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April 15, 2009

Powerful, Potent, Passivity

The beeb brings teh funny with this piece headlined Fighting Off The Somali Pirates:

They use grappling hooks and ladders to board it at the most vulnerable point - where there is least distance between the height of the deck and the water level.

Some vessels have strung barbed wire at those points, as recommended by the International Maritime Bureau in London. In some cases, say experts, this has proved effective.

Slippery foam sprayed onto the deck can also present a further barrier to pirates taking over.

Other possible solutions include electric security fences and blasting the pirates with water from fire hoses.

Cripes, sounds like they're trying to keep deer out of their garden, not 'fight' pirates.

Controversial, though, is any proposal to arm crews.

Well of course. That would be aggression.

No, far better to stick with the fences and banana peels and playing Barry Manilow real loud. Winning strategy there. But I think they need to change that headline.

UPDATE: Bibliophile, in the comments.

Sorry to be a killjoy -- I am a big fan of guns and self-defense -- but I have to point out a few things as someone who works in logistics, and deals with container shipping on a daily basis.

There are good reasons for not allowing crews to be armed, some of which include the fact that the vessel could then be categorized as military. The insurance issues alone of this are so complicated I can't even describe it.

Also, crews do not sign up to be part of a defensive force. Pay, etc., would have to change, as would screening. What if another boat was under attack? Under maritime regulations if you are in a position to assist you are obligated to do so. Would an armed container ship then be legally and morally obligated to save an unarmed ship? Or armed ship that was still being attacked? Perhaps from another country?

As you can see, it's unfortunately much more complicated than it seems. Like almost everything.

That said, Rock On US Navy! And it's time to start destroying the ports that host the pirates.

Well said, and thanks for the clarification!
More (and funny) suggestions in the comments.

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posted by Laura. at 11:49 AM

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