If you stay abreast of the news, as I do, you might recognize these next locations I’m going to mention. You might not be able to find them on a map, mind you, but I’m sure you’ve heard them mentioned. They would be the Seychelles Islands, Somalia, the Gulf of Aden, and the Horn of Africa. There may be a few others, but these will do for now.
This area has become regular news fodder in recent years because of a “trade” taken up by bandits from the areas listed above. This “trade” is known as piracy. Now these pirates are not of the same vintage as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Caribbean Pirates. I’m guessing it’s a different limb on the family tree.
But what gets me about these modern-day highway men (highsea men?) is there boldness. Here they are MILES out at sea in nothing more than a rubber dingy with a couple of machine guns, maybe a few grenades, and some extra cans of fuel. And they attack these MASSIVE freighters that are hundreds of feet long.
Now frequently, they will board the ships and hold the crew for ransom. Most of the ships have been instructed not to fight back. Their companies figure it’s cheaper to pay the money than lose a member of the crew. I guess that’s noble. I’m SURE the crew’s families would agree.
But I’m thinking that what these pirates have in boldness, they offset with stupidity. And I’m gonna tell you why (only because I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath). Now first off, I’m not gonna be running around 20-30 miles at sea in a rubber boat. I just ain’t gonna do it. But that’s me.
And while I may not be the brightest bulb, I CAN tell you this: IF the times ever arises that I’m running around in a rubber dingy, 20-30 miles off the coast, armed with a machine gun and a grenade, attacking ships to hold them for ransom, I SURE ain’t gonna attack a US Navy frigate.
I could not BELIEVE the story when I read it. That takes a bit more backbone than I have. It seems this bunch of yahoo pirate wannabes attacked the USS Nicholas in international waters off the Seychelles Islands. They actually fired on the USS Nicholas and the navy returned fire. I’m SURE it was a short battle. Probably sounded like pop, pop, pop, and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.
So there they were… just floating around in they dingy… when the “leader” decides “Hey… let’s go attack that navy boat over there. We have our little machine gun and our grenade.” And off they went. And the USS Nicholas had a .62 caliber naval gun, two torpedo launchers, and a .50 caliber machine gun. I wonder how long it took those Al Qaeda bozos to realize they had made a mistake? “Oh… my bad. We thought you were someone else.”
The navy began taking fire, returned it, chased the skiff down, took the pirates as prisoners, sank their skiff, found the “mother ship,” and sank it as well. I’m sure there are young crewmembers who years down the road will be telling their grandkids about the time they fought off the pirates.
I guess this encounter would be like someone going to Alaska to hunt Polar Bear and taking a slingshot.
And that’s MY take…