Monday, September 08, 2008

Danish Ship Averts Pirate Attacks

A couple of weeks ago we reported the deployment of the Danish warship Absalon to the Horn of Africa. It’s part of an international task force charged with protecting merchant ships from the depredations of Somali pirates.

According to yesterday’s Jyllands-Posten, the Absalon has been involved in repelling three pirate attacks in less than a week (my translation):

The AbsalonOn Saturday the Danish warship Absalon contributed to the prevention of two pirate additional attacks in the Gulf of Aden off the Horn of Africa.

So reports Naval Operational Command.

First Absalon was asked for support in connection with a hijacking of a merchant ship 160 nautical miles away. Before Absalon’s armed helicopter arrived, a skiff (fast motor boat) approached so closely to the merchant ship that the crew tried to prevent the pirates’ access to the ship by using fire hoses. The helicopter’s arrival, however, made the pirates flee.
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Even as the Danish helicopter went into action, Absalon received another emergency call from a merchant ship only 20 nautical miles away. The ship was pursued by four skiffs manned by suspected pirates.

Absalon immediately ordered the merchant ship to steer towards the Danish warship at full speed; Absalon changed its own course to come as soon as possible to the rescue. Then the suspected pirates gave up and vanished.

Only last Wednesday Absalon was able to avert a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden.

Hat tip: TB.


Anonymous said...

The various shipping lines transversing that area need to set out a couple of Q-ship conversions.
100% loss of pirates.
Repeat as necessary until pirates are dead and not replaced.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Bombing pirates out of business is worthwhile.

Even those surviving the arrival of explosives at high velocity will be inclined to look for other employment.

BTW, for those wondering how to make politicians do useful things, I can tell you that this very issue was debated intensely at a members' meeting in Dansk Folkeparti last summer, and followed up by press releases and eventually a parliamentary decision to deploy a warship for the purpose.

Speaking up for common sense is good.

christian soldier said...

Jefferson sent the Marines when the Barbary pirates took U.S. hostages and Madison- in 1815 -finished 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."

President James Madison

Now - the Danes--I love it!

blogagog said...

"The helicopter’s arrival, however, made the pirates flee."

Making them flee doesn't really resolve the problem, does it? I love the Danes, but at this late point in the game, 'in for a penny, in for a pound.'

Everyone on that skiff should be dead.

babs said...

Hey Blogagog - You sound like Penney from NP...

Henrik R Clausen said...

Making them flee doesn't really resolve the problem, does it?

Not entirely, but at least it's a step in the right direction, which deserves appreciation.

Piracy out of Islamic countries has been a problem for centuries on end. The solution is the same as ever: Bigger guns, and the willingness to use them.

kepiblanc said...

But, but, but.... what happens when the pirates figure out how to hoist the, white flag and yell "asylum" ?

And what happens when they just surrender and are taken captives by the warship? - We can't send them back, can we? - That would be a "violation of their human rights". Then, we're forced to feed them for the rest of their natural lives.

And what happens when the warship actually opens fire? - If someone is killed or wounded, just imagine the whinig and condemnations in the press, the UN and the EU. The ship's captain will be out of job before you can say "but"...

No, the only way to handle pirates is to let them disappear. Vanish. Get lost. Evaporate. Completely. The ship's pirate repellant should take care of that. But are our politicians in the West ready for that?

Anonymous said...

Why don't we hear more about this? It's almost like there's an intentional media blackout regarding Muslim piracy.

Paul said...


"But, but, but.... what happens when the pirates figure out..."

And that is the point that carries weight. We need to remember to pause and consider the greater context.

But I'll tell you, I was thinking the same thing. Why don't these Danes kick these Somali icons into the next phase and be done with it? I guess the consequences of doing what should be done brings other problems with it. At this time. A some point, common sense will again be common. But not now.

Anonymous said...

The only clean, sensible and effective way to deal with this sort of thing is to pursue the pirates and blow them out of the water.

No ships. No survivors. No trace. No press. No job for anybody that snitches. Omerta.

In fact I would recommend a mysterious disappearance at sea for anybody that betrays the silence.

Eventually people will start figuring out that guys on pirate boats don't come home.

No disrespect intended for showing up and chasing the bad guys away.

But really they have to be made to disappear.

Western culture may have become very dainty since the days of Jolly Roger, but the pirates haven't.

thll said...

"Kept the pirates at bay with fire hoses..." You've got to laugh.

Mikael said...

"Kept the pirates at bay with fire hoses..." You've got to laugh

I take it you never been on the recieving end of a firehose.