Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members onboard, hundreds of miles from the nearest American military vessel in some of the most dangerous waters in the world.I'll be interested to see how much money they seek for 20 Americans. The current policy driving strategy, specifically the policy driving RoE, is clearly inadequate to solving the piracy problem off Somalia.
The 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency relief to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was hijacked, said Peter Beck-Bang, spokesman for the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk. It was the sixth ship seized within a week, a rise that analysts attribute to a new strategy by Somali pirates who are operating far from the warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden.
The company confirmed that the U.S.-flagged vessel has 20 U.S. nationals onboard.
Cmdr. Jane Campbell, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said that it was the first pirate attack "involving U.S. nationals and a U.S.-flagged vessel in recent memory." She did not give an exact timeframe.
Details of the Maersk Alabama:
Length Overall 780' 6-1/8"Assistance in the development of the Kenyan Coast Guard would appear to be the next step in the fight against Somali piracy. The pirates have shifted tactics, moved south, and are simply outflanking the worlds great naval powers.
LBP 763' 6-1/2"
Beam Molded 100' 3/4"
Design Draft 39' 5-3/8"
Propulsion Slow Speed Hitachi B&W 8L90GBE 31,800 BHP x 97 RPM
Design Speed 21 Kts
Displacement at Design Draft 30,662 L.Tons
Container Capacity 1,399 TEUs