With frustration over Somalia piracy increasing, shipping executives are discussing whether naval forces should disable vessels as they are hijacked to prevent them from being used as “mother ships” from which attacks can be launched further offshore.Read the whole thing. One of the major concerns in dealing with the pirates in the past has been not provoking them into doing more harm to the captive crews than they already do.
“One idea is to use floating nets to disable the propeller because that way you can easily recover the vessel as soon as the pirates are off the ship,” said Spyros Polemis, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, speaking at Shipping 2011, the annual conference of the Connecticut Maritime Association. “They have other thoughts, but I can not disclose everything.”
But some voices cautioned against the tactic.***
If they are holding a ship and its crew, disabling the ship may cause the pirates to toss a few bodies over the side of the ship until the ship is freed or their safe passage is guaranteed. From the article:
While there is a risk that pirates may harm crews if ships are disabled, Polemis said it would be “really against their own interest. Because if the warship is nearby, and they can see the warship, and the warship disables the vessel, what is the pirate going to do? If they are going to harm the crew, then the Navy is going to go on board the ship and kill the pirates. They are risking their own lives I think the likelihood is they will go aboard their boats and leave.”
The counter-argument to that is that when harm is done to a crew, there must be a price paid by the pirates or else they have little incentive to be relatively civilized.
|One way to disable pirate small boats