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Piracy Somalia

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by Blas de Lezo, Nov 8, 2010.

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  1. Blas de Lezo

    Blas de Lezo Member

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    I have tried to post this on a different thread but found the "pirates" one closed.

    I post this because IMHO it represents a bold, blunt move from the pirates side and one that could potentially change ( most likely this scenario has already been considered by the planners ) engagement rules on the region.

    In your opinion, what can-should do a navy ship on similar circumstances if pirate persistence or level of violence is increased?






    Somali pirates on hijacked vessel attack Spanish warship
    Monday, November 8th, 2010 at 11:29 am | LEAVE A COMMENT
    By BNO News
    BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) -- A Spanish warship escorting a vessel chartered by African Union was attacked by Somali pirates on early Sunday, the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) confirmed on Monday.
    The attack happened on Sunday off the east coast of Somalia when the Spanish warship Infanta Cristina, which is assigned to the EU NAVFOR, was escorting the MV Petra 1, which had been chartered by the African Union Military Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
    The EU NAVFOR said it came under fire from the Japanese cargo ship MV Izumi, which was hijacked by Somali pirates on October 10 with a crew of 20 Filipinos on board. "This is the first ever attack on an EU warship conducting an AMISOM escort," the naval force said.
    When the attack began, the Spanish warship increased speed and maneuvered in order to place herself between the MV Izumi and her escort, the MV Petra 1. "The attack was disrupted and the pirates fled the scene," the naval force said, adding that there were no injuries and no damage.
    The EU NAVFOR said it used only minimal force to defend itself and her escort as the MV Izumi was under pirate control with nearly two dozen hostages on board.
    After the attack, the Infanta Cristina and the MV Petra 1 continued its journey towards Mogadishu in Somalia without further incident.
    The MV Izumi, which has a deadweight of 20,170 tonnes, was hijacked on October 10 about 170 nautical miles (314 kilometers) south of Mogadishu, carrying a crew of 20 Filipinos.
    The operator of the ship, NYK-Hinode Line, said it had received an automatic distress signal from its owner, indicating the vessel was likely under pirate attack. The Danish warship HDMS Esbern Snare of the NATO counter piracy force was dispatched to intercept and investigate the vessel and confirmed it was under pirate control.
    The ship had been carrying steel products from Japan via Singapore towards Mombasa, said NYK-Hinode Line.
    Currently, Somali pirates are holding nearly 20 ships with a total of more than 300 hostages, according to the European naval force. Most hijackings usually end without casualties when a ransom has been paid. This, however, often takes many months.
    In recent years, Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships, taking in tens of millions of dollars in ransom. European Union ships are patrolling the shipping lanes near Somalia in an effort to reduce hijackings, but the anti-piracy force has warned that attacks are likely to increase now that the regional monsoon season has ended.
    (Copyright 2010 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: [email protected].)
     
  2. icelord

    icelord Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Depends what country your from.

    Op Atlanta in which the Euro is involved, has really flexible ROE, as do the US.
    Europeans concentrate in the most piracy prone area, which is the East coast of somalia. Those that operate from Red sea to south of Djbiouti are wasting there time. In the Gulf of Aden, the US and euro work near the east of the IRTC, which is a haven for vessels coming north. The sea is pure clear, with no swell and ideal at night, minimal moon light allowing a small Dhow to creep up on ships. The only ones we managed to catch this year while operating in the area(5 days out of 5mths) used these conditions to sit out and wait for a ship to sail along the IRTC.

    There is only so much deterent you can conduct, its like a police patrol. The cops cant move until a crime occurs. This is the same for anti-piracy. Until a vessel attacks it could be seen as a 'harmless' fishing boat. Most nations use 'approach and assist' visits to locate vessels and inspect them for any sign of weapons or piracy gear(jumping ladders, hooks).

    If located, the vessels gear is removed, the boat normally carries 2 motors so one is confescated, and the boat is sent back to somalia.

    If a ship is attacked and stormed, most countries wait out the attack and ransom demands, preferring to pay rather then risk hostages lives. if the crew can lock themselves in a false compartment or 'panic room' this allows nearby naval vessels the chance to board and detain the pirates, such as french, dutch and russian forces have done previously.(although the russians was amusing, as the pirates were sent back to somalia but apparently never showed, but how would the media know and who would complain or tell them, misinformation really:rolleyes:)

    For now all you can do is increase patrols and ships in the area, Japan, china, russian and Sth Korea provide regular escort convoys through the IRTC to aid any vessels willing to keep up...

    Of note to that is our last patrol, where 4 ships were near a convoy of Merchants, Italians having line of sight on the convoy. In less then a minute one vessel turned south for anchor off somalia, having been attacked without warning or notice. All the ships near and no one could react or stop something happen so quickly. Did put a downer on the end of the trip as we were less then 10miles away.:(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010
  3. Blas de Lezo

    Blas de Lezo Member

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    Nice to read someone with your experience.

