Danish Military Kills Four Pirates in Battle in Gulf of Guinea

People assume that because a massive container ship can accommodate a security team as well as the regular marine crew and the operator can afford them then it's a panacea for everything afloat. It's not.
ASTs and a robust coalition naval effort killed off Somali piracy a decade ago.

From my (very) limited maritime knowledge, container ships are a fairly hard target due to height and speed = quite hard to climb up, even if you have balls of steel which some of these people do.

Gulf of Guinea is a different game: ASTs verboten (generally - except where provided by local navies) and a preponderance of slow vessels with low freeboards = target-rich environment.
 
Have you ever actually been to sea?

Not in a navy, where you're all tooled up and able to shoot back, but on a civvy ship in a pirate area, where international law expressly forbids you from having any means of defending yourself beyond fire hoses and the axes from the fire-fighting kit?
Diversion, as the issue under discussion is the action of a Danish warship in detaining pirates. To remind you of what I said, "The complexities are well known and well documented and have been for years. How this latest incident plays out remains to be seen. All I disagree with is the easy assumption that the Danes must have got it wrong and have blundered naively into the situation without any previous experience. They have plenty previous experience from operations on the other side of the continent, and were handing over suspects to a regional nation as long ago as 2013."

It should be obvious from the above that I am far from playing down the complexities of this issue, including the difficulties for merchantmen. Years ago it was reported that the RN had released suspected pirates on Foreign Office advice that continued detention could lead to asylum claims. (If so, they seem to have had no difficulty releasing them.) It's a huge subject but BTW, your statement that "international law expressly forbids you from having any means of defending yourself beyond fire hoses and the axes from the fire-fighting kit" is a misunderstanding of the fact that most merchant operators don't carry weapons or armed personnel these days, for a raft (SWIDT) of legal and practical reasons, but there is no blanket international law provision against carrying and using deadly weapons in self defence at sea. If you think there is an "explicit" provision in international law you will no doubt be able to quote it.

Back on thread... As I said, it remains to be seen how this Gulf of Guinea incident plays out, but I don't believe it is possible for a capable warship on an internationally-agreed mission to decide to never take suspects on board in any circumstances. An obvious complication is the need to ensure as much as possible that suspects handed over to a riparian state are treated in accordance with international standards - as the UK found with detention operations in Afghanistan. That remains to be seen, but the Danes do have solid experience of these operations and their underpinning legal regime.
 
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Have you ever actually been to sea?

Not in a navy, where you're all tooled up and able to shoot back, but on a civvy ship in a pirate area, where international law expressly forbids you from having any means of defending yourself beyond fire hoses and the axes from the fire-fighting kit?
PS - You might be interested in the International Maritime Organisation's Global Counter Piracy Guidance for Companies, Masters and Seafarers, which has quite detailed, cautious advice on the factors to be considered in the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP): "The presence on board of PCASPs involves complex legal issues" - which is what I have been saying. Back on thread...

PPS - UK Gov advice: Interim guidance covering the use, in exceptional circumstances, of armed guards on UK flagged vessels to defend against piracy:
Guidance for owners of UK flagged vessels on the use of armed guards to defend against the threat of piracy in exceptional circumstances. This guidance covers, amongst other things, the exceptional circumstances under which the use of armed guards may be considered, the factors to be included in the risk assessment, advice on selecting a private security company, and a requirement for the shipping company to produce a counter-piracy plan and submit a copy to the department.
 
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African pirates go out on the rob and hit the jackpot by scoring asylum in Denmark.

The dream ticket.

Well guess the news then, no asylum seekers from these four in Denmark just three knobbers now adrift in a dinghy off the coast of Nigeria.
And a wounded one going back to DK for trial, then probably to serve his time in that new Danish prison in Croatia.
International laws and conventions are great to quote and rely on until someone says fcuk off.
I do so love a happy ending.
HMG take note please.



Hilarious.:D
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Lucky the Danish captain didn't tell his guys to release the three prisoners over the side with each one standing on a dan-buoy sinker.....
 
Sadly these days there would be far too many witnesses and CCTV even on a warship.
Not to mention the entitled few of them on social meedja.
Big balls from the various ministers involved in the decision though, a good call at last from a European nation.
One of the smallest too.
I won't hold my breath for others to follow though.
This is worth a watch too, if you haven't seen it.

 
Sadly these days there would be far too many witnesses and CCTV even on a warship.
Not to mention the entitled few of them on social meedja.
Big balls from the various ministers involved in the decision though, a good call at last from a European nation.
One of the smallest too.
I won't hold my breath for others to follow though.
This is worth a watch too, if you haven't seen it.

I don't think it would worry the Russians though. Or the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Navy.
 
Don't know if it was ever verified, but the story goes the Russian Navy caught a group of Somali pirates back in 2010. They dumped them in a dinghy miles out to sea, without water or navigation equipment. Job jobbed, back home for vodka and medals. ;)
Never before heard of shark infested waters being called 'a dinghy' :D
 

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