Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Somali Pirates Seize US Flagged Merchant Ship

Somali Muslim pirates seized a US flagged cargo ship with 20-21 American crewmen aboard at about 12:30AM local time. The nearest US Navy ship was 300 nautical miles away. According to Reuters,
Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, told Reuters the 17,000 ton Maersk Alabama had been seized off Mogadishu far out in the Indian Ocean, but all its crew were believed to be unharmed.

Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk confirmed that the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama had been attacked by pirates about 500 km (300 miles) off Somalia and had probably been hijacked. The company said it had 20 American crew on board.

A spokesman for the U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) in Nairobi told Reuters that among the vessel's cargo were 232 containers of WFP relief food destined for Somalia and Uganda.
The AP had this earlier report


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 21 crew members aboard, a diplomat and a U.S. Navy spokesman said.

The Kenya-based diplomat identified the vessel as the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama and said all the crew members are American. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The U.S. Navy confirmed that a U.S. flagged ship with 21 members of crew was hijacked early Wednesday off the eastern coast of Somalia.

Spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said the attacked happened in the early hours of the morning hours, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) northeast of Eyl, a town in the northern Puntland region of Somalia.

Christensen said there were U.S. citizens aboard the ship, but he did not say how many. He declined to release the name of the ship until the family members of the crew are notified.

He said the ship was operated by the Danish company Maersk, which deals with the U.S. Department of Defense. Christensen said the vessel was not working under a Pentagon contract when hijacked.

Maersk Kenya Managing Director Rolf Nielsen said the company was still verifying reports of the hijacking. An U.S. embassy spokeswoman was not immediately able to confirm the incident.

Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program said the ship was taken about 400 miles (640 kilometers) from the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The vessel is the sixth to be seized within a week and the first with an all-American crew.
An NPR news item quoted an American official as saying there was no plan or discussion to rescue the crew or ship. Perhaps that's because it's still early in the event. However, America has been here before and Pres. Thomas Jefferson had a very successful plan. Pres. Gerald Ford used that plan to rescue the crew of the SS Mayaquez.

I suggest we use it. Following Jefferson and Ford would be far more useful than following the plans of Obama's presidential mentor, Jimmy Carter, and the grandiose Operation Eagle Claw that managed only to kill the American rescuers and do decades of damage to America's ability to act anywhere around the world. The only good result was the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Stephen Wilson said...

The pirates must have one heckuva hideout for the loot.

No to Jolly Somali Pirates said...

This is priceless... I cant wait till they run into the wrong crew. Or even better try to attack a navy ship lol