First U.S. Ship hijacked by pirates


#1

The Maersk Alabama, crewed by U.S. citizens, was hijacked off of the Somali coast.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-04-08-somali-pirates-us-sailors_N.htm

http://media.maersk.com/en/PressReleases/2009/Pages/APMM080409.aspx


#2

This is NOT GOOD. I wonder if this will tip the scale about the USN not doing much of anything but monitoring the area.

I think that given the operating range of the pirates, they need to start convoys and start seek and destroy military missions. This can easily be done with armed patrol aircraft. The US and other nations need to get serious about this problem before sailors start refusing to tavel in that area.

JCA


#3

I agree - I wonder what the response from the State Department is going to be to all this - I know that the U.S. government doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, but they’re going to have a real problem on their hands, especially with the shipping unions, if they do nothing about this and it ends badly.


#4

I have learned that its an MMP and I am assuming MEBA ship. The CM is a kid that was several years behind me at Mass Maritime.

I am actually hopeful for their well-being since the only good thing about these pirates is that they take their money and run, leaving the crew and ship intact and generally unharmed.

Still, I can see a special forces operation from the USN liberating this ship before it gets back to Somalia. I am certainly hoping the US takes a more active role now that a US flagged ship has been captured.

JCA


#5

Do you have any names? I may have sailed with some of those guys… I have to wonder why the hell the US Navy wasn’t keeping an eye on the US flag ship in the area! There aren’t that many US ships left and isn’t the mission of the Navy to protect OUR shipping!!


#6

I hope all those guys are ok! God be with them.
The US Navy needs to come down on these MFer’s with the HAMMER OF GOD!! Maybe now that The President is done kissing Europe’s ass he will show the world that we are not to be messed with!


#7

2 Massachusetts Maritime grads on hijacked US ship

BOURNE, Mass. (AP) – The top two commanders of an American-flagged ship hijacked by pirates off Somalia graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Capt. Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vt., graduated from the school in Bourne, his wife, Andrea, said Wednesday.

His second in command, Capt. Shane Murphy, is also among the 20 Americans aboard the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama, the Cape Cod Times reported.

Phillips has been sailing in the dangerous waters “for quite some time,” his wife told The Associated Press.

“They’ve been relatively safe, for the most part. I guess maybe it was inevitable,” she said. “My husband is a pretty smart man. He knows the protocol. He’ll do what he needs to do to keep the crew safe.”

Murphy, 33, of Seekonk, is a 2001 graduate of the school who just a few weeks ago spoke to a class about the dangers of pirates, said his father, Capt. Joseph Murphy, a professor there.

The elder Murphy did not immediately return calls left by the AP.

Former crewman Zein Z. Achmad described the Maersk Alabama as a “very nice ship, small ship, though,” that carries approximately 1,500 containers.

Achmad served on the ship in 2007 but said crews routinely change because of Seafarers International Union rules.


#8

Guess what? We ain’t putting up with that shit from no pirates, the American crew just took the ship back!!!


#9

Only one Somalian in custody, wonder what happened to the rest of them glug, glug.


#10

“Late Wednesday morning, military sources told CBS News that the crew has regained control of the vessel by overpowering the pirates, taking one pirate into custody and throwing three overboard.”

WHOA!


#11

The U.S. Navy has had time to form a cap over the ship. Will B. Hussein Obama order that action, or will he sit and watch?


#12

Here’s the latest from the Boston Herald:

http://bostonherald.com/news/international/africa/view/2009_04_08_Diplomat:_Somali_pirates_seize_21_American_sailors/srvc=home&position=0


#13

United States Merchant Mariners…

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING PROTECTION!!!

I’ll bet there will be some sort of hue and cry from the “international community” about throwing three pirates overboard. After all, they’re just poor, impoverished folks trying to make a living:rolleyes:.

Any takers?

Nemo


#14

Not me…a good time to experiment on just how effective bullets are once they enter the water.


#15

Did you guys notice who the C/M’s dad is… Capt Joe Murphy, sound familiar?


#16

I think it’s great that it’s US mariners that actually fought back and won. If I were them I would be a little worried about having thrown the pirates overboard. Maybe they should have reported that oops … the pirates tripped and fell overboard.


