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Old 11-17-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
classicman
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Somali pirates hijack Saudi oil tanker

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A hijacked supertanker with two British crew members was being taken to a Somali port this afternoon after pirates seized their biggest vessel yet off the African coast.

Acts of piracy in the shipping lanes of the Arabian Sea have become increasingly violent and commonplace in recent months, but this is the first time hijackers have seized an oil tanker.

The 1,000 ft-long Sirius Star was seized on Saturday around 450 nautical miles from Mombasa on the Kenyan coast. The supertanker, which can hold up to two million barrels of crude oil, is owned by Aramco, a Saudi company, but was sailing under a Liberian flag.

The Foreign Office confirmed that two of those on board were British but could not give any details of their role on the ship.

“We don’t know exactly where they are taking it but we know the town of Eyl is a pirate stronghold.”

Eyl is in the northern Puntland region of Somalia, it is thought that dozens of ships are currently being held captive there.

Al-Arabyia, the Saudi-owned television station, reported this afternoon that the ship had been freed, but both the US Navy and Saudi Aramco, which owns the supertanker, said they had no knowledge of any release

The vast ship and its 25 crew, including members from the UK, Croatia, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia, have been under the command of an armed gang for two days. “The vessel is under the pirates’ control,” a spokesman for the US Navy 5th fleet in Bahrain said.

The Saudi ship, which is 330 meters (1,080 feet) long, had been headed for the United States via the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. The route is a main thoroughfare for fully laden supertankers from the Gulf, the world’s biggest oil exporting region.

Saudi Arabia is the largest of those exporters, sending around seven million barrels per day to into the global markets.

Pirates, often based in anarchic Somalia, have made the shipping routes off east Africa among the most dangerous in the world but this is the first time an oil tanker has been seized.

The International Maritime Bureau has reported that at least 83 ships have been attacked off Somalia since January and 33 of those were hijacked. It is believed that 12 of the vessels and more than 200 crew are still in the hands of pirates.
This is the first I have heard about this.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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It used to be the Strait of Malacca was the pirate hot spot of the word, but the Somalis are really catching up.

At least this tanker only has oil and isn't carrying 33 tanks and grenade launchers like the MV Faina the pirates captured a month ago.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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Thanks glatt - I see the anchor chain is in the water there, I wonder if that pic was before, during or after the highjack.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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The pictures above are from the last major attack, not this oil tanker. You would have to be foolish to stop in pirate infested waters if you were a sea captain. I guess it's just speed boats and grappling hooks that allow these pirates to capture a ship while underway. That and sleeping night watchmen. So I think the pirates dropped the anchor.

Mostly, the pirates take valuables from the crew and leave the cargo alone. It's surprising they are going to try to steal the oil cargo in this tanker. Do they have the infrastructure to store that oil? Are they going to just sell it off dock side in 5 gallon jerry cans? I don't know how that works.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #5
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Piracy is making a comeback eh? Who's down to bring back train robberies with me!
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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Hmm- I'll be out of the country with Slang and UG, maybe when we get back we could knock a few off the tracks.
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Old 11-17-2008, 02:53 PM   #7
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Unless these pirates show proof of citizen to a country who actually wants to protect them, we should be blowing these guys away left and right. Good sport for Navy SEALs I would think. Make an example of one ship, distribute leaflets with pictures of it to every other hijacked ship and tell em surrender your weapons and leave in under 2 hours or we will fuck you up just like these guys. No negotiations, no quarter for those who choose to stay and fight. Scum who prey on total civilians deserve nothing less.
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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i was thinking that we should buy the shipments from the pirates at cut rates, myself.
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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But the shipping would be a killer.
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:59 PM   #10
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:28 PM   #11
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Piracy off the Somalia coast has been routine for years. What makes this event unique was the size of the ship AND that it occurred about 450 nautical miles offshore.
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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Discussed previously in another thread and this from the NY Times:
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The pirates raised international alarm bells in September when they seized a Ukrainian freighter, the Faina, carrying a cargo of battle tanks and other weapons. The Faina and its 20-member crew are still being held off Somalia, watched by warships to prevent the removal of its cargo.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:07 PM   #13
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What the hell do they do once they seize the ship anyway? How do they get the cargo or whatever off - especially this oil tanker?
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:36 PM   #14
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Isn't this why they invented submarines? To torpedo pirate ships and watch as the crew is devoured by sharks, or am I thinking of something else?
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
What the hell do they do once they seize the ship anyway? How do they get the cargo or whatever off - especially this oil tanker?
Kinda reminds me of this.
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