I can’t really explain why the thought of a 30,000 ton cruise ship outrunning a bunch of morons in, what did they call them? ‘skiffs’, struck me as funny, but it did. Reading about it gave me a case of the giggles which lasted most of the day. Can you picture it? This huge, gleaming cruise ship turning on the jets and leaving these little scabrous boats in the wake, at the blazing speed of 27 miles an hour no less!
I know, piracy on international waters (well, on any waters) is a very serious matter. I am glad that no one was hurt and that the ship got away. I just had this image in my head of this:
being hotly pursued by a bunch of these:
On one hand, the whole idea seems pretty absurd. No-good idiots in beat up little boats, probably with second-hand or third-hand or most likely stolen (pirates, remember?) Evinrudes mounted on the back. “Bbbbwwwaaaahbbbbbwwwwwaaaahhh, blublblubblub, (cough, cough) “Malik, what is it man? Give the motor a swift kick!, The ship its getting away!”
On the other hand, considering that pirates in these dinky little boats did manage to capture another big ship near Somalia, the M/V Faina, it isn’t really absurd. Especially when you consider that the Faina was carrying a load of tanks and other heavy weapons that Ukraine had sold to Kenya. And what the hell are the pirates going to do with those? Kinda hard to fence that stuff.
Maybe it is a sign that the pirates are getting a little more savvy in whom they target. After all, a cruise ship would be carrying passengers with MONEY and JEWELRY and PASSPORTS. This is all stuff that surely would be easier to move at any level of the global underground economy. Not that I have any experience in such disreputable activities, mind you. Ahem, moving on.
So what is more dangerous, a ship full of weapons, or a ship full of people? Well, if you consider the Norwalk virus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwalk_virus) to be a bioweapon, the cruise ship might get the nod. But instead what we have is a load of weapons in the hull of this:
This is a headscratcher. “Let’s put all these tanks and artillery shells on a ship and send it through a known danger area. Yeah, it’ll be fine, no sweat. What? We don’t have a modern vessel with self-defense weaponry and no escort? What’s left? Oh, okay, Let’s use that.”