Piracy

Piracy of the African Coast has been in the news a lot lately. The Dutch Frigate Tromp has been particularly successful in countering this problem. (Pirates mistakenly attacked her twice–suspect there may have been some deceptive lighting involved) Most recently she used her helicopter, and six marines who fast-roped down down from it, to recapture a German container ship that had been seized by ten pirates. In accordance with recent doctrine, the crew had locked themselves in a “safe room” so that they could not be used as hostages by the pirates. More info here and here.

If we send a cutter into the Indian Ocean again, perhaps we should send along an MSST fast-rope team.

6 thoughts on “Piracy

  1. I’ve read a number of historical accounts about pirates attacking naval vessels. I’ve yet to find where they were charged with piracy. Stupidity and assault sure, but piracy is robbery at sea. That is why until 1897 it was an automatic death sentence.

    In the case of pirate Jean Desfarge, his crew and the “Mexican” schooner Le Brave (mistakenly known as Bravo) of 1819. He attacked the revenue cutter Louisiana. However, he was not charged with piracy for the attack. He wasn’t charged with anything. He and sixteen of his crew were hanged at New Orleans (two aboard Louisiana) in 1820 for piracy committed on the Spanish merchant vessel Filomena (aka Philomena).

    The question for the courts will be does “robbery” exist for an assault on a naval vessel? Piracy is, after all, a civil crime.

  2. I've read a number of historical accounts about pirates attacking naval vessels. I've yet to find where they were charged with piracy. Stupidity and assault sure, but piracy is robbery at sea. That is why until 1897 it was an automatic death sentence. In the case of pirate Jean Desfarge, his crew and the “Mexican” schooner Le Brave (mistakenly known as Bravo) of 1819. He attacked the revenue cutter Louisiana. However, he was not charged with piracy for the attack. He wasn't charged with anything. He and sixteen of his crew were hanged at New Orleans (two aboard Louisiana) in 1820 for piracy committed on the Spanish merchant vessel Filomena (aka Philomena). The question for the courts will be does “robbery” exist for an assault on a naval vessel? Piracy is, after all, a civil crime.

  3. I've read a number of historical accounts about pirates attacking naval vessels. I've yet to find where they were charged with piracy. Stupidity and assault sure, but piracy is robbery at sea. That is why until 1897 it was an automatic death sentence. In the case of pirate Jean Desfarge, his crew and the “Mexican” schooner Le Brave (mistakenly known as Bravo) of 1819. He attacked the revenue cutter Louisiana. However, he was not charged with piracy for the attack. He wasn't charged with anything. He and sixteen of his crew were hanged at New Orleans (two aboard Louisiana) in 1820 for piracy committed on the Spanish merchant vessel Filomena (aka Philomena). The question for the courts will be does “robbery” exist for an assault on a naval vessel? Piracy is, after all, a civil crime.

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