Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Somebody Is Doing Something - But the Insanity Continues

British marines free hijacked Italian ship off coast of Somalia - Telegraph
The Marines, armed with pistols and SA-80 automatic rifles and operating from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, the RFA Fort Victoria, sped towards the hijacked ship in inflatable boats as a British helicopter buzzed overhead.

They boarded the 56,000-ton bulk carrier Montecristo and disarmed the pirates without encountering any opposition.
The Special Air Service (SAS) gets all the notoriety, but the Special Boat Service has the same training. Mostly.

Oh, and the insanity?
Four of the Italians were privately-contracted security guards, but in line with international practise they were unarmed and had been powerless to fend off the pirates.
This has got to stop.

2 comments:

Rich E said...

re: Four of the Italians were privately-contracted security guards, but in line with international practise they were unarmed and had been powerless to fend off the pirates.

My question: what would be the consequence if the guards were armed? I do not mean in terms of a thwarted hijack but I guess legally? I.e. is there something which prevents them from being armed and does it really have any force?

Zendo Deb said...

There are half a dozen parts of the "Law of the Sea" (a UN nightmare) that come into play.) But as a practical matter it isn't impossible to be armed on the high seas.

The problems come when you get to where you are going. You have to declare and surrender the weapons. You can pick them up - in theory - when you leave FROM THE SAME PORT. Some countries, like Mexico I think, will transfer the weapons to an exit port. But not all.

And they treat you like an invading army until you surrender the firearms.

The biggest thing that keeps seamen disarmed is corporate insanity. The same thinking that keeps pizza delivery drivers disarmed in bad neighborhoods.

This is starting to change, and there are "security" firms providing services to commercial shipping. But it isn't common.