Tag Archives: pirates

On “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” Why Romanticize Thieves and Murderers?

On this the official “Talk Like A Pirate Day,” all I can say is, “No, thank you. I would rather not.”  The problem is that there are still real pirates plying their trade around the globe, abusing and and too often … Continue reading

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King James Jesse Strang and the Mormon Pirates of Beaver Island

We recently posted about the Michigan State Senate passing a resolution which officially recognized “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”. (It appears that they nothing better to do, in a state with a gaping budget deficit, collapsing cities and failing schools. … Continue reading

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US Court: Sea Shepherds are “the Very Embodiment of Piracy”

Late Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the anti-whaling extremists and reality TV show stars, the Sea Shepherds, are indeed pirates.  In his ruling, Judge Alex Kozinski wrote: ” When you ram ships, hurl glass containers of acid, drag … Continue reading

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The Human Cost of Piracy: Crew of MV Iceburg 1 – 29 Months in Captivity, A Grim New Record

On March 29, 2010, the Panamanian-flagged ro/ro MV Iceburg 1 was hijacked by pirates about 10 nautical miles off the port of Aden, Yemen. Her crew of 24, of which 22 are believed to have survived, have been held hostage for 29 months.  The … Continue reading

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Maersk Texas Attacked by Pirates, Probably – Pirates Driven off by Somebody

Simply trying to keep up with what is going on the battle against piracy is not as easy as it might appear. For example, Maersk Texas, a US flag cargo ship came under attack by pirates in the Gulf of … Continue reading

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Danish Warship Absalon Rescues 16 Hostages from Hijacked Ship, 2 Hostages Die in Attack

Sixteen hostages were freed when the Danish warship HDMS Absalon attacked pirates in control of a hijacker vessel off the coast of Somalia late Sunday.  Two crew from the hijacked ship were found to have severe injuries and subsequently died.   The circumstances of … Continue reading

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Italian Armed Guards Charged with Murder in Killing of Fisherman Mistaken for Pirates

Armed guards, reported to be Italian naval personnel, on the tanker, Enrica Lexie, fired on and killed two Tamil Nadu fishermen off Kochi on Wednesday, believing the fishermen to be pirates.  Indian authorities said the Italian guards fired without warning in violation … Continue reading

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Pirates Kill Bulk Carrier Captain and Chief Engineer in Gulf of Guinea

Pirate attacks are escalating in the Gulf of Guinea, with tragic consequences. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre posted on its website that eight armed pirates boarded a drifting bulk carrier, awaiting berthing instructions, on Monday in the Gulf of Guinea, 110 … Continue reading

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Message in a Bottle Helped Rescue Crew of MV Montecristo

The current recommended response on a merchant ship on being boarded by pirates is to radio a distress call,  disable the ship’s engines and to retreat into a “citadel,” a safe locked-down space aboard the ship and await either rescue or until … Continue reading

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Fighting Pirates with USVs ?

In August, we posted about an experimental unmanned “roboship” being developed as a coastal patrol craft.   Recently there have been proposals to use USVs (unmanned surface vehicles) to fight pirates.  USVs also known as autonomous surface vehicles (ASV), are any surface … Continue reading

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Disabled French Woman Kidnapped on Kenyan Coast and Taken to Somalia

Marie Didieu, a disabled  66-year-old French woman, was kidnapped yesterday from her vacation home on Manda Island, part of the Lamu archipelago, not far from where a British tourist was killed and his wife abducted three weeks ago.  The kidnappers arrived and departed by … Continue reading

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Updates: Murderer on HMS Astute Sentenced, Kidnapped Briton in Somalia & MSC Luciana Refloated

Updates on three previous posts:  On Monday, Able Seaman Ryan Donovan was sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to murdering a senior officer on board the HMS Astute last April.   Submariner’s grudge turned proud day into tragedy British tourist Judith Tebbutt, … Continue reading

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Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea – Tanker Mattheos I Hijacked, 23 Crew Taken Hostage

Earlier this week the 45,000 DWT tanker, Mattheos I, with a crew of 23, was hijacked off Benin in the Gulf of Guinea.  According to the IMB Piracy Center, this year there have been 19 pirate attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea … Continue reading

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Update: Somali Pirates Free 7 Danes

Last February we posted that Somali pirates had hijacked a Danish sailboat with four adults and three children aboard.   Yesterday, the Danish Foreign Ministry announced seven Danish citizens, including a family with three children had been released. It has been reported that the pirates were … Continue reading

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Yemeni Pirate 11th to Plead Guilty in Hijacking of SV Quest Where 4 Americans were Murdered

In February, the sailing vessel Quest was hijacked by pirates 240 nautical miles off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean.  The yacht’s crew of four Americans were taken hostage.  The pirates were finally captured by US forces but not before they killed … Continue reading

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Brillante Virtuoso, Suezmax Tanker, Set Ablaze by Pirates off Aden – Crew Safe

It has long been predicted and now it has happened – a pirate attack has set fire to a loaded oil tanker.  On Wednesday morning, pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden attacked the Suezmax tanker,  Brillante Virtuoso, firing a rocket propelled grenade into the deck … Continue reading

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Arresting versus Disrupting Pirates

Recently we posted about joint-operations by the Indian Navy and Coast Guard which since last Novemeber have succeeded in capturing 120 pirates in the Indian Ocean as well as taking several pirate “mother ships” and freeing the hostage held aboard.   On reader commented: Good on … Continue reading

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Happy Maewyn Succat’s Day

We have been posting a lot about piracy and kidnapping recently.  Today is a reminder about how little things change over the centuries.  Somewhere around the year 400 AD, a lad of 16, named Maewyn Succat, was kidnapped by pirates from his home in Britain … Continue reading

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INS Kalpeni Nabs 61 Pirates on Mother Ship, Frees 13 Hostages

Last Friday, the Indian Navy picked up as distress call from the container ship MV Vancouver Bridge, which was under attack by pirates  in the Indian Ocean, about 600 nautical miles off the Indian coast.  When spotted by an Indian patrol … Continue reading

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Maersk Alabama Attacked for the Third Time – Will Armed Guards on Merchant Ships Become the Norm?

This week the Maersk Alabama was attacked by pirates for the third time in the last two years.    In April of 2009, pirates boarded the Maersk containership and took her captain, Richard Phillips, hostage.  He was later rescued when Navy sharpshooters … Continue reading

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