    My surprise comes from the pirates using a 20000 Tm vessel with 20+ hostages on board to attack another vessel escorted by a Spanish Navy one and opening fire on both, using a human shield not just to avoid boarding by Atalanta forces but to perpetrate new attacks .

    That is bold!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010
  4. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    Questions that come to mind include:

    How far off shore did the attack on the Infanta Cristina take place? How much fuel do they estimate remains on the MV Izumi, and what would be the resulting operating range? If they are short on fuel relative to the distance they need to cover to reach a safe anchorage, then harassment tactics to run them out of fuel and leave them stranded at sea could be successful, after which negotiations for the safe return of the vessel and crew in return for a safe passage to land by the pirates in a life boat is fairly straight forward.

    The vessel’s presence at sea also offers a possibility to recapture the vessel an crew by stealth using special force troops (SEAL, SBS, or other equivalents).

    1 or 2 successful use of either tactic such as these should cause the Somali pirates to abandon their new approach.
     
  5. SASWanabe

    SASWanabe New Member

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    its not the first time Somali pirates have fired on a warship... never heard of them using an already captured vessel...

    as i recall they started chasing one of the american Lewis and Clarks, wish they hadda tried that against Success or Sirius... Ak-47 vs Browning M2... i wonder who would win.
     
  6. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    The important thing is to discourage the pirates from using hostages for defense of their vessels. If they get the idea that it is a successful tactic, instead of a quick way to lose the vessel or die, then they will start putting hostages in the small boats. Then things will get nasty fast.
     
  7. icelord

    icelord Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    They did try it on French Ship Somme, a durance class...twice!
    When they were within range the french opened up with 50. Cal and let them know they got the wrong boat:ar15
     
  8. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    Best source I have found is the Life Piracy Report at ICC Commercial Crime Services
     
  9. John Sansom

    John Sansom New Member

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    Thanks to My2Cents for the link to ICC Commercial Crime Services afforded for Jawaboy's use.

    Interestingly, when I read some of the material there I got the impression that there was an attempt to downplay things a mite. This is not a complaint, nor is it an accusation. It's just one of those uneasy feelings.....


    So thanks to ManilaBoy for unwittingly backing up my somewhat nervous disposition. Having been absent from these pages for a while, I had forgotten just how much reasoned and experienced commentary is available here.:smilie:smilie
     
  10. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    Actually the reports are accurate but unexciting, similar to what appears on a police blotter (the daily log of events at a police station). The legal definition of piracy is “The act of violence or depredation on the high seas”, so it covers everything from the equivalent of a simple purse snatching (where the pirates board a vessel at anchor and steal anything they can before the crew spots them, then run away), to vehicle theft with kidnapping or murder (what most people think of a piracy).
     
  11. HKP

    HKP New Member

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    I think the prohibition of employing heavily armed guards or private military contractors to cargo ships should be lifted, international laws or laws of all countries should be changed regarding presence of armed guards on ships, should now be allowed. times are changing, the amount of monies wasted on paying the ransoms to the pirates is huge, and the pirates do not seem to be deterred even with the patrols of foreign navies in the area. Its about time to employ PMCs, this will also create more jobs. These Pirates should also be shot and killed if they open fire on ships with guards. The UN and civilized nations should support the use of armed guards, at the same time a government in Somalia must be established with the help of UN to install law and order, create a Somali coast guard and small Navy. Hunting down Somali pirates wherever they are should also be a good training and test missions to all special forces and commandos in all nations armed forces involved.
     
  12. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    there are at least 4 companies that I know of who are now providing professional "support crew" to various shipping companies and with the imprimatur of the insurance companies.

    it is however difficult as national laws will still have priority over international in territorial waters.

    ie license to carry, registration of weapons, accreditation etc will all be bound by national common law restrictions.

    as I've stated before, the problem also lies in who bears the burden of cost for additional security support. is it the vessel owner, the receiver on the manifest, the sender on the manifest, the insurer?

    we couldn't get our heads around this when I as dealing with these issues 5 years ago, and th circumstances have not changed
     
  13. HKP

    HKP New Member

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    The burden of the cost for security should be for all from the owner of the vessel, receiver, sender and insurer. they should all chip in and that will make it affordable for them and then they can pass it to the consumer if they want to. As for the changing of the territorial laws for the presence of armed guards on board, the shipping association and chamber of commerce can all team up and lobby to the government to allow this.
     
  14. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    So what do you do when a ship with a large crew of heavily armed ‘guards’ pulls into port? What do you tell people when it launches raiding parties that take over nearby ships? Look up the historic term “cutting out expedition”. This was a fairly common naval and pirating technique for most of recorded history.

    What most vessels need is more and better lookouts, communications, and a safe room. Spot pirates before they can get close enough to attack and a vessel can usually defeat them with just an increase in speed and erratic maneuvers while calling for help. But, if you do not spot the pirates in time to keep them from boarding, guards are likely to get crew members killed in the crossfire or revenge, or if the surprise is complete the guards weapons just become part of the ‘booty’ and the guards themselves additional ransoms.

