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Monday, December 15, 2008

Somali Pirates: Tough to spot

The captain of a English warship provides a look at the work of pirate hunting here
Speaking from the Kenyan port of Mombassa, Cdr Simpson said: "They are like a needle in a haystack. They don't identify themselves.

"They tend to be in small skiffs with outboard motors on the back and they'll wait for the right sort of ship to go by.

"The weather has been quite windy recently and it has been kicking up white horses on the top of waves, which makes them even more difficult to see.

"Then you have got the entire Yemeni fishing fleet, who also work out of small skiffs. So not only have you got to identify the pirates, you have got to try and sort them out from everything else as well. It is a difficult task.

"It is a big sea and these are small ships, so we have to be in the right place at the right time.

"A bigger force of warships in the area can only be a good thing because it provides the opportunity for warships to be in the right area when an act of piracy takes place. The ideal solution is find them before that happens."
Many people seem to think the pirates are alone on the sea flying the "Jolly Roger" while the commercial ships flow politely in traffic lanes. It's a lot more chaotic than that out there.

UPDATE: Corrected to reflect proper nationality of ship as per comment 2.

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