Monday, May 04, 2009

Pirates Hijack Ship - NATO Continues Catch and Release

Somali Pirates Hijack Two Cargo Ships Just on Saturday two ships were hijacked. Of course why not. Mostly you get a slap on the wrist and get sent to your room (probably fed dinner too).
The reports of hijacking were received hours after a Portuguese frigate released 19 Somali pirates who were detained during a foiled attack on a Norwegian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

A Portuguese warship, the Corte-Real, serving as part of NATO's anti-piracy mission, responded to the duress call from the Norwegian vessel and foiled the attack and captured the pirates onboard.

The NATO officers reportedly found high explosives and hand grenade launchers on the pirates' mother ship.
So yeah, I expect piracy to get a lot worse given the relatively low level risk.

In other news, the US Navy turned over control of Task Force 151 (the international flotilla trying to combat piracy in Somalia and surrounding waters) to the Turkish Navy. I have no idea what this means. Some hope there might be better international cooperation comes from the past US commander. (It couldn't be that all those seamen had trouble taking orders from Rear Admiral Michelle Howard, could it? - She is a black woman - Or that people still hate us even after we elected Obama, could it?)

And the stupidest pirates of the week award goes to the group of yahoos who tried to hijack a French frigate after mistaking it for a merchant vessel.
In response, the warship -- which is part of the EU Atalante anti-piracy naval mission -- dispatched commandos and a helicopter to intercept the pirates.

Ten suspected pirates were killed and eleven others were captured during the incident.
I think they might qualify for the Darwin awards. (The usual suspects have their knickers in a twist over the dead pirates.) I also think it is a sign of the apocalypse that France is only country consistently kicking ass in the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.

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