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Should ships be armed to combat pirates?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by baba, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Yes

    152 vote(s)
  2. No

    20 vote(s)
  3. Offer the pirates carrots

    15 vote(s)
  1. Why not arm these ships that are in the Somali pirate danger zone? Would security personnel with 50 cal machine guns and RPG's (or something more accurate) put a stop to this?

    You could argue it would increase the violence towards the ships, but I'm not convinced they could get to the ships to do much harm...or even want to try after the first few pirate boats are sunk. Violence or not, we are just playing into their hands at this point and sending unarmed civilians into imminent danger with every ship.
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Perhaps even more passive means could be effective. The pirates have to board the ships by using something other than the front door. If they made the ships harder to climb onto the deck, that might very well discourage people from trying to board them. Downward facing spikes ala Mad Max, or maybe a couple of strands of electrified wire?
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    to my understanding, armed ships are treated differently in international waters than unarmed ships.. i assume it's a big hassle to deal with all the searches and paperwork..

    i would rather be armed, btw.
  4. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    With the economy as it is, I don't think anyone's going to spring for paying for 24/7 armed security details on these ships. You can arm the crews but I think that a bunch of guns in mostly untrained hands may be a recipe for disaster... there would probably be more folks lost to mishaps than are lost to the pirates.
  5. bass player 48

    bass player 48

    Nov 17, 2008
    No. I work as a terminal superintendent for a stevedoring company.

    Port security is pretty insane in this post 9-11 world.

    If container ships came in and tied up to my dock, and were armed as you suggest, we would have even more security / operational "issues". I don't even want to think about what we would have to do, or what it would cost us as a terminal operator.

    Maybe if there was US Coast Guard cooperation and the arms could be removed before the vessel arrives dockside, it would be okay, but I don't want armed containerships coming into port. (Neither does the Coast Guard)

    I also see problems with the fact that pretty much all cargo and container ships operate under a foreign flag. So what you are suggesting would involve, for example, Chinese owned and operated vessels coming into US waters and tying up to US docks, with 50 mils and RPG's ready to fire. There is no way that could happen.
  6. I see your point...

    Maybe an international security force/alliance that rides with the ships until they are near port and then moves on to the next ship.

    I know these are pie in the sky ideas with a million variables I'm not considering, but something needs to happen. The whole situation is pretty fascinating to me.
  7. Absentia


    Feb 25, 2009
    we could cover the deck in lard...
  8. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK

    The idea of arming cargo ships becomes ridiculous the minute you actually think about what that means. Armed foreign crewed ships turning up to other nations oil pumping stations? You're kidding right?
  9. bass player 48

    bass player 48

    Nov 17, 2008
    It's not exactly easy to baord a container ship when she's underway. The crew doesn't lower the gangway and invite the pirates up for tea.

    Typically, the prirates use two small boats with a hefty line strung between the two. The boats spread out stretching the line accross the shipping lane. When the cargo ship comes along, the line stretches accross the bow and the two small boats are pulled alongside the larger vessel which is underway. The pirates then throw grappling hooks up to the decks, hook the railing, and climb ropes to board the vessel.
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I'm a fan of the spikes myself. Mad Max was such a bitchin movie!
  11. Mad Max spikes is the best solution I've heard so far. Maybe add a big vertical blade on the front to cut the line bp48 was speaking of....and electrify the spikes....eff it, toss some lard in there. We've almost solved this problem.
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Greased electrified spikes!!:eek:

    Somebody call Mel Gibson!!
  13. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    I heard a shipping consultant speak to this issue in an interview on NPR (?) a while back. He dismissed the notion out of hand. He said the idea of arming the people who go to sea for a living would be disastrous.

    It made me think of 'Deadliest Catch'. I can see where arming the deck hands on that show may not be a good idea.
  14. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    they should just make giant #### cannons and spray the pirates with human feces and urine.
  15. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    just have them plow through the shipping lanes blasting Nickleback

    problem solved.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I think that we should arm American ships and let China worry about Chinese ships.

    Edti to add. Nothing against China per say. Just the country you mentioned. Let Canada worry about Canadian ships, Mexico worry about Mexican ships, etc. etc.
  17. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    But what happens when you have a Danish-owned ship crewed by folks from the Philippines, Spain, Brazil, Poland, USA, etc etc attempt to dock in South Africa?
    It's a complicated thing.
  18. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    We should call Chuck Norris.
  19. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    we need Ninjas!
  20. bass player 48

    bass player 48

    Nov 17, 2008

    While I understand that point of view, the problem is, there are no American container ships and there are no American owned shipping lines. They are ALL foreign owned companies with US operations. No container ships sail under a US flag.

    Sealand was the last American shipping line and they sold out to Maersk years ago. Maersk is owned by AP Moller, headquarters in Copenhagen Denmark.

    Most container ships, regardless of the shipping lines country of origin, will be registered in one of a few countries - Panama is very popular (it's a cost thing) and will then sail under a Panamanian flag.

    FWIW - It's not at all uncommon to have an Asian company own a fleet of container ships, registered in Panama, operated with a crew of European officers and Pilipino crew and make port calls all around the world.

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