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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Its about Time!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Turk
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Chalk three up for the good guys!!

A three-pronged attack had just recently occurred:

1. Pirates that tried to attack a cruise ship were driven off by armed security guards onboard the cruise ship.

2. The Seychelles, a small island nation that is heavily dependent upon tourism, has lost patience with all these pirate attacks in their surrounding waters and the 9 pirates driven off on the aforesaid crusie ship attack were tracked and followed by the Seychelles Coast Guard in a helicopter, were then arrested by a Spanish frigate and then turned over to the Seychelles for futher disposition. The Seychelles are offering to try these guys for piracy and imprison them upon conviction.

3. One of the crew members (a cook) of the cargo ship Alabamba (Maesrk Lines) just sued his employer and the ship's owner for failing to provide adequate safety for the sailoers. The sailor has been a sailor for 32 years and has been so traumatized that he is seriously thinking about getting out of the business. The cook alleges that he had previously asked the two companies to improve safety by providing armed security and/or allowing the sailors to carry protective weapons and/or failing to send the ships through safer routes. (Why he only asked for $75,000 is a mystery to me.)

From reading about these incidents, a number of questions immediately came to my mind:

1. Why did the cruise ship have armed guards when all the cargo/freight ships can't or are afraid to have armed guards? It is obvious that armed guards on each ship and/or armed crew members would do a lot to discourage these brazen "Keystone Cops" pirate attacks.

The cruise ship recognized its duty to protect its cargo (human passengers) and took appropriate action. Go figure. Parenthetically, might not the ship owners and the cruise line have been afraid of the potential of numberous lawsuits from a myriad of passengers over any such failure to protect its passengers from a known danger and likely harm? Might they also not also been afraid of a potential severe loss of future busniness?

Money and financial interests have a way of properly motivating people.

2. The Seychelles have finally decided that the cost of the piracy to their island nation and it principal revenue source (i.e., tourism) outweighed their reluctance to "get involved".

Money and financial interests have a way of properly motivating people.

3. Might not about 4,000 similar employee lawsuits (and maybe each for tens of millions of dollars for negligent and intentional infliction of mental distress and outrageous conduct, death and injury, punitive damages, etc.) maybe motivate the shipping lines to grudgingly take the very reasonable step of providing some sort of onboard weapons defense that would significantly reduce (and possibly eliminate) this pirating free-for-all once and for all?

Money and financial interests have a way of properly motivating people.

Just curious.
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Doug Higley
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A simple answer to all of the above Turk:

"Money and financial interests have a way of properly motivating people."
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
MagicSanta
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Hi Mike!

A couple thoughts. The first thing that comes to my nautical mind is the registration of the ships involved. The Alabama is operated by an US based company but is registered in Denmark, so it can have suits filed against it and it has restrictions that are very much written out etc.. If the company would have fought back like they likely wanted to then a dozen lawyers in the US would have filed suits on behalf of the pirates in hopes of getting a large piece of any winnings. Lets face it, they file in certain areas (San Francisco, New York City, Milwaukee) and the pirates would have won any case as being oppressed etc..

Most cruise ships are registered in places like Liberia (I don't know the name of the cruise ship involved or the line but if someone does know lets check registry) and the reasons they do that is it is cheaper and people are not going to find a system they can go after the cruise lines with. Heck, you can toss someone off a cruise ship and no one can really do anything about it. That all being said they don't have the same reasons not to defend the ship and, of course, its passengers. Let the pirates try to sue in Liberia, I've been to Liberia, they got guns there too.

This is what I would do to stop the pirates. Picture this, death cruises. There are people all over the world who would love to pay to get on a cruise ship and go into pirate waters so when the pirates approach the paying passengers can run out and take their favorite weapon and start blasting away (special rates for bow hunting cruises). I'm telling you every cruise would be booked, they can even charge extra for the ears of the pirates on a leather cord made from the hide of a dead pirate captain.

As for the Seychelles they are doing the right thing. People want to go where they know the locals want them safe.
MagicSanta
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Oh oh....the Alabama is registered in the US. I'm surprised they don't end up having to give it plus a billion dollars to the families of the pirates.
Turk
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Like I say, a plethora or lawsuits (followed by even just a few multi-million dollar lawsuit verdicts) brought in favor of the crew members and the families of the crew members would have a way of sharply focusing the mental energy required for the ship owners and the employers to come up with a viable solution to the problem. The defense costs for all of these lawsuits would be staggering. Might even get these shipping lines to weigh the costs and benefits of these sham foreign flag registration and get the ships registered under a flag where armed security is allowed. The cruise ship got it right. The Seychelles got it right. The Alabamba crew member got it right.

Can't be too difficult a solution to find if reasonable minds get together (and the money motivator kicks in).
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Josh the Superfluous
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Why should the shipping company pay for security. Shouldn't the US government pay a company like Xe (Blackwater) to do it?
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kcg5
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Makes sense, blackwater does everything else
Nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!!!



"History will be kind to me, as I intend to write it"- Sir Winston Churchill
Brian Proctor
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Kill the pirates!
Josh the Superfluous
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War on Pirates!