    As for the pirates themselves, what is needed is to reestablish the status of piracy as hostis humani generis (Latin for "enemy of mankind") and give formal naval units the necessary legal tools to carry out arrests regardless of jurisdiction or nationality of the victims, followed by a rapid trial and punishment (execution) at sea.

    The later part, quick punishment at sea, is particularly important to prevent a process of hostage taking and exchange for captured pirates from being instituted.
     
  15. HKP

    HKP New Member

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    when a ship with armed guards pull into port. then they just do their normal function as securing the ship. The way to guard the ship while at pirated infested waters is for the armed guards to be deployed in teams in the stern, and both sides of the ship plus a look out, actually at this point everybody is on the lookout, 24/7 until the ship reach the port. Any suspicious ship or light craft closing jin should be considered possible pirates and once identified can be fired upon even before getting to close to the ship, these will prevent attacks by the pirates. Armed guards should be armed not only with automatic weapons but with grenade launchers and sniper rifles to knock down an ID pirate small crafts. If larger vessels then the shooting of the pirate ship can be a delaying action until reinforcements from any navy arrives. And once pirates find out their target ship has armed guards shooting at them then they will go away especially if their smaller crafts sinks. Just as I wrote, all governments should change their laws and allow ships with armed guards enter their territory as long as those weapons are locked up securely with guard duty 24/7 while on port and all IDs of armed guards and weapons accounted for by the host country's authorities. This is the only option. The other options you mentioned I think will not work because the foreign navies are spread too thin. I think there are a few shipping companies who are already employing armed guards or PMCs and its working for them.
     
  16. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    I know of a number of companies whos teams deploy with 50cal LR AM weapons. This restricts them to working in international waters as coming within an EEZ could make them subject to common law pursuit on the nature of the weapons employed. ie it becomes an issue of whether those weapons can be defended as reasonable force to defend etc.....

    I know of instances where the high powered weapons have been bagged and slung over the side via fishing line as soon as they enter national waters - but they run the risk of common law charges in the port of entry by the host nation.

    current SOP (depending on team size and the location) is to man the stern and bow and have rovers in the middle. as soon as boats start circling then defensive postures are elevated to potential reaction stances.

    my daughter spent a few years doing maritime security, was certified on LRAD, was shot at and fired her own shots back in anger, so I have some first hand knowledge of what has happened out at sea.

    one company in the PACRIM employs ex-Ghurkas, their "team leaders" are usually ex RM or people with active and actual "real" working experience in VBSS.
     
  17. icelord

    icelord Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Mid last year we came across a PMC boat that was escorting a sail vessel through the Gulf of Aden, our understanding was they were armed and operating out of Djbouti for escort contracts for private vessels that cannot keep up with merchant convoys.
     
  18. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    That also applies when you let a mothership loaded with armed pirates on board claiming they are just armed guards, only their normal function is board and overpower other ships, and now you have no laws in place to force them to disarm. Read the reports the Life Piracy Report at ICC Commercial Crime Services, more piracy takes place in anchorages than at sea.
    Then why in almost every successful piracy attack are the pirates already on board before the alarm is raised?
    When everyone has armed guards on board how do you tell the difference between pirates and a fellow legitimate traveler? Especially in a tightly packed anchorage. How many blue-on-blue accidents can we tolerate.
    Securing the weapons just means that the weapons will not be available in time to prevent the pirates from getting on board and taking hostages. As for the IDs, no country in the world can guarantee a passports issued in their name is legit, so what makes think that IDs issued by corrupt 3rd world countries will do any good?

    The reason that the laws against weapons on merchant vessels were originally adopted was so that the presence of weapons could be considered cause to treat the vessel as a suspected pirate. That is why when pirates see a warship bearing down the first thing they do is ditch their weapons. Undo that and life could get easier for the pirates, not harder, because the only way to tell who is a real pirate would be to catch them in the act.

    The other problem is that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) eliminated universal jurisdiction in piracy cases, along with the interpretations of human rights laws by various countries makes prosecution impossible.
     
  19. John Sansom

    John Sansom New Member

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    Given that Somalia's new head of state has asked that the US and other western nations not give up on his country, one wonders whether this might not mean an opportunity to up the ante where Somali pirates are concerned.
    The question is, though, whether the Somali government's authority is ever going to extend beyond Mogadishu without some really heavy-duty assistance from the nations appealed to. One also wonders what Bill Clinton's reaction might be to this recent request. Just askin'.
     
  20. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    It means that he does not want the US and others to stop sending money until he has stolen enough to pay off his political debts and retire in the lifestyle to which he wants to be accustomed.
    Actually, the question is if the Somali government's authority is ever going to extend to all of Mogadishu. The main problem appears to be that the troops keep leaving when their pay never arrives, then they ask for more money to recruit and train another set of troops to replace the ones who ‘deserted’. You would expect the behavior to be suicidal, except that the Somali opposition to the government appears to have the same problem.