . Happy not to be back in the USA for now.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Gurkhas aren’t necessary. The ship’s crew is all trained in the use of firearms. Read the whole article, especially the rebuttal of Rockefeller “points”. He’s an idiot. All democrats are idiots. They lie about every single issue. Every single one. This is about political correctness, nothing else. But they lie about that.

Mark Levin says it all the time, and it’s not just rhetorical, it’s true:

Liberals lie about EVERYTHING.

5 posted on 12/08/2009 4:27:17 AM PST by samtheman
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To: Fee

You are correct. It would be cheaper and more acceptable to all of the companies and countries involved to hire a few former military and place them onboard out at sea, and then remove them prior to entering port.

It would also be safer for the sailors.

I know this sound counter intuitive, but it is more realistic.

6 posted on 12/08/2009 4:28:07 AM PST by Vermont Lt (My wife reads my posts. In case the FBI shows up, we will have cookies.)
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To: Fee; gov_bean_ counter
BOGUS. give captain and first officer keys to a lockup vault with AK-47s or AR-15s and enough ammo...and they will decimate any of those little fishing boats that these POS wannabe pirates have....and kill the perps in the process.

the world needs to get real....Maybe the US can do the whole WW2 thing and make all merchant vessels under the US flag, a semi military organization.

7 posted on 12/08/2009 4:31:47 AM PST by Vaquero (BHO....'The Pretenda from Kenya')
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To: Vaquero

Better yet, mount a CIWS on bow and stern or even just on each side and watch the pirate population get scarce.

8 posted on 12/08/2009 5:03:00 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

“Better yet, mount a CIWS on bow and stern or even just on each side and watch the pirate population get scarce.”

.50cal mini guns. Next problem.

9 posted on 12/08/2009 7:08:28 AM PST by Blue Collar Christian ( What happened to my tag line?)
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To: AlexW
I have not heard if they have had any encounters yet.

You're kidding, right?

That's an internet JOKE! I got that invitation in an e-mail sent as a mild prank. First off, being of Russian descent myself, I can tell you that form of humor isn't in the genes. Nor would their government remotely tolerate such a business since the Russian government have for decades funded terrorists and piracy. Look at the wording of the advertisements. It's obviously designed to mimic normal cruise ship activities with a twist: Bring your own firepower or rent some of ours. For a mere $250 we will supply you with an RPG specifically designed to gain maximum impact for the buck against pirate ship hulls. And for $500 you can be afforded the ULTIMATE luxury of spending a guaranteed five minutes of sustained fire on the Captain's personal mini-gun for thousands of rounds per minute fun! Also, for a small fee our trained staff can act as spotters to your sniper rifle.... I mean, c'mon!

10 posted on 12/08/2009 9:04:48 AM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: marktwain
"The Congress shall have Power To... grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water..."

Too bad our Congress has no respect for either history or the Constitution...


11 posted on 12/11/2009 9:13:48 AM PST by Who is John Galt? ("Sometimes I have to break the law in order to meet my management objectives." - Bill Calkins, BLM)
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