You're either with us or you are a pirate!
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
balducci
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The article at the link below explains why ships have not been armed in recent years.

"While the arming of merchant vessels was commonplace for centuries, it faded in recent decades because of ship owners’ concerns about liability and the safety of their sailors."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/world/......f=africa

The article also notes that "Most ports severely restrict vessels from having weapons on board, and changing those regulations in each country would be difficult ... The United States Coast Guard has been especially wary, fearing that the weapons could be used for terrorist attacks."

Obviously, the above could be a major problem for those cruise ships that dock in many different ports.

" Because a commercial vessel might stop in a dozen countries during a voyage, it would be hard for it to carry weapons if any port along the route forbade that, Mr. Flynn said.

International regulation of shipping has shifted heavily away from the countries that register vessels and toward the local and national governments at the ships’ ports of call. This has made it even more complicated to come up with common international standards, because so many countries are involved.

Protecting tankers from pirates is especially difficult. They are a favorite target in Asia and Africa because they are relatively slow moving and may carry valuable cargo like gasoline and diesel, which are easily unloaded and resold.

Accidental fires are a constant worry for tanker crews, which train for them constantly. A tanker crew that is exchanging gunfire with pirates could run the risk of igniting vapors from the cargo, or the cargo itself, shipping executives have said."
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
balducci
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Mind you, if things DO change, we'll have Obama and his authorization of force a few weeks back to thank. Yeah, yeah, we know he didn't take the shot, but his authorization of force for the first time in a hostage situation involving these pirates clearly changed the equation.

Man, is there anything that man can't do! (That's just troll bait for DH. Sorry, big guy, just funning with you.)
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
Brian Proctor
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Smile <--- Incase you were wondering, there were actually pirates in that basket. But not any more!
MAKMagic
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Quote:
On 2009-04-28 22:28, balducci wrote:
Mind you, if things DO change, we'll have Obama and his authorization of force a few weeks back to thank. Yeah, yeah, we know he didn't take the shot, but his authorization of force for the first time in a hostage situation involving these pirates clearly changed the equation.

Man, is there anything that man can't do! (That's just troll bait for DH. Sorry, big guy, just funning with you.)


Yah man he did SOMETHING right! A fine in the single particular case. Much props.
.:Michael Kelley
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Doug Higley
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Shipping companies do not want weapons on board because of threat of Mutiny.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Turk
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Quote:
On 2009-04-28 22:25, balducci wrote:
The article at the link below explains why ships have not been armed in recent years.

"While the arming of merchant vessels was commonplace for centuries, it faded in recent decades because of ship owners’ concerns about liability and the safety of their sailors."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/world/......f=africa

The article also notes that "Most ports severely restrict vessels from having weapons on board, and changing those regulations in each country would be difficult ... The United States Coast Guard has been especially wary, fearing that the weapons could be used for terrorist attacks."

[Etc.]



I'm fairly certain that the cruise ship owners are aware of all these issues and, knowing that, they found arming their ship to be a wise and prudent (and "doable") option. They obviously made the right choice.

BTW, "Money talks and bull**it walks."

If and when ports are called on their bluff (by tourist ships bypassing them and cargo ships bypassing any such uncooperative ports, the drying up of the local economies have a way of focusing the mind with laser-sharp clarity. All of these "concerns" listed in the NYT are "strawman" which can be quickly dissapated. And, with the boldness of the pirates ever increasing, it won't be as long as its been.

Just, IMHO; your mileage may vary.

Mike

P.S.BTW, an armed ship does not have to enter any port!!

An easy quick solution would be for the ship to be met out at sea (close to the docking port as "allowed") by a small yacht; the arms and the security force can be transferred to the yacht and the security force can then spend a few days of R&R on the yacht while the now unarmed ship docks unloads its cargo. And then, when the ship leaves port, it meets up with the yacht where all the arms and the security team reboard the ship. Repeat process as needed for other ports. This solution is waaaay cheaper than all those ridiculous ransoms and all the monies that will be paid in the impending lawsuits.

Where there's a will, there's a way.
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Doug Higley
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1942 - 2022
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Baldy say's: "...is there anything that man can't do! (That's just troll bait for DH. Sorry, big guy, just funning with you.)"


I totally agree...Chairman Obibam Mahammy High Assholiness Of The Cultoons is beyond reproach...or is it approach? The Ever Glorius and Exhalted One's High Priestess, pointed out in an interview in Glamour Magazine that He has "stinky feet" and snores."

Pass the Cool Aid.
In the words of Aunt Esther..."Oh Glory!"
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MagicSanta
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These ports gets thousands of dollars, many thousands, to hit port. The guy who runs the garbage barge is getting greased, the guy hooking up water and electricity, the shops are making money and they are paying grease, the ***s are making money and paying grease. Dude, you could pull a cruise liner full of well armed drunken canibals into those ports and they would let them. The ports don't allow it, shoot, the only time we ever had a problem with a port was if they wanted to know if we had nukes or not and we would just refuse to answer and we would then have to anchor out twenty feet.
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