November 05, 2005

Bloody Pirates Again

Pirates have attacked a cruise ship off Africa's coast.

"Pirates armed with grenade launchers and machine guns tried to hijack a luxury cruise liner off the east African coast Saturday, but the ship outran them, officials said.
Two boats full of pirates approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the Somali coast and opened fire while the heavily armed bandits tried to get onboard, said Bruce Good, spokesman for the Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.
The ship escaped by shifting to high speed and changing course."

Running was probably the only option. A better one would have been to return fire. Even with small arms (i.e. rifles) it could have been effective. Why?

"The British news agency Press Association said passengers awoke to the sound of gunfire as two 25-foot inflatable boats approached the liner."

Inflatable boats? I'll grant that some of the sturdier ones use multiple compartments of air filled cells & are quite seaworthy, but a clip from a Garand in each would have caused enough damage to slow them down if not sink them.

"There has been a steep rise in piracy this year along Somalia's nearly 2,000-mile coastline, with 15 violent incidents reported between March and August, compared with just two for all of 2004, according to the International Maritime Bureau, a division of the International Chamber of Commerce that tracks trends in piracy.
In June, a U.N.-chartered ship carrying 935 tons of rice for Somali victims of the Asian tsunami was hijacked by pirates, who held crew members hostage for three months before releasing them."

I've posted about piracy before. My opinion hasn't changed. If you're sailing you need just as much protection (if not more) as you would in your home. Considering the increased range & the fact that your firing platform will not be stable automatic weapons seem to be necessary & proper pieces of equipment to have. A BAR would provide great piece of mind. Double that feeling of tranquility for something belt fed like an FN MAG or a Browning M2HB. Course I don't mean to say that there aren't situations where you shouldn't call on the LAW for assistance. & perhaps there are occasions when a revolver would be just as helpful as a belt fed machine gun. But folks who say there's no need for machine guns or grenade launchers in the hands of citizens? Bloody landlubbers the lot of them.

Posted by Publicola at November 5, 2005 07:55 PM | TrackBack

How about a Barret M82A1 mounted on a firm point? Legal to own, at least in the US, and would tear the crap out of just about any boat a pirate is likely to have.

I think they should start mounting 2" deck guns on cruise ships. How much more fun would blowing up pirates be than, say, skeet?

Posted by: Brass at November 6, 2005 09:16 AM

I'll go you one better - how about cruises specifically for the purpose of hitting some pirates? You load up your pieces of choice on a nice, fat-looking prize of a cruise liner, then sail up and down any pirate-infested area. When they show up, the fun starts.

It would beat the hell out of a safari, and since most cruise ships are foreign registered, no worry about United States restrictions on firearms. Man, people would fight for a ticket on that ship.

If it should happen that, say, Liberia, or where-ever your ship is registered has laws prohibiting this variety of hunt, who cares? Not them. They'll give it the old wink, wink, nudge, nudge for a double sawbuck or so.

Posted by: jdallen at November 6, 2005 04:34 PM

Dangerous Waters should be required reading for any pussyfooted the world is our friend American's. Make no mistake, piracy is alive and well. Heck, it never died off, it simply stopped being reported as other concerns arose and the US and Russian navies played 40 years of games on the high seas.

Domestically, there was a huge spate of high profile pirate attacks within our domestic waters not less than 10-15 years ago during the height of the cocaine wars in Florida. The caribean remains a dangerous place to sail unprotected, but it pales in comparison to the western (and probably easter too) coasts of Africa or the Malaca Straights were some corrupt Southeast Asian governments look askew to the dangers of piracy.

I agree, sea faring is the perfect example of why machine guns are valid items for everyday Americans' to own, though frankly, I'd prefer something else on the high seas.

it seems like Ruger has always made a mariner suitable version of its .223 Mini 14s. Mossberg has also marketed a mariner version of its 590 shotgun as well.

I'd consider either of those (or something comporable) - along with a handgun (in case some one actually gets on board) - part of the minimal safety equipment necessary for taking a boat into the high seas.

Posted by: countertop at November 7, 2005 07:47 AM

Remmington also have a marine version of their 870.

I know that there are better options than shotguns, but in many cases on the only guns that are allowed in port on boats is shotguns. So if you are sailing that may be all you can have.

Now to the idea of priate hunting...I think that could be done fairly effectivly with ballons and automated arieal devices to find them. Once you find them, get several (fast) ships together to go on a hunt. Though like in all games, it is only fun till someone loses an eye.

Posted by: cube at November 7, 2005 11:18 AM

In some boat magazines there's an ad for a sub-caliber insert that goes into your flare-gun and basically creates a supported chamber for a .45 colt single shot. Some (many) places will throw a boater in jail if they find them with a weapon and this gets around that rather neatly. Also some Zodiac RIB's are made bulletproof, so they can sell them to the SEALS and stuff, a lot of the sponsons are built with Kevlar cloth because of its toughness.

Posted by: -keith in mtn. view at November 7, 2005 05:59 PM

Locked out of trackbacks... I tried...

Posted by: Zendo Deb at November 7, 2005 11:07 PM

Looks like there was at least some defensive weaponry about the ship:
From the BBC :

"They also deployed a military-grade sonic weapon.

"The long range acoustic device, or LRAD, is a high-tech loudhailer capable of causing permanent damage to hearing from a distance of more than 300 metres (984ft). "

But blowin' 'em out of the water would have been more constructive.

Posted by: Nick Charles at November 11, 2005 06:16 PM