And I say, “What the hootin-hey is going on in the Indian Ocean?!”
The USS Nicholas is the same ship that visited Mauritius along with the HSV SWIFT in February. I was fortunate enough to get to tour the HSV SWIFT while it was visiting the island, but did not venture over to the other side of the port to check out the USS Nicholas. If you are curious, you can check out my post from that visit here.
I just read the AP news stream item that the USS Nicholas was fired upon by suspected Somali Pirates. What?! And these suspected pirates, five men from Somalia, apparently made a quick and perhaps not all that smart decision to do what, I don’t know, try to take over the USS Nicholas? From their skiff?
The news item makes mention about how pirates sometimes attack ships that are bigger than the ships they sail the high seas in and that these types of decisions are not rational. hmmm…yes, perhaps.
Also, over the weekend I read in the New York Times that a cargo ship was seized off the port of Aden in Yemen and that seven ships were attacked and seized in the Indian Ocean by suspected pirates. What?!
So, again, I ask (a little more loudly, now, with a small double hand raise tossed in for emphasis), “What the heck is going down in the Indian Ocean and all the way up into the Gulf of Aden?”
It seems as if it’s just one big free-for-all right now in these waters and that tiny skiff ships with handfuls of pirate men are just sailing about seizing whatever they like. Um, how are they doing this? And what in the world did they think they would accomplish by attacking the USS Nicholas?
I mean, this is not a small ship and it is so very clearly not a cruise ship nor a cargo ship. I took a few photos of both the HSV SWIFT and the USS Nicholas and you can view them here in my Flickr set called ‘Sixth Fleet Visit’.
Maybe these suspected pirates from Somalia were trying to make a political statement. Somalia hasn’t had a functioning government for over 19 years. I can only imagine how big the potholes must be in the roads there or what the weekly garbage collection process must be like. ei ei ei.
Or maybe there was a David vs. Goliath type situation playing out in the minds of the suspected Somali pirates. But, really now. How can a giant cargo ship be taken over by five guys in a tiny skiff?
I shall try hard to play out a potential scene: A tiny skiff sails up to a large cargo ship and then fires some sort of rocket or something (I guess?). It then pulls up next to the cargo ship and all the guys get out of the skiff and climb onto the cargo ship. Once onboard, the pirates tell the people who work on the cargo ship, “Hey, we are taking over this ship.” And the cargo ship people say, “o.k.”
With the rise in attacks over the years, am I to believe that there has been no ‘pirate-awareness’ training in the cargo ship industry or in the ports? Wait just a second, I need to go water my grove of money trees in the backyard and watch a cow fly over the moon.
It would be amazing if Mauritius started knocking it up a notch to not only continue to protect its own immediate waters, but by starting to act as a true and proud African leader to say, ‘o.k. enough is enough, already.’