Thursday, April 09, 2009

Somali pirates attack American ship

This time, the Somali pirates tried to seize an American ship that was full of food for the African people. Poverty and civil war have forced some Somali's to resort to becoming pirates, for it's the only "employment" that can be found there.

Writers Edmund Sanders and Julian E. Barnes give us more on the attempted seizure.

With a U.S. warship steaming to the scene, Somali pirates and American seamen engaged in a standoff on the high seas early today after the crew of a freighter loaded with food for Africa fought off the hijackers -- who fled in a lifeboat with the captain as a hostage.

The first such attack against a U.S.-flagged vessel off Africa since the days of the Barbary pirates more than 200 years ago began with an attack against the U.S.-registered Maersk Alabama cargo ship far off Somalia's coast.

The 20-member crew, unarmed according to the ship's owner, managed to overpower at least four pirates and regain control, according to U.S. officials. But the captain -- Richard Phillips of Underhill, Vt. -- was being held by the pirates, according to a U.S. defense official.

His wife, Andrea Phillips, told The Associated Press that her husband has sailed in those waters ''for quite some time'' and that a hijacking was perhaps ''inevitable.'' Attempted seizure of the Danish-owned vessel marks the latest chapter in the piracy saga off Somalia. Poverty, civil war and the lack of a functioning government since 1991 have turned the waters around the Horn of Africa nation into the most crime-infested on Earth.

The attack on the cargo ship was the second in two days, U.S. officials said. After rebuffing the first attempt, the ship's crew radioed Wednesday that two skiffs were closing in. Thirty minutes later, the ship told maritime officials that pirates had attached a grappling hook and were climbing aboard.

It remained unclear how the U.S. crew retook control. A crew member told CNN that one of the pirates had been detained, but then was released in an unsuccessful bid to exchange him for the captain.


Anonymous said...

To deter pirates the international community should consider demolishing the homes where the families of pirates live. Israel has been doing this for some years now, apparently with success, to deter attackers.

Anonymous said...

whats the point of demolishing the homes of the somali pirates, wouldnt that make them more mad and retaliate to those who have done it I belive that will make it worse.

I dont belive that the people understand why the somali pirates are doing this,everyday theres big tanker ships out there dumping nuclear waste and that hurts the people of somalia to fish because thats killing them.Are you telling that a small life boat carring about six people are going 300 miles off the coast of somalia to capture ships(media)