Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pirates are so hot right now

If you follow trends like I do you no doubt know that the Somali pirate scene is absolutely blowing up right now. Fresh off of capturing a Ukrainian ship packed with tanks and anti-aircraft guns pirates have seized their largest ship ever, an oil tanker three times the size of an aircraft carrier with $100 million worth of oil inside. So hot right now.

According to this article the ransom for a ship has risen to anywhere between $500,000 and $2 million and they're on pace for a $50 million year. Apparently piracy is immune to the economic troubles the rest of us are facing. I was curious how exactly pirates go about being pirates and here is what they said:
Maritime experts recently have noticed a new development in the gulf — the pirates’ use of “mother ships,” large oceangoing trawlers carrying fleets of speedboats which are then deployed when a new prize is encountered.

“They launch these boats and they’re like wild dogs,” said Mr. Choong in Kuala Lumpur. “They attack the ship from the port, from starboard, from all points, shooting, scaring the captain, firing RPGs and forcing the ship to stop.”

There are some countermeasures the merchant ships can use when approaching pirates are spotted. Fire-retardant foam or huge blasts of water can be sprayed from the ship to douse the would-be hijackers.

Once pirates get aboard, however, the ship is theirs, because crews on commercial vessels are rarely armed, according to Mr. Choong and other maritime experts. “They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons,” he said.

I was kind of planning on trying to come up with some reason why I would post this but basically it's just because pirates are awesome. So hot right now.

More information on pirates can be found in this ridiculously awesome article detailing just how hot pirates are.
People in Garoowe, a town south of Boosaaso, describe a certain high-rolling pirate swagger. Flush with cash, the pirates drive the biggest cars, run many of the town’s businesses — like hotels — and throw the best parties, residents say. Fatuma Abdul Kadir said she went to a pirate wedding in July that lasted two days, with nonstop dancing and goat meat, and a band flown in from neighboring Djibouti.

“It was wonderful,” said Ms. Fatuma, 21. “I’m now dating a pirate.”
Of course there's some downside, I guess, like crushing poverty and hunger for the rest of the country, a decimated fishing industry, and no ships pulling into ports but, still...the pirates have it pretty good.
“They are normal people,” said Mr. Said. “Just very, very rich.”
Pirates (and celebrities). They're just like us!



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