Pirates step their game up…


If anyone’s wondering, Pirates would definately beat Ninjas.

South Korea Piracy Tanker Hijacked

Pirates from Somalia have seized the Sirius Star, a Saudi supertanker sailing for the States.¹ About 450 kms off the coast of Kenya, southeast of Mombassa (no Reg), the Sirius Star was carrying approximately US$100m worth of crude oil, which, for those not paying attention is about a bazillion dollars Australian. The ship is about 330 metres long and carries around 2 million barrels.

Additionally, crews of bucaneers hijacked a Hong Kong registered ship, The Delight, carrying 36,000 tonnes of wheat to Iran. While in September this year, some scurvy sea-dogs overran the Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying 33 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks and a large supply of ammunition and grenade launchers intended for the Kenyan military.


Needless to say, moving tanks is tough in a speed boat, especially when each one ways 80,000 pounds.

The Gulf of Aden leads to and from the Suez canal and represents the major shipping channel for dry goods between Europe and North America. This means that ebay purchases are taking up to two weeks longer to arrive, or even worse, some Somalian cabin boy is playing your latest shipment of Institubes vinyl.


These freebooting corsairs are in the ransom business. With demands of up to $35 million being made for the return of one ship and its crew. This year alone has seen more than 50 ships attacked, 25 hijacked and about a dozen currently being held by pirates. Recognising the impact of the language barrier, they even have someone who speaks english, but how do you say arggghh in Iranian?


The experts are speculating that the pirates wait on the high seas and then board the large unwieldy trade ships using speed boats and grappling hooks… oh and rocket propelled grenades and machine guns. Already the rhetoric is flying around as millitary advisors start suggesting the preemptive sinking of any ship looking vaguely suspicious… isn’t that how Waterworld happened? ²


Obviously this is not a good look for international trade, but then neither was Enron or the US Stock Market, and many of these salty sea-bandits used to be fisherman, but due to political and economic upheaval they’ve had to get into other industries. I appreciate that “Big Poppa” Joe Biden, is against pirates, but rather than politicians talking about harpooning ‘threatening’ vessels, the international community should perhaps look more at stabilising an incredibly volatile part of the world… while they’re at it, AIDS and starvation in Africa could use some work, financial meltdowns across Europe and i believe we’re still at war with a few middle-eastern nations.

Be careful where you go fishing, friends, and for the record, the Iranian for arrrggh is in fact arrrggh… its a small world.

¹ Alliteration is an criminally underused form.

² Because i don’t want to have to piss on a tomato every day… and i’m a Smoker already.


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