USS Nicholas Captures Pirates in Indian Ocean

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.’


About Minnesota Pilgrim

A GenX Xpat who moved from Minnesota to Mauritius to France with her Frenchman lover. Multiple cultures, total bedlam, absolute bliss.
This entry was posted in Assortment, Container, Environment, Mauritius, Minnesota, Miscellaneous, Pirates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to USS Nicholas Captures Pirates in Indian Ocean

  1. Wanderer says:

    Hi there! I guess its been a bit late to comment on this post. But I wanted to share my 2 cents worth opinions with you! I know I will sound a bit pompous or irritating if I say this post bring out your ‘Americanism’ but its true! Despite being a thriving economy, Mauritius is no way a ‘big rich’ nation and its army is no way trained or armed as any rich country one. Maybe its right you say that Mauritius should fight for its territory. But hey it cannot afford. Forget pirates, Mauritius cannot afford to fight for own territories such as Diego Garcia or Chagos…. We all know why!

    • Minnesota Pilgrim says:

      Hi Wanderer –

      It’s never too late to comment. As you know, one of the things I enjoy about your blog is that you are not afraid to voice your opinions gracefully. I always enjoy reading it even if I don’t necessarily agree. It’s the dialog and discussion that I find interesting and after living in Mauritius for a few years, I have to say, that I find your voice to be rather refreshing and open. I know you’ll tell it like you see it! And I admire that strength and courage. 🙂

      And, yes, tis true – I do love my country, but I’m also falling in love with other countries and cultures and Mauritius has worked its delicious island charm on me. What you say is true – today, Mauritius does not have a large and well-trained military staff; however, I was suggesting that it would be kind of cool if Mauritius became a champion of the Indian Ocean to serve as a model for other African nations. Not necessarily as ‘fighters’ and definitely not ‘alone’, but to have Mauritius continue to be the wonderful ocean-loving nation that it currently and proudly represents.

      And if that message of harmony was carried into other African nations and spread out into the Indian Ocean, maybe – just maybe – nasty pirates would say to themselves, “hmmm…these are safe waters and there is a ring of protection here…perhaps, we shouldn’t try to capture that cargo ship.” I’m not a military strategist and I realize that this is a tiny and naive thought, but sometimes all it takes is a small whisper for great things to happen.

      Obviously, large banyan trees do not grow big over night. Mauritius has accomplished so much over a relatively short amount of time and I was simply throwing an idea out there. And as far as Diego Garcia or Chagos are concerned, I am far too uninformed on the subjects to make any intelligent or well-thought out commentary. I wish for peace and harmony and for keeping the Indian Ocean a safe place for all people and cargo.

      Keep thinking and expressing yourself. I look forward to it! And I already miss the eggplant fritters and bananas.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Hey there. You know my mom had always warned “think before you talk!” Obviously I did not listen to her! After commenting on your post, I have double, triple and many thoughts. Well it was all founded. Thanks for viewing my opinion so positively!

    Coming back to the topic, I agree with you that Mauritius should invest more on army. But we cannot escape the fact that Mauritius does not have natural resources. And the many African nations who are at war or conflict does. So what can this tiny island lost in the Indian Ocean do?

    Yes its true with the coorperation of other rich countries, it can do lots. But nothing is given for free in this world. Even help!But maybe, I am being too pessimistic .

    As for this world and the African continent, my dearest wish is peace and freedom.Very simple and naive! Love live Mauritius, Africa and the USA!!

    Btw u seems to be having fun globe trotting! Enjoy!

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