icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Piracy News & Commentary

Botched Rescue Attempt

Earlier this week a Seychelles warship opened fire on the engine room of the Beluga Nomination, hoping to disable the ship and prevent it from being sailed to the Somali coast. Apparently in retaliation, pirates killed a hostage seafarer, although most had apparently been safely locked within a "citadel" for two and a half days. Two crew members escaped, one by leaping overboard and the other by activating the lifeboat. Both were rescued by a nearby Danish warship. The ship was towed anyway to the Somali coast by the captured ship York.

For the safety of both hostages and rescuers, as well as for the success of the mission, rescue operations must be properly planned and coordinated. Just as critically, they must be conducted with great surprise and focused, overwhelming aggression, and undertaken only by professionals whose primary mission is the conduct of naval special operations and who have the proper training in hostage rescue at sea. Hostage rescue missions are high risk operations, both to hostages and rescuers.

Any attempt at disabling a ship by gunfire--a tactic fraught with peril--or other third party means must be supported by a tactical team able to board immediately.

Further, it is imperative that any pirate who kills or injures a seafarer be aggressively tracked down and brought to justice, and, if he resists arrest by military forces or law enforcement personnel, that deadly force be brought to bear as necessary and in accordance with international law. Over the long term, a solution to Somalia's failed government and economy must be found. Although piracy will typically exist anywhere where it is not strictly deterred, its scale is far by diminished by political and economic stability.

(Sources: AFP, author's)
Be the first to comment