Monday, April 21, 2008

A Spanish Danica White?

It’s spring, and pirate season has returned to the Indian Ocean and the coast of Somalia.

Last spring it was the Danish ship Danica White that was captured by Somali pirates, and the unfortunate crew was held for two and a half months until the pirates’ ransom demands were met.

This year it’s a Spanish tuna boat, Playa de Bakio. According to a story from Iranian Press TV:

Spanish boat seized by pirates

A Basque tuna boat, “Playa de Bakio” carrying a crew of 26 has been taken over by pirates off the Somali coast.

The statement was made by a spokesman from Spain’s foreign ministry. There are thirteen Spanish nationals and thirteen African crew-members on board the boat which was seized by pirates about 400 km off the coast of Somalia on Sunday, public radio RNE reported earlier, as did AFP.
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According to the radio report, the boat is heading to Somalia.

This is while a source from the Basque government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Food department told the Spanish news agency, Efe, that four armed pirates took control of the boat using grenade launchers, BBC reported.

The source said the boat suffered “some damage” in the attack but was “navigable”.

This new incident comes just a few days after a Paris court charged six Somalis with taking the French luxury yacht, Le Ponant’s crew hostage earlier this month. The yacht’s 30-member crew were held hostage for a week but released after its owners apparently paid a ransom of USD 2m. The pirates were then picked up by French commandos in a helicopter raid.

Over the past year, more than 25 ships have been seized by pirates in Somali coastal waters.

Hat tip: Larwyn.


Bilgeman said...


"Gun Control" doesn't work at sea, either.

Many a night have I stood pirate watch armed with nothing more lethal than a charged fire hose, presumably to be employed against people who were carrying AK-47's.

Even on ships that DO have small arms for protection, the officers were so worried about lawsuits that they would never, ever issue the weapons...or worse, issue the weapons without the ammo.

Once upon a time, pirates were legally the enemies of all humanity, and you could sink them or kill them with total immunity.

Today they have rights.

spackle said...

Wow. 400km off shore? I know nothing about things nautical but isnt that pretty far? Also, how far until you are in international waters?

Anonymous said...

Z it will solve it. ;)

Profitsbeard said...

The Spaniards must surrender Al-Andaluz!

XRDC said...

4OO km is barely halfway to the Maldives which is also being overrun with Islamists. Sailing in those waters would be as wise as vacationing or doing business on the Afghan/Pakistan border.

Does the fact that 13 crew members are Basque make their government less likely to care? Aren't they all terrorists in the eyes of the Spanish gov't?

christian soldier said...

The new U.S. was having trouble with Barbary pirates-Pres. Jefferson sent the Marines to take care of it- thus the words in the Marine Corps. anthem 'From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli...'

Pres Madison -1815- sent the fleet - again to finish the job!

"It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation,will buy peace with none."

Algiers had to pay compenstaion and release U.S. hostages an promise not to offend again!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baron Bodissey said...

Sort --

Gates of Vienna's rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your gratuitous insult violated the first of these rules.

randian said...

Europeans weren't effective at defending themselves from Muslim pirates in 1800, back when they had real navies. Their abdication of their responsibility to maintain their own navies means they have little capability to respond, and political correctness is sapping their will to respond.

Bilgeman said...


You don't really need a navy to put down piracy.

Arm a merchantman, and insist that they be allowed to defend themselves in accord with hostis humani generis.
Worked for the Dutch and British East India companies.

Pirates avoid naval vessels and seek out merchant vessels...they'd be in for quite an unpleasant surprise to one night meet the Bilgeman armed with a machine-gun.

randian said...

I'd be happy if merchant vessels carry arms, but I would argue that the same cultural malaise that leads European countries to let their militaries rot also prevents them from even considering the idea of European vessels arming themselves.

Bilgeman said...


"but I would argue that the same cultural malaise that leads European countries to let their militaries rot also prevents them from even considering the idea of European vessels arming themselves."

It's not just the Euros, but the Asians and us, too.

See my comment at the top of this thread.