#17

[B]Pentagon says crew retakes US ship from pirates; Captain hostage[/B]

<CITE class=vcard>By KATHARINE HOURELD, Associated Press Writer Katharine Houreld, Associated Press Writer </CITE><ABBR class=recenttimedate title=2009-04-08T10:48:07-0700>3 mins ago</ABBR>
<!-- end .byline -->NAIROBI, Kenya – The American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged cargo ship retook the vessel Wednesday from the Somali pirates who seized it far off the Horn of Africa, Pentagon officials said. But a crew member on the vessel is telling The Associated Press that the ship’s captain is still being held hostage. The American says negotiations are under way for his release.
The AP called the ship’s satellite phone. The man who answered it said the 20-member crew had been taken hostage but managed to seize one pirate and then successfully negotiate their own release.
He says the crew has retaken control of the ship and the pirates are now in a lifeboat. But the man also says that they are holding the ship’s captain hostage in the vessel.
The man did not identify himself in the brief phone conversation.
Government officials said details were murky and declined to confirm the report.
Capt. Joseph Murphy, an instructor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, told The Associated Press that he was called by the Department of Defense and told the crew, including his son Shane, the second in command, had regained control.
At a noon news conference, Maersk Line Ltd. CEO John Reinhart said that the company was working to contact families of the crew.
“Speculation is a dangerous thing when you’re in a fluid environment. I will not confirm that the crew has overtaken this ship,” he said.
A U.S. official said the crew had retaken control and had one pirate in custody.
“The crew is back in control of the ship,” a U.S. official said at midday, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on the record. “It’s reported that one pirate is on board under crew control — the other three were trying to flee,” the official said. The status of the other pirates was unknown, the official said, but they were reported to "be in the water."
Another U.S. official, citing a readout from an interagency conference call, said: "Multiple reliable sources are now reporting that the Maersk Alabama is now under control of the U.S. crew. The crew reportedly has one pirate in custody. The status of others is unclear, they are believed to be in the water."
The ship was carrying emergency relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked, said Peter Beck-Bang, spokesman for the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk.
It was the sixth vessel seized within a week, a rise that analysts attribute to a new strategy by Somali pirates who are operating far from the warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden.
Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said that it was the first pirate attack “involving U.S. nationals and a U.S.-flagged vessel in recent memory.” She did not give an exact timeframe.
The top two commanders of the ship graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the Cape Cod Times reported Wednesday.
Andrea Phillips, the wife of Capt. Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vermont., said her husband has sailed in those waters “for quite some time” and a hijacking was perhaps "inevitable."
Joseph Murphy, a professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, said his son was a 2001 graduate who recently talked to a class about the dangers of piracy.

Somali pirates are trained fighters who frequently dress in military fatigues and use speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades. Far out to sea, their speedboats operate from larger mother ships.
The U.S. Navy said that the ship was hijacked early Wednesday about 280 miles (450 kilometers) southeast of Eyl, a town in the northern Puntland region of Somalia.
U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said the closest U.S. ship at the time of the hijacking was 345 miles (555 kilometers)away.
The Combined Maritime Forces issued an advisory Wednesday highlighting several recent attacks that occurred hundreds of miles off the Somali coast and stating that merchant mariners should be increasingly vigilant when operating in those waters.
The advisory said the "scope and magnitude of problem cannot be understated."
Douglas J. Mavrinac, the head of maritime research at investment firm Jefferies & Co., noted that it is very unusual for an international ship to be U.S.-flagged and carry a U.S. crew. Although about 95 percent of international ships carry foriegn flags because of the lower cost and other factors, he said, ships that are operated by or for the U.S. government — such a food aid ships like Maersk Alabama — have to carry U.S. flags, and therefore, employ a crew of U.S. citizens. There are fewer than 200 U.S.-flagged vessels in international waters, said Larry Howard, chair of the Global Business and Transportation Department at SUNY Maritime College in New York.


#18

Sorry John, don’t remember what I wrote.

but basicly your statement sums it up. wtf was the navy doing? if our burkes can do 40knots like they claim, in 3 hours they can travel 120 miles, and thats not counting seahawk range!

“You think the navy dropped the ball?” During my brief stint at the US Naval Academy I was told the first line of the navy charter (I think that’s what it is called) is to protect US Merchant Ships… so, yes, they dropped the ball. Not that they aren’t a little busy but US flagged ships should be top priority.

-John


#19

“You think the navy dropped the ball?” During my brief stint at the US Naval Academy I was told the first line of the navy charter (I think that’s what it is called) is to protect US Merchant Ships… so, yes, they dropped the ball. Not that they aren’t a little busy but US flagged ships should be top priority. -John

drkblram Crap, it looks like I edited over your post. :o My appologies! Feel free to edit it back!!


#20

the lifeboat seized by the pirates came to a halt – apparently because of lack of fuel

Funny just yesterday I told our jr mate “You f$@# 3rd mate’s never get the PM’s right.” Now I have proof!! (he’s really going to hate me now!)